Take Five: Including Standstill, Where the Home Is and Lady Gaga

by Guy Somerset / 09 June, 2012
Standstill; Where the Home Is; and Lady Gaga.


Audiences hankering after some more of the sweat-drenched drama of the New Zealand International Arts Festival boxing gym hit Beautiful Burnout need hanker no more. Anders Falstie-Jensen’s Rebel Alliance theatre company are putting themselves through the wringer – or rather through their paces on treadmills – in the hour-long STANDSTILL, a “kaleidoscopic image of what happens when our dreams and ambitions collide with the lives we end up living”. As long as the three-strong cast on the treadmills don’t career out of control and end up colliding with the audience. Q, Auckland, until June 9; Bats, Wellington, June 14-23; the Meteor, Hamilton, July 5-7, as part of the Fuel theatre festival. Meanwhile, International Arts Festival-goers who got a taste for cross-dressing Shakespeare thanks to the UK’s men-only Propeller company can have their appetites satisfied with Unitec’s third-year acting students’ all-male TITUS and all-female ROMEO AND JULIET (even Baz Luhrmann didn’t think of that one). Unitec Theatre, Auckland, until June 9.


The effects of Christchurch’s earthquakes are entrenched in the lives of the city’s residents and no more so than in the photographs that comprise artist Jane Zusters’s exhibition WHERE THE HOME IS. Since February 22 last year, Zusters has taken thousands of photographs of the quake-ravaged city and has montaged them into photographs of friends’ home and studio interiors, so views of the devastation outside replace a wall here, an archway there. The effect is eerily surreal, although it’s just Zusters’s way of “expressing ‘the new normal’ here in Christchurch”. For those who can’t make the exhibition, there is a limited edition book of the same name (Hoe Press, $80). PaperGraphica, Christchurch, until June 9; Forrester Gallery, Oamaru, until July 15.


The first rule of giving a party: make sure your friends aren’t giving one the same night. Obviously no one told Auckland’s classical musicians. And so on June 10 – both at 5.00pm, too – you’ll have to choose between chamber choir MUSICA SACRA’s performance of the Stravinsky Mass and Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir and an AUCKLAND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA concert featuring Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 3, Douglas Lilburn’s Allegro for Strings, Kurt Weill’s Symphony No 2 and the same composer’s Surabaya Johnny, Alabama Song and Pirate Jenny. Martin Riseley is the guest violinist, Jackie Clarke the vocalist. St Michael’s Church, Remuera; Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Epsom.


It’s not obligatory to go out at all, of course. Especially as winter descends. The DVD box set of Ric (brother of Ken) Burns’s PBS series NEW YORK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM (Madman) will comfortably take care of 12 or more hours of your time as it tells the city’s story from its 17th-century settling as a Dutch trading port through to the 2001 Twin Tower attacks and beyond. It’s immaculate film-making, as you’d expect from a Burns, with its love of the city far from blind. Watching the early 20th-century sequences, full of fantastic footage, is to witness the birth of the modern age as it ascends girder by girder, skyscraper by skyscraper.


LADY GAGA. Vector Arena, Auckland, June 7-10. (What more is there to say? You’ll either be there or you won’t. You’ll either be appalled at the prospect of her over-the-top tomfoolery or counting down the hours. We’re in the latter camp. Camp being the operative word.)
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