The BeatGirls’ 21st – All Grown Up

April 17, 2017 at 3:49 am | Posted in Concert Review, Show Review | Leave a comment
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To commemorate their 21st year milestone, the Group put on a celebratory season at Circa Theatre. There have been 29 Beat Girls during history of the Group; this show featured Beat Girls #1, #4, #26, and #29.

The show was a walk down through the 21 years: intermixed with congratulatory video messages from past Beat Girls, projected photos of past performances; the Group performed numbers from their wide repertoire.

The BeatGirls – Andrea Sanders (#1), Carrie McLaughlin (#4), Kali Kopae (#26) – took the stage and launched into a Tom Jones number. After two more numbers, Sanders welcomed the audience and began a show long history of the Group. Apparently the Group began covering Beatles songs in Wellington pubs. To show off a little bit, the Group then sang the Beatles’ Daytripper in a bossa  nova style.

Dresses from past performances were suspended above stage, a strong reminder of the colourful nature of the Group. After a costume change Kopae utterly owned Amy Winehouse’s Valerie. This is the real power of the Group: their vocal versatility combined with great choreography and on stage energy guarantee a great show.

Just before the interval, the Group re-introduced the character of Doreen (Christina Cusiel). She gave a wonderful characterisation of a sex goddess covering  Aretha Franklin’s  Think. in the process, she gave a reluctant member of the audience bit of close attention.

After the interval, the Group came on in their 70’s psychedelic pants suits. Their was touching tribute to David Bowie – Modern love. McLauglin hammed it up a bit, by acting stiff and occasionally stuck in a pose!

The final costume change saw the Group in their characteristic beehive wigs and 60’s one-piece short dresses.

The show fittingly ended with Sanders (#1) singing a duet – No More Tears – with Ella Monnery (#29).

It was a fantastic night, with great music, great choreography, with the added bonus of a short history of the Group. Throughout the show, each of the Group took turns to explain a little of the history of the BeatGirls.

I’m glad I went.

 

 

 

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Spector

July 15, 2012 at 10:09 am | Posted in Musical Review, Show Review | Leave a comment
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… with the BeatGirls (and Jason Chasland) … a clever parody of 60’s and 70’s music (produced and influenced by Phil Spector) … a history of 60’s and 70’s music (using Phil Spector to connect the songs) … the story of Phil Spector … the wall of sound – (one of Spector’s many innovations).

I went to the opening night of this new BeatGirls show.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, having been to a number of BeatGirls gigs – where they sang some wonderful covers. But this was a show – a story, drama, … . This was also a departure for the Girls – having a male guest performer.

Some of the audience were dressed in 60’s and 70’s outfits. Some of the audience looked like they caught some of the music first time around – they clearly enjoyed the show and the music. Not being a baby-boomer, I missed many of the references.

Spector is a ‘show of two halves’: 60’s music leading up to the intermission, and 70’s music after. The first half was restrained and tidy; the second was psychedelic and a loss-of-innocence (was there really that much sexual goings-on?). In the first half, the Girls were dressed as tidy inspirations for Amy Winehouse – very ‘Mod’; in the second, the Girls were in 70’s flower child outfits (complete with John Lennon headbands). The first half was a music history lesson; the second was a riot of events – culminating in where Spector is currently living (prison) and how he got there (2nd degree murder of Lana Clarkson). In the first half, the wall of sound was explained and demonstrated; in the second it got out of control – I can see why Paul McCartney eventually released Let it Be … Naked – the wall tended to overwhelm the lead singer.

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