Boomers Behaving Badly

St James Theatre 1st Floor Gallery, Wellington

28/05/2010 - 28/05/2010

Circa Two, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington

24/05/2011 - 11/06/2011

Hamilton gardens, Victorian Garden Conservatory, Hamilton

25/02/2013 - 27/02/2013

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2013

Production Details

Jane Keller is back with her special flavour of cabaret.  This time with a rather naughty, risqué look at life in the fast lane of the baby boomer (aka mature) femme fatale and her compatriots. 

“I woke up one morning to find I had suddenly turned 50! How did that happen?” asks Jane “Last time I looked I was 28. Honestly I really was 28 for only a few years”.

“And then discovered I wasn’t the only one. The same thing had happened to my friends and so many people I know.  One minute we were in college and the next minute our hair colour had changed from golden corn to salt and pepper, newspapers were being printed smaller and our favourite 70’s clothes and albums were commanding high prices in retro vintage shops in Cuba St!”

“Then I started investigating what my friends, these respectable mature stalwarts of society, had been up to since I last looked. You want to know? Well I’ll give you a hint but you’ll have to come to the show to get the juicy detail! So much breast reduction surgery and that’s only the men! Cougars on the prowl, grandchildren from hell! Divorce parties, Botox botch ups, middle age revenge porn, old boyfriends popping up on, internet dating successes and tragedies”. 

Combining her special style of storytelling with her virtuoso Broadway voice Jane tells her tales in an evening of shock, tittle tattle and raucous hilarity.

“We’re Boomers and we’re still going strong”.Check it out – Baby Boomers Behaving Badly ….

Jane will be accompanied the wonderful Carey McDonald on piano.

This is a general admission show so come along early to secure your seats. You can then relax with your friends over a sumptuous bottle of wine, platters and snacks available for purchase on the night.

Proudly supported by the Museum Hotel.  Click here to book your accommodation at the Museum Hotel.

First Floor Gallery
St James Theatre

Doors from 6.30pm
On stage 8pm Fri 28 May

*Service fees apply 

CIRCA TWO Season. 2011


“Keller shows her extraordinary versatility in being able to have the audience rolling about laughing then transfixed by the haunting lyrics of the next song” – Ewen Coleman, DominionPost 

Circa Two
24 May – 11 June
Performance Times: Tues – Sat 7.30 Sun 4.30

Tickets: Adults $38 | Concessions $30 | Groups 6+ $32

Under 25’s $25 | Sunday Special 29th May $25
Bookings: 04 801 7992 or 

Pre-show dinner available at Wharfside – phone 801 7996  

ARTS ON TOUR NZ Itinerary – 2012

Tuesday 1 May – Ashburton
Ashburton Trust Event Centre – 7.30pm
$25; $22.50 each for 2; $20 each for 4 or more. Door sales $25
Book: Ashburton Trust Event Centre 03 307 2010 or 

Thursday 3 and Friday 4 May – Invercargill 
Presented as part of the Southland Festival of the Arts
SIT Centrestage Theatre
$25/$20 (incl booking fee) Book: CUE TV, Ticketdirect or Invercargill I-Site

Saturday 5 May – Arrowtown 
Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall – 7.30pm 
$20 Book: Lakes District Museum 

Sunday 6 May – Cromwell
Golden Gate Lodge – 7.30pm
Adults $25; SuperGold $20; Student/child $5. Book: Cromwell I-Site 

Tuesday 8 May – Alexandra 
The Orchard Garden – 7.30pm 
$20 Book: Alexandra Information Centre

Wednesday 9 May – Ranfurly
Ranfurly Town Hall – 7.30pm
$20 Book: Maniototo I-Site 

Thursday 10 May – Oamaru 
Oamaru Opera House – 7.30pm
$25 Book: or 08004ticket 

Friday 11 May – Waimate 
Criterion Hotel – 7.30pm
$25 Book: Westside Gifts, Information Centre

Saturday 12 May – Timaru
The Mill Theatre – 7.30pm
$20 Book: Newman’s Pianos 

Tuesday 15 May – Fairlie 
Mackenzie Community Theatre 7.30pm
$20 Book: Heartlands Fairlie

Thursday 17 – Karamea 
Last Resort Old Cafe 7.30pm
$20(includes finger food)
Book: Information Centre; Last Resort

Saturday 19 May – Takaka 
The Playhouse – 7.30pm
$20 on door; $18 pre-sold. Book: Paradise Video & Laundrette

Sunday 20 May – Nelson 
Nelson School of Music – 7.30pm
$25 (plus booking fees) Book: Nelson School of Music 03 548 9477 or

Wednesday 23 May – Waverley
Waverley Community Centre – 7.30pm
$20 per ticket
Book: E.C. Dallisons, Waverley (cash or cheque only)

Thursday 24 May – New Plymouth
Theatre Royal TSB Showplace – 7.30pm
Theatre seat $25; Table seat & Antipasto platter $45;
Table of 8 & Antipasto platter $340 (service fees apply)
Book: TSB Showplace 0800 111 999 or 

