May 31, 2009

THE LADY BUNCH winter tour   

Great comedy from great women  

Three of NZ’s top comedians take to the road for the next five weeks for a Heartland tour of New Zealand with their show, "The Lady Bunch".

Michele A’Court, Justine Smith and Irene Pink debuted their ensemble show at the 2008 NZ International Comedy Festival and have since been invited to the World Buskers Festival in Christchurch and the Arts Festival in Rotorua. Now they’re about to embark on a tour of the Heartland with "Arts On Tour" that will take them to twenty towns this winter.

Each of these three comedians is successful in her own right, with a raft of awards and trophies littering their various living rooms. And while you can catch them separately any day of the week on "Comedy Central", the new Sky TV channel launched this April, they’re thrilled about hitting the road together.

The three women say every night of their show is like "a family reunion" – which is why they took their name, "The Lady Bunch", in honour of that iconic 70s TV family, the Bradys.

Just like the Brady Bunch, they might not have been born in the same place at the same time, but they belong together as the ultimate comedy-blended family.

"We’ve all been working in the comedy industry here and overseas for years," they say, "and the more we get to know each other, the more we suspect we’re family. Perhaps not your actual identical triplets – given the differences in our ages and ethnicities – but sisters under the skin."

Irene is of Nuiean descent, Jussi is a rock-chick Westie, and Michele’s ancestry is French, via Levin. Yet, strangely, they often love and hate the same things. Their show explores what all this means – that despite appearances people are often more alike than they are different, and what "family" really means.

With a combined total of 35 years experience as professional comedians, their show is smart, slick and sizzling with a range of styles and flavours.

"That’s half of the reason we do this – to show how different three female comedians can be, and that the stereotypes about women in comedy don’t hold," they say. "The other half is that we just love working together. And when we’re not working, we’re meeting for coffee." 

Where To Find Them This Winter:
8 June
The Bedford, Christchurch – "The Lady Bunch" comedy show as a special national tour preview. 8pm. Tickets $20 from Real Groovy, Cosmic Corner or at the door.  
9 June Akaroa: at the Gaiety Theatre, 7.30pm. First stop on our massive national tour of the Heartland.
11 June Fairlie: at Eat Cafe, 8pm.
12 June Waimate: at the Criterion Hotel.
13 June Oamaru: at Inkbox, Oamaru Opera House at 7.30pm.
14 June Alexandra: Alexandra Hall at 7.30pm.
14 June Cromwell: matinee at Bannockburn Hall, 1.30pm.
17 June Riverton: at the Riverton Arts Centre, 7.30pm.
18 June Mosgiel: at the Coronation Hall, 8pm.
19 June Geraldine: at the Domain Pavilion, 7.30pm.
20 June Nelson: at the Playhouse, 8pm.
21 June Takaka: at the Mussel Inn, 8pm.
23 June Karamea: at the Last Resort.
24 June Reefton: at Wilsons Hotel, 7.30pm.
30 June Onewhero: at OSPA Theatre.
02 July Whangaroa: at Whangaroa Harbour Hall, 7.30pm.
03 July Kerikeri: at The Centre at Kerikeri, 8pm.
07 July Opunake: at the Sandfords Event Centre, 7.30pm.
10 July Gisborne: at the fabulous Poverty Bay Club, 8pm.
11 July Whakatane: at the Whakatane Little Theatre, 7.30pm.
12 July Tauranga: at the Tauranga Art Gallery, 8pm. Last show, home to bed.

From "Lindauer Divas 2007" Review, Theatreview 

"Michele struck up a warm rapport with the audience. An astute, humourous, relaxed professional… Smooth delivery, excellent, varied material."

"Irene Pink… had the capacity crowd in peels of laughter… eating from the palms of her hands. There were shrieks of recognition and a strong sense of shared experience."

"With her rapid fire delivery and inability to stay on track, resulting in hilarious asides and ad-libs, Justine is at the top of her game… the crowd loves her." 

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