Sirens Of The Silver Screen

Q Theatre, 305 Queen St, Auckland

22/02/2024 - 24/02/2024

Auckland Pride 2024

Production Details

Created by Les Femmes

Les Femmes
Presented By:
J R Entertainment & Noble Entertainment Group

A rip-roaring comedy cabaret drag extravaganza like no other featuring live vocals from the stunning Les Femmes queens and a live band of some of Tamaki’s most talented musicians.

With stars in their eyes Miss Manage, Miss Givings and Miss Demeanour, each a leading lady in their own right, embark on a cinematic journey of epic proportions, as they belt out all your favourite tunes from movies; including songs from Hocus Pocus, Sister Act, Titanic, and of course Priscilla Queen Of The Desert!

A gloriously campy, and somewhat shonky plot is woven together from all your favourite movies as the girls navigate adventures like taking refuge in a convent, getting recruited into a spy agency, and of course, falling in love ala every early 2000s rom-com that ever has existed.

The Les Femmes queens are known for their powerhouse vocals, tight choreography and insatiable wit, which they use to weave together an exciting homage to the blockbuster movie. Audiences can expect plot twists, cliffhangers, plenty of audience interaction, montages and action sequences that will have them gripping their seats, and howling with laughter all evening. When the ‘credits roll’ and the queens finish with one more banger, audiences will be singing along and up dancing in their seats.

Sirens Of The Silver Screen is a musical and drag spectacle that will leave audiences grinning from ear to ear.

Audience Warnings:
Adult humour, self-deprecation and lashings of innuendo guaranteed. Potentially haze and strobe effects.

Q Theatre, part of Summer at Q
22-24 February, 7.30pm
Tickets and info

and later:

Palmerston North Globe Theatre, 28/02/2024, 29/02/2024
Carterton Events Centre, 01/03/2024
Hamilton Meteor Theatre, 06/03/2024, 07/03/2024
Napier MTG Century Theatre, 08/03/2024
Tauranga Baycourt Community & Arts Centre. 09/03/2024

Performers - Jeremy Hinman, Olly Humphries, Jared Morello

Production Management - Simone Ashton
Publicity - Vanessa Preston

Cabaret , Music , Theatre ,

90 minutes

'Sirens of the Silver Screen' is all razzle dazzle, laughter, and completely delights

Review by Sandi Hall 23rd Feb 2024

Aotearoa’s most famous drag act is, arguably, the Ken & Ken routine done by the so-talented Topp Twins. Over a couple of decades, that act has been seen from here to Sydney and Melbourne, Singapore, London, to Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, and to Olivia Cruises’ lesbian loveboats out of LA, California.  Jools’ well-scrubbed businessman is the perfect foil for Lynda’s lovably lascivious farmer Ken and the laughter they raise at each performance testifies to the Twins’ skill in showing us men we recognize. 

While Ken and Ken are an example of brilliant drag, that skit is hardly what pops into our minds when we think of drag queens. And for a young woman seeking her world fresh off the sweeping prairie spaces below the Rocky Mountains in Alberta Canada, my first sight of a group of drag queens at Auckland’s long-lamented ‘Staircase’ nightclub lit a beacon of delight.

I swerved away from the group I was in to rush up to them, exclaiming breathlessly, “You’re so beautiful, all of you!”

They accepted my accolades with queenly dignity.

Instant addict!

Twenty years later, my expectations of rainbow community theatre are coloured by my place in our community. My credentials are quite good, but I won’t go into them here.

Because I believe that the creative arts hold the balance of sanity in the world’s communities, I salute every artform from a child’s drawing to the booming rhythms of Pasifika drums. All stir my heart, and in most I find validation of our rainbow world.

Men presenting and performing as women is in our DNA. Examples go back far earlier than William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, to the lovely Greeks, who invented theatre and other dramatic arts almost 3,000 years ago.

In the First Nations’ indigenous community of Canada, as well as in that of the US, always-male shamans dress in skirts to set themselves apart from “ordinary people” before they foretell coming events. In the lore of all those tribes, across both countries, there is a belief that a person seeming to be both male and female is special, approved by Gitchee Manitou (Great Spirit) to hold special knowledge, used to heal, to protect, and at ceremonial times, to entertain.

Modern film has given us some fine ‘drag’ examples – who can forget Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot, or Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie?

And in 1969, it was the power and determination of drag queens at Stonewall who finally stood up and said ‘Enough!” to the persecution of our rainbow world by sadly blinkered folk brainwashed by a morality brigade which seems to hate laughter.

Sirens of the Silver Screen, at Q’s perfect little Rangatira, is all razzle dazzle, full of laughter, and completely delights – except in one area.  Jeremy Hinman, Olly Humphries and Jared Morello, in their drag personas as Miss Demeanor, Miss Manage, and Miss Givings present a dazzle of a romp, supported by a six-piece band, a neon-outlined stage entrance in hot green, and rows of scintillating golden lights. 

Every drag queen works hard to ensure her ensemble at least touches the bar for style, colour, and sexiness. In these Misses’ costumes, that band of flesh above a black stocking and below a short, short skirt fills the sexiness niche well, supported as it is by the Playboy elbow length black gloves. Necklaces which are a broad swoop of shine dazzle the eyes as each queen moves in her routine.

It’s a joy that each Miss can sing so well. I liked Olly Humphries’ voice but my Companion preferred Jared Morello’s rounder tones, while the young woman in the seat next to me screamed with joy each time Jeremy Hinman lifted his velvet voice.

But no preferences prevented us from enjoying their combined harmonies. I Put a Spell On You began the evening, and those sleekly dressed, swanning-queens certainly did that. Favourites such as Hot Stuff, How Will I Know, and We Are Family kept the largely hetero audience bouncing in their seats.

The songs were loosely (oh so loosely) connected by first, a spy story, which then morphed into a space story Homos of the Universe (!!) in which their rendition of You Don’t Own Me was as proud as a Parade chant.

JR Entertainment and the Noble Entertainment Group are to be thanked for this delicious morsel in the year’s Pride menu. But there is one thing that I would change – the title.

Either change the title or add material which references those original sirens of the silver screen – Marilyn M, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn. Though I and my Companion had a terrific time, afterwards humming snatches of the song offerings as we went for a drink, I felt slightly cheated that no images or chatter of, or about, those original inspiring sirens were in evidence, as the title seems to promise.


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