April 26, 2013

Zanna, Don't!

Zanna, Don't! (think the opposite of Xanadu) has been described as the gayest musical ever and begs the question "if musical theatre doesn't address the important political issues then who will?"

In an alternate universe where being homosexual is the norm everything is fabulous and you can never wear too many sequins...or so it seems. Zanna is a love fairy who creates instalove (that which has taken so much flack recently in the light of things like the Twilight series) in  Heartsville High. The students decide to stage a controversial play about heterosexuals in the military (in this 'verse "don't ask, don't tell" is still relevant) with completely unexpected results.

The actors managed to look young enough to pull off being high school students. Their musical talent outstripped the quality of the music offered, although there were some impressive displays of counterpoint. They bought it in every song, on every note, despite some sound issues. LeRoi Kippen though not one of the main actors stood out the most for me; he throws himself into every role he is given.The brightly coloured costumes and scenery will make your teeth ache - it is a shame that the scene changes weren't as smooth as they could have been.

I would like to know; who was responsible for the choreography? It added to the entertainment value and was complex while managing to look simple.

With the recent passing of the Marriage Equality Bill Speakeasy Productions has staged this musical at the perfect time. Is equality important to you? are sequins? do you like musicals? dancing? hilarity? This show deserves to be sold out so get your tickets quick.

Performances: 25-27 April, 30 April-4 May 7.30-9.30pm
Tickets: $25 (you can get them here)
Venue: Gryphon Theatre
Check out Speakeasy Productions on their website

April 14, 2013

RCRD Game 1 2013: Comics Slams vs Smash Malice

The first bout of the 2012 season saw a rematch of last years final as the winners of the past two years faced off. A new year means new uniforms; this year with team emblems across the chest. Thankfully players appear to be allowed a little more leeway in individualising their kit than last season. The new rules made for a very different game; all players starting on the same whistle made it difficult to discern exactly what was going on in the tight pack.

During the warm up, it was clear that Comic Slams had been concentrating some of their training on staying in bounds after big hits, knowing Malice’s penchant for skating backwards to force the skater re-entering to be at a disadvantage. They had an early lead that they easily maintained through the first half with help from strong jammers, J’Knee Dodgem who scored a massive 35 points in one jam and Anna Pave-U’Ova who on several occasions simply leaped through the opposing players.  

Early in the first half, Smash Malice jammer Orange Ruffie suffered an unfortunate skate mishap, resulting in a frazzled hurry by bench manager Cher Trouble to get her back in the game by finding replacement skates for her after it became apparent that it wasn’t fixable.  She wasn’t on form for the remainder of the first half while she struggled to familiarise herself with the loaned pair. 

At half time the score was 98 Slams / 56 Malice

The half time show was run by ZM who are a relatively new sponsor of RCRD. It was not up to the usual standards that I have come to expect from half time entertainment (in the past it has been much more alternative). Supporters from each team were called up to a tug of war, the Smash Malice team won but for some reason the guy running it kept referring to them as Comic Slams. But, they were giving away discounts to the ice skating (directly in front of the arena) so I’ll let that pass.

Some penalty-ridden skating by Slams in the second half saw Smash Malice make up the difference, showing great examples of walls and other strategic blocking when they had the pack advantage in power jam situations.  

Suffer Jet, one of the two original skaters still actively skating, was fouled out of the bout following her seventh penalty during the jam in which Anna Pave-U’Ova (as pivot this time) suffered an injury which resulted in her leaving the game also with only 7 and a half minutes left in the game.

Despite a valiant effort from Smash Malice in the final quarter, including a strategic timeout to ensure that the clock didn’t run out, Comic Slams were the winners with a score of 161 to 138.  

MVPs for the bout were named by the teams as Tuff Bikkies and Jem Molition (captain) for Smash Malice, and Frankenpain for Comic Slams. While these skaters were performing well during the night, we felt they didn’t do anything spectacular. 

