The Lady Bunch

BATS Theatre, Wellington

29/04/2008 - 03/05/2008

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

Great comedy from great women

Local stars of "The Lady Bunch" are drawing on strong musical family ties at this year’s NZ International Comedy Festival.

Comedian, Irene Pink and her sister, Marian, are the cousins of Pauly and Phil Fuemana, famous for songs such as "How Bizarre" and "I love L.A".

With Irene on stage and her sister co-opted as Musical Director, they’ve written an original opening number for the show which also stars veteran comics, Michele A’Court and Justine Smith.

The Pink sisters have never yet had a hit record, but have been writing songs their entire lives. Marian Pink has been in various jazz groups around Auckland, while Irene has been happy singing in the shower until now.

Not only have they branched out into original song, they’ve invented a whole new musical genre. They describe the song as a little bit "Muppet Show" and a little bit barbershop-quartet. So in essence they have created a brand new musical genre which they’re calling, "Muppet Shop".

"Singing an original opening song was always our aim, as anyone can change the words of an existing song. It takes real talent to copy and then wreck musical genres," Irene Pink says proudly.

Marian Pink agrees. "Wrecking songs is pretty much Irene’s forte, it’s just a good thing she’s funny."

The song was composed by the Pinks with assistance from Justine in an afternoon, but learning the harmonies has taken a lot longer.

"I have the easiest part," Irene says, "whereas Justine has to sing the lowest harmony. She thinks she sounds like a transvestite – but that’s only because of her shoes." Michele has no particular musical experience at all, apart from playing the cello briefly at school. Her contribution is described by the others as "enthusiastic".

"The song is worth the entry price alone," Marian concludes. "Especially if they don’t hit their notes."

AUCKLAND: Transmission Room,
Sat 19 April; Weds 23 – Sat 26 April, 8.30pm.
Book at Ticketek 0800 842 5385

WELLINGTON: Bats Theatre,
Tues 29 April – Sat 3 May, 8pm.
Book at Bats: 04 802 4175

An excellent combo

Review by John Smythe 30th Apr 2008

Lined up like Russian Dolls (size-wise), The Lady Bunch introduce themselves and each other with a blend of great harmonies and dire doggerel lyrics, before splitting off for their solo standup turns.

Self-styled Pacific Princess Irene Pink brings a light touch and bemused tone to her material as she toys with sex, celebrities, travel, fitness and weight-watching, and a tale about bouncing a bouncer. Her infectious humour delights the fans.

Justine Smith gets down and dirty more overtly as she tells us about being the ‘fluffer’ for the Poetry of the Penis tour, her ‘Aussie Prawn’ boyfriend, hirsuteness, her version of ‘the Bush administration’, drugs, positions and crocs, coming over equally as a misandrist and misogynist in the process. She runs her routine on two levels: a top line of the main stories and gags counterpointed with an enriching bass-line of asides, afterthoughts, whoopsies and non-verbal communications. Impressions of Renee Zellweger and Jay Lo tag her set

Michelle A’Court is the one with the most to say social satires-wise. Family, friends, symbols of national identity, DIY relationships, the smacking thing, and coming to terms with a 15 year-old daughter and her lifestyle and values. Very confronting for someone who used to be the Women’s Rights Officer at Victoria University. And very insightful. A lovely combination of ruthless and loving.

They’re an excellent combo, the Lady Bunch and well worth spending time with.


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