February 11, 2016 in General
We were blown away by the performances at the opening yesterday of Night of the Queer. The music, dance and drama combined for a fantastic overall experience, in true cabaret style.
The TAPAC venue in Western Springs was transformed with mood lighting and smoke machines, taking us to a place that felt like a smoky dive bar on the lower side of Manhattan. Tables dotted the room, and it was great to have several performers incorporate the audience into their routine.
Burlesque, drag and acrobatics all featured in the extravangza, with a bold showcase of everything our community has to offer. Acts included Kita Mean, Lady Teneyce, Ora Lefebvre, and Tai Royal and Taane Mete.
Penny Ashton was the standout performer of the evening. Sheâ€™s been overseas a lot recently, and her comedy gold is not to be missed while sheâ€™s back in New Zealand. She had us in fits of laughter, with a repartee and sharp wit that were truly impressive. A special shout-out to her also for performing opening night on her birthday.
Dan Williams deserves a special mention for his drag performance of â€śSend in the Clownsâ€ť. It cut to the heart of the human experience, and the false faĂ§ade we put on to convince others that weâ€™re doing ok. We both had lumps in our throats by the time he was done.
There was a different layout at Night of the Queer this year, with two side stages in addition to the main stage. This added an extra dimension to the evening, although it meant the audience took a little longer to realise that an act was beginning and they needed to turn around to watch a different stage.
Transitions between acts were a little shaky at times, although no doubt this will be cleared up before later performances, and it didnâ€™t detract from the overall experience. Host Adam Burrell kept things moving at a brisk pace, and did a great job of ad-libbing for extra time where needed.
Night of the Queer runs until Friday the 19th, and comes highly recommended.