ALOHA 1950

Nivara Lounge, Hamilton

12/03/2016 - 12/03/2016

Hamilton Fringe 2016

Production Details

Aloha 1950! – proudly presented by the Rock n Roll Circus, will whisk you away on a night of cheeky 50s fun. With burlesque and cabaret entertainers, hilarious audience competitions and prizes, it will be a night you won’t forget! Come dressed in theme and you may just win a Best Dressed award as well! Come get hot under the collar with us!

Tickets on sale now –

Sat 12th 8.30pm


Dance , Circus ,

2 hours

A naughty, saucy, fun night out

Review by Dr Debbie Bright 13th Mar 2016

Aloha 1950! … will whisk you away on a night of cheeky 50’s fun. With burlesque and cabaret entertainers, hilarious audience competitions and prizes, it will be a night you won’t forget! Come dressed in theme and you may just win a Best Dressed award as well! Come and get hot under the collar with us! Thus, says the brief in the 2016 Hamilton Fringe Festival programme. And this is what this show delivers!

The Nirvara Lounge is one of Hamilton’s basement surprise venues, known for its entertainment, particularly by little-known musicians and less familiar genres. It is a moderate-sized café-bar that sells food, alcohol and coffee. Water and glasses are offered on a separate self-service bar. Elderly but tidy couches and comfortable chairs behind a coffee table with magazines, brochures and booklets (including the Fringe programme) provide a comfortable space for eating, drinking, browsing and relaxing.

This evening, the audience members all appear to have come with friends. They crowd forward, closer to the small stage area, sitting around tables, or sinking into assorted sofas and comfortable chairs, in the dimly lit room. Near the entranceway, the bar is busy. Many (particularly the women) are dressed in the Hawaiian/ 1950’s theme: colourful floral dresses, shoes, lei and flowers (there is a saying going around about ‘getting lei-ed’!). Needless-to-say, there is a Saturday-night-out noisiness and expectation among the patrons. The compere for the show warms us up by commanding us to stand, move our hips, dance a bit and shout raucously. She is vivacious and confident, and invites us to enjoy the evening, while reminding us of how much courage it takes to perform burlesque on stage. I sense the rising of audience expectations of being noisily involved, of entertainment, hilarity, having a laugh, maybe even being a little shocked, and generally having a fun evening out. Most patrons appear to be in their 20’s, although there is a sprinkling of all ages, including some who may remember the social life of the 1950’s.

The evening begins with a cabaret item, and the scene is set for flirty, teasing mischief and sexy suggestiveness (of the enticing teasing female kind). The performers present a series of solo burlesque items – burlesque at its sauciest performed by saucily-named women- songs, dances, and themed costumes that are gradually removed to reveal G-strings, and buttocks and nipples adorned with tassels that are twirled by their wearers, with all the resultant hilarious body effects. The audience hoots, cheers, yells and applauds as they are egged on by the performers. Burlesque items are interspersed with audience competitions and a final spot prize. Audience members are picked out by company members or forced forward by their friends (though none look unwilling to perform onstage!). Limbo, Best Dressed and burlesque-style dance competitions are all managed well by the compere, and decided by enthusiastic audience volume. There is a half-time break for replenishing of drinks. The cabaret and burlesque show, and the audience involvement, continue. We see items performed by award-winners – skilled dance, cheeky gestures, tantalising and teasing movements. The audience dance competition is won by a young man whose antics quickly make him a crowd favourite.

Finally, the compere assures us that, though the company performs mostly in Auckland, they plan to appear in Hamilton more often in the future. She invites us to join Hamilton-based Burlesque classes, so we can continue to enjoy the fun, while getting fit. A young man near me asks if men are able to join. I assure him that men have always been involved (I know a man who is currently involved), although, of course, men perform their own version of this genre.

All in all, a naughty, saucy, fun night out. I sense that Burlesque is destined to become more popular in Hamilton! 


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