The next game will see Smash Malice up against Brutal Pageant but you have a while to wait as it’s not for another two months (June 15th)! The season has been stretched over eight months, twice as long as last season so it will be a year full of Derby.

You can find Richter City on Facebook, Twitter and their website.

April 13, 2013

Wellington Fashion Week - RUBY

With hopes high and a week put aside to view other peoples work on the runway, I was looking especially for clean cuts, clever use of paneling, and a keen eye for fun, bold pops of colour. I headed to my first show at WFW; Ruby.

Overall, I was highly impressed with the range Ruby had in store, although I am glad I didn't have to pay for the event. This 'show' was actually in the Ruby Boutique store on Lambton Quay. Upon arrival, I found the range of clothing in store was sure enough, the Autumn/Winter 2013 range. In one sense, I could see why they would show the current range in store. You didn't have to wait 6 months to get your sweet little hands on it, but in another sense it didn't really seem like a WFW event, as I could have popped in at any time to see the clothes in store. Not exactly a sneak peek of what to look forward to.

In saying that, it really is where the conflicting views of what was on show ends. I was welcomed into a warm and positive atmosphere, by a super friendly staff member, with tasty food trays scattered around the venue, and a bar with delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails - not a bad start! I began to look through the racks to find a fabulous range! The collection had a strong cohesive look, a great colour story, and a gorgeous choice of fabrics. The quality of sewing was not only fantastic, but consistent too.

With a range of thick winter wools, chunky knits, soft printed chiffon's and textured woven fabrics, Ruby's Autumn/Winter 2013 has something for everyone. The colour palette of muted tones of earthy olives and browns mesh well with the subtle pops of baby pinks and blues. The prints used are small and detailed with a fun playful attitude, they can easily be paired with a wide range of your current wardrobe adding to its personality.

Although the cuts and designs were relatively simple, the focus was on good tailoring and an injection of asymmetry and gathered detailing within the range. I saw a several pieces within the collection using two contrasting weights of fabrics within the one garment adding interest to the collection without over designing and making the finish product looking fussy or overworked. Their 'brother' label Liam, compliments the main line cohesively mirroring the same colour story but with a range of more polished tailoring and a focus on evening and workwear rather than the daywear range of the Ruby line.

As much as I loved what was on offer, I have to say that Lisa Li, the leatherworker in store was the hero of the event. On the launch of her new label, MYDEERFOX she had a table set up to do demonstrations of her leatherworking. I interviewed Lisa to find that not only is she an innovative new designer, but humble as well as talented. She graduated from her Fashion based degree at Otago last November, when she began her label. Lisa has a range of handbags, bracelets, luggage tags and wallets using a soft colour palette with a base of sand and an accent of violets, soft pinks and baby blues. Her focus is on unusual cuts, and all of her pieces have no sewing involved but are carefully handcrafted into folded and leather glued delicate origami structures and shapes.

I was highly impressed with her clean lines and unique designs and feel confident that this new entrepreneur will go far. Look out for MYDEERFOX, I have a feeling you will be seeing a lot more of her work in the near future. The image below shows my favorite piece, of which I have my eye on in black!
Imaged sourced from hello.mydeerfox.com

Ruby, along with many other design stores in Wellington, stocks Kathryn Wilson's gorgeous shoes, and with the Kathryn Wilson show later that night, it was nice to see the quality and workmanship of the shoes up close before the event. So, after a lovely afternoon it was time to get changed and ready for the shoe show.

April 11, 2013

Bert and Maisy

Last night we attended the opening night of Hutt Repertory’s performance of the Robert Lord’s play Bert & Maisy as a play set in the living room of the home of Bert & Maisy in small town New Zealand in the 1960’s.

As someone in our mid 60’s, the set, the cast and the goings on certainly reminded us of things as we remember them!

Without giving too much away, the plot features Bert, a retired gentleman, living in his father’s house with his wife Maisy who both pine for their son who has left town.
So whilst Maisy was working in the local pharmacy, Bert was in the habit of meeting the 3.05 pm train in case their long lost son should turn up. A young man, Tom, then came into their lives and changes occurred in an era when change was not common.

