Not the Muppet Show
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
Mr Lola Illusion is back in The Dark Room for a two-night season, this time accompanied by friends with benefits.