Festival News - One Week To Go
NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
27 FEBRUARY - 21 MARCH 2004
In this issue - 10 ways to brighten damp spirits!
* HUMOUR THEM - THEY'RE COMEDIANS
* MAORI SOUTH PARK
* GILBERTO GIL'S REGGAE SUNSPLASH
* LOONEY TUNES - JAZZ GREAT DOES CARTOON THEMES
* IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT - DON'T GO TO COOKIN'
* ETGAR KERET'S DARK LAUGHS
* BAD NEWS FOR BABYSITTERS - THE FAMILY PROGRAMME
* 12 FUNNY MEN GET ANGRY
* FUN TIME OF THE OPERA
Nau mai haere mai and welcome to the half hour call, in theatre speak. The show will begin very soon. There are only seven days to go and every one here at the office and out in the venues are going for it. Of course there is absolutely no panic, everyone is calm and everything is going superbly well. None of us feel scared that we will dry up on stage, or the arts worker's equivalent.
Rehearsals for The Elixir of Love, The Prophet, and Geographical Cure are going fantastically well. When we pop by rehearsals we are inspired by the work being created. The Elixir team is a fascinating collection of people from around the world and it's amazing to think that they are here in Wellington for more than 6 weeks creating this new production for our pleasure. Conductor Graeme Jenkins is not only a superb conductor and the Music Director of Dallas Opera, but also an incredibly knowledgeable man who wants to pass on his passion for opera. The Opera team and the Prophet team will challenge each other to a basketball match as the game is a strong component in both productions. Opera singer Paul Whelan has a height advantage but the Prophet's Jarod Rawiri has been practicing for months and never misses a basket, even when speaking his lines. We wouldn't bet on the outcome of the match but we can assure you that both productions will be wonderfully performed.
Artists are flying in on a daily basis. Flag artist Angus Watt arrived yesterday and, looking at the wind, is wondering how his flags will survive. Today the Songmaker's Chair team hit the ground running and on Monday violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky and pianist Boris Berman arrive. And then the daily onslaught of artists really begins.
So take a Geographical Cure, get rid of those premature winter blues, and send yourself around the world right here in Wellington. Book tickets now for your adventure and in seven days time you could be off to Brazil or Spain, the USA or Russia. Or just take a drive up the East Coast and leave your troubles behind for a full 24 days and nights of Festival madness.
You're all invited to the official Festival opening, the Dawn Ceremony, 0630 on Friday 27 February at Frank Kitts Park. It is a great way to start the Festival and on a fine morning there is nothing like seeing the sun rise over Wellington harbour. So sunshine here we come.
Carla van Zon, Artistic Director
David Inns, Chief Executive
YOU'VE GOT TO LAUGH
For the first time in our history we present a star-studded comedy programme in 2004. The stand-up line-up includes some of Britain's favourite funnymen including Jeff Green, Boothby Graffoe, Phil Nichol and Stephen Frost. Comic timing? Check the Comedy Programme.
A wee taster of what's in store: Boothby Graffoe - "Cigarettes, very like weasels. Perfectly harmless unless you put one in your mouth and try to set fire to it."
Phil Nichol - "I went to a butler's school and the joke there was, 'Knock knock, who's there? I'll get it'."
THE STUFF OF LEGENDS
The ancient legends of Maui-tikitiki-a Taranga are brought into the modern age with laughs aplenty. Featuring Jemaine Clement, one half of Perrier Award-nominated Flight of the Conchords and Taika Cohen whose short film Two Cars, One Night is currently wowing international film festival audiences.
"South Park meets Maori legends on stage and the audience comes out the winner in this fast paced, politically incorrect, rough hewn and often convulsively funny [show]." The New Zealand Herald
Untold Tales of Maui event listing http://www.nzfestival.telecom.co.nz/home/page.aspx?page_id=20&activity_id=62
Here's a show guaranteed to blow the clouds away. One legend pays homage to another in Gilberto Gil's Bob Marley tribute concert Kaya N'Dan Gaya. The Brazilian Minister of Culture is renowned for his inspired playing and spirit-lifting performances. Wet summers be damned! You'll leave this show with warm ears and a sun tan.
New York clarinet maestro Don Byron brings to life the groovy jazz of classic cartoons like Bugs Bunny in Bug Music for Juniors. Don and his sextet take you on a roller coaster ride through the magic of Duke Ellington, Raymond Scott and John Kirby. A great show by a jazz great specially designed for the short attention span. Includes big screen cartoon and historical footage.
WE LOVE WOK 'N' ROLL
Get out of the rain and into the fire! Traditional Korean samulnori drumming gets chopped up and fried in a frenzied blend of kung fu, eats and beats. Cookin's mad energy will delight all ages and leave you hungry for more.
MORE THAN WORDS
'The hippest writer in Israel', Etgar Keret's satirical short fiction was recently released in English to widespread acclaim. In his latest book, The Nimrod Flipout, a man goes to bed each night with his beautiful girlfriend, only to find himself five minutes later lying next to a short fat guy who watches sport; a faithful dog refuses to disappear, even after being shot and a man is suprised by a mid-eastern pessimistic talking fish. 'A subtle mixture of innocence and consciousness, of caustic irony and tender humour'(Elle) emerges from a writer who serves his country as both clown prince and national conscience.
Keret appears along with other greats such as Clive James and Richard Ford in New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week.
Lock up the Playstation and expose your kids to the fun of the Festival. With more laughs and action than you could shake a remote at, the Family Programme includes kung fu, human cannon balls, space travel and loads of pumping music.
12 FUNNY MEN GET ANGRY
A dozen top UK comedians take on Reginald Rose's deadly serious Pulitzer-winning work, made famous in Paul Newman's Oscar-winning film. In 2003 12 Angry Men stunned audiences, charmed critics and went on to become the biggest grossing drama the Edinburgh Fringe Festival had ever hosted. Unmissable.
FUN TIME OF THE OPERA
Shelve your preconceptions of opera as the staid and stuffy aunt of the musical family. In the Telecom Opera - The Elixir of Love the emphasis is on fun. Donizetti's classic is taken from its traditional setting - a 19th Century Italian village - and dropped into a 1980s Californian high school on the day of the prom.
Moonwalk down Memory Lane in a production rich in lycra, fluoro and brick-like cell phones. The NZSO and a stellar cast will ensure Donizetti's much-loved score is, as one reviewer put it, 'beautiful from start to finish'.
NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL 27 FEBRUARY - 21 MARCH