Not the Mup­pet Show

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Lola is back. Fol­low­ing three lo­cal stage sor­ties last year, two at the Globe with Boom Boom Room Bur­lesque, and one for the Dark Room’s ground-break­ing in­au­gu­ral Solo Fes­ti­val, the imp­ish and debonair Mr Lola Il­lu­sion, who turns ‘10’ this year, re­turns... with a posse.

A meld of the sub­lime and the ridicu­lous, Lola & Friends is a show that com­bines cabaret, magic, song, bur­lesque, cir­cus and com­edy – or as the pub­lic­ity blurb ex­u­ber­antly pro­claims ‘‘It’s a grab bag of bril­liance, a lucky dip of lus­cious­ness. It’s like a ba­nana that’s cov­ered in glit­ter and filled with Mar­mite!’’ Um, yeah... yum. Make no mis­take though, with Ian Har­man’s in­volve­ment this show is bound to be a wow. Win­ning a 2015 Globe Award for chore­ograph­ing the Abbey’s British In­va­sion, two Welling­ton Theatre Awards for de­sign and cos­tume, the di­rec­tor, per­former, ac­tor, chore­og­ra­pher, cos­tu­mier and de­signer has this year been in Theatre So­ci­ety’s Quilt and clothed Cen­tre­point’s Stag Week­end.

And such friends! Ian’s mu­si­cal di­rec­tor for British In­va­sion and well-known jazz chanteuse Erna Ferry, per­forms fresh from ap­pear­ing in last week’s Si­na­tra at the Regent on Broad­way with Ray Woolf and Roger Fox. From the Globe Com­edy Club of a fort­night ago with Vaughan King and Ray­bon Kan, there’s co­me­dian and Globe Award win­ning ac­tor, Cera Dev­cich

Also, the show in­tro­duces dorky ‘drag king’ Hugo Grrl from Welling­ton, lo­cal pole dancer Dou­glas Seivers Jar­rett, and the Pleckville Cho­ral So­ci­ety. The lat­ter is named af­ter a blink-and-you-miss-it lo­cal­ity out­side Eke­tahuna on the way to Al­fred­ton, and com­prises Globe Award win­ners from Mamma Mia!, Katte John­ston and Amy Hunt, with Jo Sale from Quilt and Evita, and Ashleigh Blu­mont from British In­va­sion.

Lola & Friends takes a Mup­pet Show style ap­proach to pro­vid­ing lo­cal acts with a plat­form to per­form, be men­tored and in­spired.

‘‘I’m at­tempt­ing to es­tab­lish a cool lit­tle va­ri­ety show that of­fers per­form­ers the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop new char­ac­ters or rou­tines, to learn from one another, and to build a lo­cal cabaret com­mu­nity,’’ Ian says.

‘‘I love en­ter­tain­ing peo­ple. I want to be Ker­mit the Frog. The Mup­pet Show is why I wanted to be in show-biz. Lola & Friends is my ver­sion of The Mup­pet Show.’’

The show has booked an out-of-town tour fol­low­ing its two nights in The Dark Room.

$25 gets you into The Dark Room for this Fri­day and Satur­day’s 8pm per­for­mances. Book on 354 5740 or thedark­roomnz.com

PHOTO SUP­PLIED

Mr Lola Il­lu­sion is back in The Dark Room for a two-night sea­son, this time ac­com­pa­nied by friends with ben­e­fits.

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