Accepting that it was opening night, the delivery was strong and not too many lines were missed.  Maisy truly represented the woman of the house at that time, while the other characters also fitted the type and attitude of the early 60s.

Overall, a memorable night of a performance not only enjoyed by the reviewers, but most of the audience, the bulk of whom were in our age bracket and could see their own parents and homes back in the 60’s.

April 8, 2013

A Week of Glitz and Glamour at Wellington Fashion Week - Opening Night

Welcome to the first installment of my Fashion Column on behalf of Wellington Reviews. What a fabulous privilege to have been asked to write a regular monthly column! I hope you enjoy reading my opinions and reviews as much as I enjoy writing them.

I am a Fashion Designer by trade, with my own Bridal and Custom Made Clothing business. Zowie Dee Custom Made Clothing is now in its sixth year of operation and continues to grow as word spreads. I worked under a range of fashion designers and tailors whilst completing a five year double degree in Fashion and Textiles, then a business degree focusing on the fashion industry before launching my business. Immersing myself in fashion is all I have focused on. I hope that my knowledge of tailoring, pattern making skills and experience from my own fashion label will allow me to appreciate the skill, dedication, creativity and natural flair I review on other designers work for this column.

Thanks to a wide range of sponsors, Wellington Fashion Week went off with a bang this year in a fabulous new location at the Waterfront. The grand marque outside Mac's Breweries was a hub of creative activity. With spotlights shining up into the night sky demanding to be noticed, inside was just as impressive. A bar, stage, media room, full length runway and even a coffee bar, I knew I was set for a fun filled week!

Wellington Fashion Week allows designers a stepping stone towards their marketing campaign and PR exposure for their growing labels. WFW is in its first few years of production, the smaller scale making it more financially feasible for smaller labels to take part. Whether it be in a group showcase or an off sight solo event, this is a great opportunity for the designers to sharpen their PR skills under the wing of the WFW specialists. This is a smaller scale version (much smaller) of New Zealand Fashion Week, giving  small designers the opportunity to meet industry professionals whilst raising their profile. WFW is an open event to the general public too, unlike New Zealand Fashion Week, which is solely focused on VIP media tickets, allowing the press to dictate our view on the show. WFW have made it possible for anyone to have the opportunity to purchase tickets to see their favorite designer showcases, making it accessible for all. It is a great excuse for a fabulous evening out with the girls!

I have thought for some time that we need a Fashion Week in Wellington. Not only are we the 'Creative Capital', but with both Massey University and Fashion Tech here in the central city, we have an ever increasing number of fashion graduates adding to our diverse Wellington streets on an annual bases (me being one of them!). It is great that we have a presence in the fashion world and a platform for new boutique designers to gain some PR which is crucial in the industry.

The event launched with a glamorous and star studded line up; the Mayor made a guest appearance and said an opening speech, a live singer graced us with her soulful voice. The venue was polished and sophisticated bringing in a full crowd of designers and store owners looking to snap up the latest trends; from Wellington's new labels to some of our larger labels looking to be part of the buzz. The designers I spoke to at the opening party were energetic and exited about what opportunities may arise from the PR experience. Good luck to them all!

Although there are still a few teething problems (as to be expected with the launch of any new event on such a grand scale) I hope that as Wellington Fashion Week matures and develops over the next few years, the scale of the event grows and blossoms.

This is the first in a series of blogs I will be posting over the next few days on the shows I attended, with a few tips as to what to expect in the new wave of trends heading our way for both Winter 2013 and Spring/Summer 2013-14. The new trends are wearable, flattering and focus on a beautiful soft earthy toned colour palette, suiting most complexions. There are a few stronger pops of colour for the more adventurous heading our way too, with a focus on bright reds, blues and purples. Over all, I'm sure there will be a little something for you all.

A big thanks to the organizers of Wellington Fashion Week and the designers for giving Wellington Reviews the opportunity to share this experience with you.