LADY RIZO: UNDER
TVNZ Festival Club, Arts Centre, Christchurch
03/09/2015 - 05/09/2015
Christchurch Arts Festival 2015
Uncovering the myth of the diva.
Lady Rizo peels back her layers for a hilarious and intimate show about love and sex.
“SENSATIONAL … A fierce but kind-hearted fusion of comedy, burlesque, performance art and rock ‘n’ roll” – New York Times
TVNZ Festival Club, The Arts Centre
Book www.ticketek.co.nz 0800 TICKETEK (842 538)
A deep and meaningful ritual of glitter
Review by Grant Hindin Miller 05th Sep 2015
Welcome, welcome all, to the Church of Glitter. New York chanteuse, Lady Rizo, is the High Priestess of the Church of Glitter and, take it from me, she is one yummy mummy (seven months pregnant and a medicine ball in her midriff to prove it). Does this cramp her style? My Lord, au contraire, it’s put to the best use in ways that I will not reveal. We love her (and wouldn’t you know it, some clever Aussie nabbed her first).
As well as being glam, adorable, a consummate entertainer (with an amplifier in her throat), she has a dynamic stage presence. What a voice and what a presence. Did I mention she’s delicious, lovely, and a bundle of joy? And she is one smart blonde. It is no mean feat to inspire every single member of a wintry Christchurch audience to fall in love with you within five minutes of opening your act but that is exactly what she does in the TVNZ Festival Club, Christchurch Arts Festival.
Whether she’s telling a story (and she is a sassy raconteur), drinking from a martini glass (apple juice: she is pregnant) or involving the audience in hijinks, Lady Rizo is a natural comedienne, a seasoned performer and an exceptional singer. She deserves international acclaim (which the universe is taking care of because her show is sold out).
You don’t get to be this good without practice, focus, discipline, hard work and dedicated stamina. And her two backing musicians are superb. She is supported by versatile Australian jazz guitarist, Oliver Thorpe, and accomplished jazz bass guitarist, Jonathan Zwartz, an expat New Zealander now resident in Australia. It’s amazing how two guitarists can create a varied, sympathetic and potent soundtrack for the main attraction. And there is no doubt who is the main attraction. She is Chairwoman of the Board, the High Priestess of the Church of Glitter.
It’s befitting that her cabaret-cum-burlesque stage is in a Spiegeltent: a sophisticated marquee done up like a nightclub with a mirrored ball at its centre. It boasts stained glass windowing, a red silk ceiling (think of an upturned parachute), soft lighting and a bar at the back. It helps create and sustain the intimacy that is perfectly suited to this star.
Lady Rizo is a star. She is a warmhearted, generous performer who knows exactly how to engage and endear an audience. A breath of fresh air, she hails from Portland “which has landscape and precipitation not unlike here”, and is now based in New York. The Christchurch Arts Festival is so fortunate to have secured her. If you ever get the chance to bask in her inimitable light, to be anointed in a deep and meaningful ritual of glitter, do yourself a favour and take it. She is a magnificent performer who leaves nothing behind in the Green Room. Lady Rizo simply gives it all. We love her.
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