The Love Cruise Dinner Dance and Cabaret

Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

11/06/2010 - 12/06/2010

Production Details


The Apollo Theatre Company in association with The Bruce Mason Centre present “The Love Cruise” Dinner, Dance and Cabaret event inspired by the hit 80’s show “Love Boat”.

Guests will board the Apollo Star Liner at the Bruce Mason Centre on Friday 11th June and Saturday 12th June from 7pm – 1am. Cruise to an exotic destination enjoying a drink on arrival, two cabaret shows, 3 course-plated dinner, live band and dancing till late.

New Zealand much loved television personalities go from screen to stage with Russell Harrison (Singing Bee & Lotto) as M.C. & Clinton Randell part of the cast (NZ Idol, TV2 One Night Only, Just the Job & Lets Get Inventin).

“I am excited about being part of this live stage show! Not to be missed!” says prime time television & radio presenter Clinton Randell.

The Apollo Theatre Company (‘ATC’) is a professional dance company with strong links to the Apollo Theatre School (‘ATS’). The event will help generate funds to assist the ATS training New Zealand’s greatest up and coming performers.

The Apollo Theatre Company is comprised of ATS graduates who trained at the full time NZQA approved and accredited courses. Graduates are also employed world wide in cabaret companies and on cruise ships.

Apollo Theatre Company are involved in many of New Zealand’s high profile events such as The Body Art Awards 2008 and 2009 (North Shore Event Centre and Bruce Mason Centre) The Queen of the Whole Universe 2008 & 2009 (St.James Theatre Wellington and ASB Theatre-Aotea Centre) The Bond Tribute show 2009 with Tina Cross and Tim Bevridge (ASB Theatre, Auckland), the Annual Sports Awards with Tina Cross (The Dome, Auckland Museum), Heineken Tennis Open 2009 and 2010, Cult Couture Fashion Show-Manakau 2009, Fashion Beauty Music-Kelliher Estate 2009,Iron Man awards Dinner Taupo 2010 and many more.

Apollo Theatre Company Director & Entrepreneur Sarah Boocock says, “I am thrilled to be working with the Apollo Company members and guest artists to produce this fantastic night of entertainment. We have an amazing technical and production team and I feel confident that all guests will leave having had a wonderful night of dining, dancing and shows. This is an event not to be missed!”

The Love Cruise is fast becoming one of the not to be missed events on the Auckland social calendar. Book a table of ten now for your mid winter function.

Cruise Schedule:
7.00pm Arrival for drinks
7.30pm Auditorium doors open – guests seated
8.00pm MC welcome – dinner served
9.00pm First cabaret show commences
9.45pm Dessert served
10.15pm Second cabaret show commences
11.00pm Band commences
1.00am Band concludes / bar closed.

Dress: Black Tie or Nautical Theme.
Prize for best dressed.
Tickets are $120 per person.

Book your tickets now by contacting

Sarah Boocock  021652654 or Donna Pressman  094882945.

More information visit and

Back Information:


Apollo Theatre School and Apollo Theatre Company Director

Sarah is a graduate of the Royal Ballet SchoolLondon, and has 22 years experience in performing, teaching, choreography and production.


Sarah is passionate about preparing performers for the professional industry at the NZQA approved and accredited Apollo Theatre School and loves creating performance opportunities for Apollo company members via her regular corporate appointments and theatrical shows.

Vocal Coach: Catherine Carr
Lighting: Michael Knatt
Sound: Peter Vangent

6 hrs

Afloat on song and dance

Review by Margi Vaz Martin 12th Jun 2010

About 190 guests board the Apollo Star Liner at the Bruce Mason Centre on Friday 11th June at 7pm. We are on board until after mid-night. We cruise to an exotic destination in Egypt, enjoying pink strawberry daiquiris on arrival, a continuous cabaret show that we are a part of, a three course gorgeous dinner and Liza Corbin live band then dancing till late.

Captain Stubbing (Paulus Romjas) greets us, while gorgeous and scantily clad crew girls place a lei around our necks and break into American accented banter about enjoying our cruise experience. We spend about 50 minutes in the ship foyer chatting to crew members, being photographed with the captain and meeting efficient tour director Julie (Alexanda Foster) and MC Isaac (Russell Harrison) the bar manager with an ambition for the captaincy.

Daiquiris in hand, guests comment on the delight of coming to an unusual sort of a night out by Auckland standards. It proves to be similar to a Vegas dinner theatre experience and well worth the babysitters.

For those who missed the series or were too young to remember it, The Love Boat was an Americantelevision series set on a cruise ship, which aired on the ABC Television Network from1977 until 1986. I can’t pin down the exact dates it aired in NZ. The show starred Gavin MacLeod as the ship’s Captain Stubbing, who encouraged his customers to find romance.

For those with fond memories of Captain Stubbing, the oh-so-sweet tour director Julie and Doc with the roving eye, P&O’s Love Boat, Regal Princess, docked in New Zealand December 2000, offering the experience to Kiwis. Air New Zealand’s Love Flight followed last year when they pushed a singles-only Matchmaking Flight – think singles bar at 30,000 feet for 12-plus hours each way – from Los Angeles to Auckland. The carrier also launched an ad campaign called ‘Nothing to Hide’ where you may remember eight airline staff attired in nothing but body paint.

Enter Carmel McCormick body painter for the ad series. I have already been photographed with a stunning dancer/model and wondered how her Lycra could be so thin, when I realize that Carmel has been at work here too! The beauty and her near double are only wearing G-Strings!

