Cabaret Askew

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

10/11/2011 - 12/11/2011

Production Details


A Show To Remember, Giving Some Unusual Local Talent A Chance To Shine In The Spot Light

A talented local group of performers with a set of unusual skills gets the opportunity to show Auckland what they’ve got, Singe Performance has produced Cabaret Askew – a show that combines all the elements of traditional cabaret in a celebration of creativity and risqué humor that has been attracting audiences for generations. Prepare yourself for an all singing, all dancing, tongue in cheek celebration of gorgeous bodies and the curious things we can do with them.

In a country the size of New Zealand its hard to make it in the performing arts full stop. And now imagine you’re a professional juggler- you could practice 8 hours a day, be one of the best in the country and have people flock to watch you every time you pick up your balls, but what is the next step? How do you get out there onto the world stage? 

Well that’s why choreographer Kali-Zahira, recently returned to New Zealand from performing in Asia and the Middle East, has developed Singe Performance- a platform specifically developed to showcase the outstanding talents of some of New Zealand’s more diverse performers. 

Singe Performance is an evolving  network of performers with the aim of creating performance and networking  opportunities for these talented niche performers. Their debut offering- Cabaret Askew -promises a night of Risqué humor and even more risqué dance moves. The performers combine devious wit and madcap moves in a review not to be missed.

“A feast of entertainment the Cabaret Askew review is a delicious experience”

Cabaret Askew breakthrough performance is running a limited season at
the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE,  
Thurs  Nov 10th 7:30pm , Fri Nov 11th 7:30pm , Sat Nov 12th 5:30pm, & 9:30pm

More information on the show and tickets are available at THE EDGE on or call 0800BUYTICKETS

Singe Performance has a diverse range of performers for hire as well as a range of classes throughout Auckland. Check out for more information on Singe or Kali-Zahira 

Guest Acts
Oh Mes Ananas (Canacan 8x dancers)
Miss Phloss (Guest 3x dancers: All that jazz, 2 ladies, circus 
Lady Phoenix (Hula hoop)
Lady Alexa D’avoir (Burlesque –whistle a tune)
Anita Wigl’it (Solo, presenter)
Sam (Circus whip)
Louise (Lyra)

Boys acro
Vanya (+ 2 ladies, Money, lyra)
Henry (+ Sucker, Gentlemen arnt nice)

Prema (Cellblock, Gentlemen aren’t nice with Walter)
Kimberly (Cellblock)
Charlie (Cellblock, Take me, Assistant stage manager)
Annie (Cellblock, Jazz with guitarist)
Flik (Cellblock, Take me, Lighting adviser)
Anna (Cellblock, All that jazz, Sucker, money

Beth (Cellblock, Putting on the ritz)
Sophie (Cellblock, 2 ladies, I’m a good girl, Putting on the ritz
Lisa (Cellblock, circus)
Kali (Cellblock, 2 ladies, Putting on the ritz, Fire solo, Money, Take me)
Astra (Cellblock, Money, 2 ladies, I’m a good girl, Perhaps
Dee (Cellblock, Putting on the ritz, All that jazz, Take me
Tarsh (All that jazz, Money

Production Crew
Harry (Fire helper, Stage hand)
Tom (Stage manager)
Robot (Follow spot + tech)

Sparks of hope and talent

Review by Candice Lewis 11th Nov 2011

I’ve seen some really fun, entertaining and extremely talented cabaret style performers in Auckland before, so the bar was set. Sadly, this show is falling short, but they’re giving it a good try.

Most of the dance routines were under-rehearsed on opening night, and some of the performers were nervous and lacked any real sexual confidence; unfortunate when you consider that this is often the main thrust of the show.  

The obvious exceptions include flirty and confident performances by the saucy Miss Phloss, Lady Phoenix , the fire dancer and  the dancer who plays the devil. The devil dancer oozes talent and simmering sensuality every time she graces the stage.

Stripped back, the show would have a much stronger impact; it needs to be tightened up and polished. That applies to the choreography and sound; the microphone isn’t working properly, the music is louder than their voices, and some dancers look like they’re unsure of the next move.

On the up side is the fantastic acrobatic jesting of the male actors. More please! The numerous dance routines and amateur singing of the women is tiresome after the first hour, no matter how good they look in stockings.

The ‘ritz’ dance routine made me think of an Open Brethren youth group; enthusiastic and wholesome, whereas the fire dance towards the end of the show is well choreographed, sensual  and wisely used the very sexy track ‘don’t play with me’ by Cobre Verde.

Room to improve – certainly. Sparks of hope and talent – definitely. 


SarahM November 15th, 2011

Ouch! Yeah, agreed, it was patchy, and could have been edited down to just the strongest acts, but it was also good fun. I went on the Saturday, so probably after the sound and other glitches were ironed out. I thought Anita Wig'let was great as compere - loved the outrageous costumes, general charm, and 'make-over' skills (that poor guy!). I'm a 'Chicago' and 'Cabaret' fan, so particularly liked 'Cell Block Tango' and 'Two Ladies' - with a nice twist on the already cute concept! I liked that Miss Phloss used two drag kings as her assistants, and there was the guy with the whip! The Acro boys and Can Can girls were good fun.... and the fire dance by choregrapher Kali was pure magic - simple but beautiful.

Diane November 12th, 2011

wildgoose I think YOU are being very kind.

 I too took friends with me.  Five in fact.  Between all of us we spent $180 for a show that should have been a community gold coin entry.  $5 donation tops.

 The dancing lacked... well grace, fluidity, emotion... should I go on?

 There were only two acts that were show worthy.  Lady Phoenix with the combination of hula hoop tricks and dance with the element of pantomime in the choreography.   Although there weren't many tricks with the hoolahoop, she was the only dancer who projected some kind of emotion.  Kali-Zahira on her fire solo (although Palpatine with the cardboard box was a bit weird).

 I too wondered if the rest of the audience were high on drugs or perhaps this was their first theatre outing and their expectations were very low.  But yes, when the yelling of performers' names came, it all made sense.  My group of six wasn't being overly critical.  The positive audience members were friends and family of the performers.

 Right from the lacklustre, lower than average dancing to the noise (which they called singing) this show should not have played at the Herald and they definately should not have charged for entry.  At the very least, they should not have advertised show as "Years of Fringe Festival experience have evolved into Cabaret Askew, the début offer from Singe Performance, a platform specifically developed to showcase the outstanding talents of some of New Zealand’s more diverse performers."  Notice the words years of, experience, outstanding, talents, performer.  None of these were the truth.

It felt like a group of people took a community dance and performance workshop.  Rehearsals twice a week in the evenings.  At the end of six weeks, Cabaret Askew was born.

 I want a refund.

wildgoose November 12th, 2011

You are being very kind.

The advertised descriptions of the show did not match the production at all.  The majority of the acts were not singing but lip-syncing.  Sadly the performers did a clumsy job of even that.  At moments when they were singing, I was silently begging them to stop.

 The rest of the crowd were cheering and whistling.  I wondered if we were all watching the same show.  But I knew many of the audience members must have known some of performers personally when names were yelled and cheered.

 This was a highschool talent show without any talent.  The highlight of the show was Kali-Zahira.  Sadly her performance wasn't enough to save the show.

 This was not worth $30.  If this was free, I would have left part way through and been much kinder.  It's unforunate I asked serveral friends to come along and put them through 2 hours of shocked misery.

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