The Classic, Auckland

26/02/2009 - 28/02/2009

Auckland Fringe 2009

Production Details


MissChief Events, purveyors of the finest Burlesque and Cabaret extravaganzas, present an all-star ensemble cast of local and national talent for a truly one-of-a-kind, home-grown show.

Hosted at Auckland’s home of comedy, The Classic, "Misdemeanours" is a spectacle of live music, comedy, burlesque and circus.  Performers include: Heavenly Burlesque’s, The Magenta Diamond and The Sisters of Strangelove, former Cirque du Soleil Aerialist, Ebon Grayman, acclaimed Burlesque sensation, Miss La Vida and the show’s host, multi-award winning comedian, Andre King.

"Misdemeanours" is unique in being the first show in Auckland to bring together different entertainment genres that encapsulate Burlesque and Cabaret. Moreover, it is the first large-scale show to feature New Zealand based artists who have had international success. Most importantly, it encapsulates the essence of a fringe festival: encouraging audiences to take risks and partake in a unique experience.

‘Misdemeanours’ will run on:
Thursday 26 February at 21.00.
Friday 27 and Saturday 28 February at 22.00
The Classic, 321 Queen Street, Auckland City.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased via the Book Now page on www.misschiefevents.co.nz. Tickets will also be available at The Classic from the beginning of February.

Auckland Fringe runs from 27 February to 22 March 2009. For more Auckland Fringe information go to www.aucklandfringe.org.nz

2 hrs, incl. interval

Raunchy yet dignified

Review by Nik Smythe 28th Feb 2009

It seems to me that this kind of show is a viable dating experience for open minded couples… in fact the door staff seemed surprised I was there alone and I felt the need to explain I’m the critic so they wouldn’t think I’m just sad, quite possibly actually confirming the reverse…

Emcee funnyman Jamie Bowen (0n the Friday*) competently carries a typically reticent Auckland crowd through the programme, managing to generate some energetic audience response with clichéd techniques.  Likeable enough, there’s a bit too much running commentary on how well he thinks he’s doing amusing us, and he needs to find other ways of saying, "That’s what we like to see, ladies and gentlemen." 

The starring buxom beauties – Miss Eva Strangelove, Miss Honey Lamore and La Viola Vixen – each provide solid classic routines with different coloured large feathered fans.  They all fit the bill nicely, i.e. their corsets barely, and they sure know the moves all right, mm hmm.

The ‘Chief Miss’ of Miss Chief productions is Miss La Vida, award-winning Burlesque sensation and a worthy diva, going beyond the call of duty when she follows her opening classic lip-synch routine (‘Keep Young and Beautiful If You Want to be Loved’) with a clumsy but refreshingly original ukelele song about her disastrous love life.

The ‘amusing men’ it mentions on the poster comprise Bowen, musicians Dave Ward and friend who’s name I didn’t catch and the very funny Dan Bain, a juggler and escape artist who brings some real laughter with his absurd, bizarre routines including juggling dangerous objects while reciting Richard III with pegs stuck all over his face.

Backing up all the frontline performers, stagehand Miss Lushass is all class and appeal in her stripy trilby hat.  Platinum (and only) blonde Miss Ashley, collecting for the draw to win a burlesque kit including nipple caps and g string (I’m still waiting for my phone call…) completes the lineup of burlesque beauties, and not a surly skeletal supermodel among them.

While entertaining and genuinely delightful, there’s nothing staggeringly original to behold on the bill.  The closest would be Miss La Vida’s ukelele as well as the musical efforts of Ward and friend …Oh yes, and front table guest ‘John’, in his Woodstock-esque floral attire, came right to the party when, following a tirade of jokes about men wearing flowers and LSD, Bowen challenged him to perform a ‘boylesque’ routine on stage for the prize of one of the girls’ bra tag.

Nonetheless I think the Miss Chief crew succeeds in Bain’s stated intention behind the entertainment to reach beyond the sordid and exploitive implications of striptease shows to create some real art.  Certainly, if not purely ‘art’, the craftsmanship is generally fine quality, raunchy yet dignified. 

* Thurs and Sat shows MCd by Andre King


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