Saturday 26 May – Hastings
Assembly Room Hawke’s Bay Opera House – 8pm
Adult $25; Concession $20; Encore Club $18; Groups 10+ $15
Book: 0800 TICKETEK

Tuesday 29 May – Opotiki
De Luxe Theatre – 7pm
$20 Book: Opotiki Museum

Friday 1 June – Onewhero
OSPA Theatre – 8pm
$20 Book: River Traders Tuakau

Sunday 3 June – Omapere
Copthorne Hokianga – 7.30pm
$15 Door sales

Friday 8 June – Upper Hutt
Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre – 7.30pm
Adult $30; Friends Concession $25
5 Show Season Pass $100
Book: Expressions 527 2168 or

Arts On Tour New Zealand 
Arts On Tour New Zealand (AOTNZ) organises tours of outstanding New Zealand performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand. The trust receives funding from Creative New Zealand and liaises with local arts councils, repertory theatres and community groups to bring the best of musical and other talent to country districts.  

Monday 25 February – Wednesday, 27 February 2013 @ 8:00pm
Victorian Garden Conservatory
90 mins 

1hr 30min, incl. interval

Boomer blooms with talent and wit

Review by Gail Pittaway 26th Feb 2013

Jane Keller’s one woman show is mostly musical with a bit of reminiscent stand-up comedy thrown in.  With her excellent vocal range, from a background in music and theatre, and flair for facial manoeuvres, Keller is a great comedienne and more than satisfies a crowd of grey haired boomers, with a few Gen Y‘s thrown in for colour.

The music is cabaret in style with some jazzy numbers, like one about a cougar on the prowl, some more sweetly sarcastic in tone like Sondheim, while others pay homage to Lehrer and Victoria Wood. There are even some sad numbers to sigh over.

The lyrics are as funny as the delivery and Michael Nicholas Williams on the keyboard is more than a match for this dame, brandishing eyebrows with the keys, to chip in a punch line on several of the songs.

It’s a smooth and funny night of laughs delivered by experts, one that deserves the full houses it has received in the Victorian Conservatory: a hot house turned hot bed for the night. 

The show seems to have arisen out of an invitation to attend her high school year’s 40th anniversary and what has happened in those four decades to Keller and her school friends. She looks at the phenomena associated with being born between 1946 and 1964 – the speed of aging, the several rounds of marriages, divorces, body work, drinking, sex, and more drinking – that characterise this generation (yes well, mine!). Although drawing from a mostly American background of high school, proms and Co-ed College, the experiences are not lost on the audience and we identify with the songs of feeling left out, ugly, not in the in-crowd, or songs of revenge or lust.

As with all good comedy acts Keller is unafraid to exploit herself as subject matter and revels in her own misdemeanours and moments of awkwardness.  There are some delectable moments of tongue twisting text; notably a parody of the ‘Girl from Ipanema’ with a lengthy Brazilian place name full of lisps, about a boy she met on her travels, and a number about macho men that makes musical references to television western themes. 

The show lifts a notch in energy as the subjects lower in tone in the second half. There is a great number about how to speak French with the lips and the hips in Paris, one in praise of bald men which causes much rollicking in the aisles. The song about loving oneself has to be heard to be believed.  But my favourite was the encore: nothing about Boomers, but a tribute to Altos who never get to sing the main tune. It sums up all the talent and wit of a night out with this excellent entertainer. 


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Slightly self-mocking songs and stories

Review by Michael Wray 25th May 2011

 If you were born within the years 1946 to 1964, you are classified as a baby boomer. Apparently, this is the generation that thought they would stay forever young … Don’t we all? The falsehood of this hope struck Jane Keller “like a ton of bricks” when she received an invitation to her 40th high school reunion last year and lead to the creation of this show.

Directed by KC Kelly, the show is simple, light-hearted musical entertainment; safe and unchallenging. The song selection is quite obscure; this is not a sing-along. One song is from English comedian Victoria Wood, but the others were all new to me and I suspect will be to you too. This is not a bad thing. With the songs moving between comedy and emotional rendition, it makes you pay close attention to the lyrics.

As segues between songs, Keller amuses us with tales that take us from high school to present day. Whether the stories have been written to fit the song selection or the songs picked to fit the stories is up for debate, but it provides an opportunity for her to interact with the audience and set a light, slightly self-mocking tone.

Keller’s performance is just right for the venue and show. No microphones, just her excellent voice with the piano. She moves between making us laugh and feel deeper emotions with ease.

The first half takes us back to school, the junior prom, through to marriage and eventually a happy divorce. It starts with humour: the perils of physical education, the awkwardness of which school-friends choose to stay in touch (the ones you didn’t like much) and dealing with dyslexia. The mood softens when it comes to finding a date for junior prom or defending choices, such as being a housewife voluntarily and feeling undervalued as a result.