The Love Cruise event presented by Apollo Theatre Company in association with Bruce Mason Centre is a black tie fundraiser for the Apollo Theatre School. But we are not in for an experience where we must be replete with goodwill! This is dinner theatre at its best and delivers all the magic.

At around 8pm we enter our cruise ship dining room with a nautical design and stage set on three levels. Moving laser lights provide stunning visual effects. We are seated at dressed tables; with goodie bags filled mainly with sponsors’ advertisements. Wine and chocolate is on the table and shortly the music goes up, the main lights down a little. Isaac sings the Love Boat theme song – a brilliant imitation of the original. Sixteen dancing girls in aqua lycra, heels and carrying large feather fans start the spectacle with high kicks.

We are served delicious and visually appealing starters and the night progresses. On the stage we meet all the crew characters, including Gopher (Clinton Randell) and Doc (Dave Capstick). They dialogue about the journey, their love interests and match making. The use of a high screen to blatantly advertise sponsors is enhanced in the script with more than product placement. The script is full of commercials! But it is very funny.

The entrance of the beautiful dancing girls follows each short dialogue piece. No expense seems to have spared on a huge variety of costuming, (except perhaps in meterage, since the Lycra is tight and tiny in many cases. The men don’t mind). Every dancer has a gorgeous hair bun and fabulous makeup (thanks to Phoenix) and could be on a Vegas stage quite convincingly.

We enjoy a delightful main course (top restaurant quality) and the action and dance flows around us. In fact, some of the time we find ourselves as part of the action as girls come off the stage to dance between tables and even take audience members onto stage. It is a brilliant way to relax with good food, reasonable wine and great laughs! I am already thinking – value for money!

Apollo, a relatively new player both as a school and as a performance company, is turning out highly polished commercial-style dancers. Creating high-profile events, with excellence, they are catering for an audience who appreciates American Jazz Dance and a bit of razzle-dazzle.

Suiting an adult audience of wide ages the show is varied with use of ballet, Brazilian, can-can and burlesque; belly dancing, hip-hop and contemporary/modern. The overall structure of the night is a readable story and a sense of characters inhabiting the world of the original love boat show. We are thoroughly entertained and all aboard with them.

Alexanda Foster’s intentionality in her role as Julie is convincing. Russell Harrison also shows a strong commitment in his part as Isaac.The director and choreographer is Sarah Boocock, the dancers are Apollo Theatre Company and TV personalities like Russell Harrison and Clinton Randell fill out the cast.

Cherie Matheson also makes singing appearances – [thought it was Tina Cross on the night] – dressed as a two storey diva, in shimmery satin and singing RESPECT just as well as Aretha did. Some turquoise adorned beauty drapes her self in a two storey gold champagne glass back of stage and Clinton makes an appearance as himself singing ‘Desperado’ – flawlessly, with emotion that connects with the audience.

The show utilizes recorded music and soloists sing to tracks including seventeen-year-old Alana Drake who sings, ‘I could have danced all night’ with skill and maturity.

Throughout the evening I am jolted out of any engagement with the story by tongue in cheek comedy written cleverly into the scripts. The line between reality and theatrical fantasy is crossed with delicious regularity. Although not stated, we seem to visit Rio de Janeiro with colourful Samba dance costumes, with their feathers, fabric, and fast steps.

There is precision in every dancer. The can-can and burlesque girls tantalize us with theatrical foreplay, later followed by the curvaceous belly dancer, who isolates the pelvis and forcefully presents her bust in a way that needs no subtitles. This is part of our stop in Egypt apparently. Contrasting tempi are used to compelling effect.

Once or twice in the evening the choreography fails to ignite, with predictable Jazz sequences like windmill arms to a squat, perhaps a rolled straddle, a rise and an extended-arm, stepped-turn. Sometimes there are predictable momentum pathways, but the movements mainly contribute to the feel of a big American stage show.

A fight with hip-hopping pirates is well choreographed by Joel Gallarde, who uses old and new skool vocabulary, with a blend of tracks from artists like LMFAO and Sean Paul. This is juxtaposed with a sophisticated but simple ballet piece where hooped transparent skirts are encircled in fairy lights. Battery packs must be hidden on waists! It is funny when one dancer’s skirt goes out.

In terms of dance, Rosetta Hendry steels the show away momentarily with a passionate sensuality, in her self-created choreography, danced in front of a wall of blue fire. Here is a feeling of risk. She begins with fast and expressionist dance. Wide open chest and arms, high leg, she whips around, falling and rising with energy and a modern movement vocabulary. She deconstructs the movement and a contemporary edge is seen. Suddenly two waiter-like dancers join her. Handing her a purple ribbon, they carry a statue and marble waist high columns onto stage, while steady drumming fills the air. Then there are eight extras in black and white posed in couture stances and synthesized music blends into ‘Strike a Pose’.

It is really interesting choreography, but I am disappointed by the brevity of the solo. Rosetta’s passionate sensuality is just beginning to entrance me and then she is gone.

I can still taste the chocolate tart in my mouth as the Love Boat part of the story ends and Liza Corbin’s band takes the stage. She is so brilliant I ask myself why I have not sought her out and watched lots of her gigs. Her voice has international polish and the musicians provide tight backing vocals and instrumentation. We all take the stage with her and dance the night away.

This is a brilliant close to an enjoyable and entertaining evening in the theatre. Don’t miss it.


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