After the interval, we find divorcees enjoying their freedom by visiting Paris and Brazil. The comedy is back and bold, before we once again move into melancholy territory for a while. Comedy returns with a vengeance with cougars, GILFs, male baldness and the pleasure of one’s own company closing the second half.

Throughout, the lighting design from Deb McGuire complements the changing tones.

Michael Nicholas Williams accompanies on piano, providing a few backing vocals and, where required, cues and prompts. It’s a shame he mostly has his back to us, but he takes his opportunity to act along with the fun when allowed.

Other than this being a time when baby boomers are approaching retirement age, triggering a nostalgic where-did-the-years-go mood, there’s nothing generation-specific or uniquely baby boomerish about the show.

Roll forward a decade or so and the show could easily be retitled to fit generation X. In the meantime, the gen X brigade should leave their gen Ys at home to sit their gen Zs, and take their baby boomer parents out for a little musical nostalgia.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Forget cougars – this snow leopard is queen of the jungle

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 31st May 2010

Having become somewhat of a musical icon around Wellington, Jane Keller can now draw an audience that would be the envy of many performers.

Yet it is not surprising given the highly talented and esteemed performer that Keller is. Trained in classical singing, which adds much to her vocal prowess, her forte has developed into musical theatre. However, she doesn’t reprise songs from well-known Broadway musical but off-beat cabaret numbers that have catchy tunes, though not always easy to sing, and telling lyrics that range from the hilarious to the poignant and profound.

Keller is also not averse to putting her own life story on the line through her songs and witty repartee, a middle- aged woman facing the trials and tribulations of lost youth.

In her current show, Boomers Behaving Badly, she focuses on the baby-boomers, those born in the 1950s and where they are at now and what they are up to.

She discovered that one minute she was graduating from high school and the next becoming perilously close to 60 – yet so too were all her school friends. What had happened in the intervening years then became the basis of her show.

Initially, there are the hilarious numbers about school and boyfriends, then the more poignant numbers about lost love and broken relationships; Keller showing her extraordinary versatility in being able to have the audience rolling about laughing then transfixed by the haunting lyrics of the next song.

While 40-something women looking for young men are well known as cougars, Keller likes to think of her age group as snow leopards looking for a cub, and finding one in the audience she proceeds to involve them in a hilarious routine that brought the house down. Male baby-boomers don’t get off lightly either – Boomer Bastards, she calls them, and with a wonderful bracket of three songs, sings each as an ode to their inadequacies.

There is also a bracket of French songs from a time fondly remembered in Paris and some dedicated to the need of friends. The range of songs that Keller uses to exemplify her themes is quite amazing and her research into finding the right song for the right moment is extensive. But it is not just her material that makes her shows special but her overall performance in putting the songs across.

Natural and relaxed, she is able to work her audience from the first note to the last, yet she also has style and pizzazz and, for a mature baby boomer, is sexy and sassy as well.

Accompanied by Carey McDonald on piano and Gary McFadden on guitar, the only downside to this show was that it was a oncer. Hopefully, Keller will return with it, as the show deserves its own season, in a more suitable venue, rather than just another one-off.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Dramatic flair and intensity

Review by Vicki Thorpe 29th May 2010

Baby boomers – that is, those born between 1945 and 1960 – gathered last night to hear Jane Keller lampoon their generation in song and have a great time. They weren’t disappointed. Keller’s one-woman, cabaret-style show Boomers Behaving Badly presented songs of botox, grand children, well-endowed dentists, revenge porn, romantic weekends in Paris and high school reunions.

Keller has great voice for musical theatre, and she’s so funny. It was a pleasure to be in the company of such assurance and experience. She used her powerful, operatic voice to good effect, at times poignant and at others risque. Keller’s delivery of lyrics (including fluent spanglish and franglais) was impressive as she performed a string of complex, wordy songs with dramatic flair and intensity.

Carey McDonald on piano was with her all the way, although rather more subdued than I would have expected given Keller’s gutsy performance.

The highlight for me was Keller’s portrayal of a ‘jaguar’, a 50 plus female baby boomer on the prowl for younger men. Her impromptu performance with one of the few young men in the audience could best be described as a friendly maul. Their brilliantly improvised comic timing had the audience roaring with laughter.

The St James turned on efficient and charming dinner service for the hungry and appreciative audience. The venue works well, notwithstanding the need for early arrivals to queue in single file as their tickets were scanned even more slowly than at an airline gateway on a busy day. 

It was a fun show and just the thing for a crowd of boomers on a wet cold night.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


John Smythe May 29th, 2010

The word is that jaguars is Jane's word for 50+ cougars.

Wellshaw May 29th, 2010

Woops - it was Jane Keller (not Helen, the deafblind American woman). We went to the preview - I'm sure she was talking about cougars (not jaguars) - but agree, very funny.

[My incredibly embarrasing failure to notice in editing - now fixed - ED]

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