Home Features Rock Stars, Striptease and Drag Royalty set to arrive with Cabaret Season
Rock Stars, Striptease and Drag Royalty set to arrive with Cabaret Season

Rock Stars, Striptease and Drag Royalty set to arrive with Cabaret Season


More than 140 astounding artists and performers including Tim Minchin, Finn Andrews and NZTrio, Anika Moa, Tami Neilson, Julia Deans and Hugo Grrrl come together for the delectable winter feast that is the 2021 Auckland Live Cabaret Season.

Auckland’s shining jewel, The Civic, will be taken over this June and July by an audacious line-up of more than 20 contemporary cabaret shows from across Aotearoa, featuring a rollcall of some of our boldest and most beautiful, intent on celebrating the sequins and stardust of the underground world of cabaret.

For ten days and nights (19 June – 4 July) audiences will see Kiwi musicians turn torch singers, burlesque stars reveal almost all, drag artists dazzle with innuendo and shade, and The Civic return to its roots as a picture palace par excellence with classic cinema programming.

Following sold-out shows across New Zealand in 2019, Tony Award-winning musical whirlwind Tim Minchin opens the season on 19 June with an encore performance of his hit show BACK, on the mainstage of The Civic.

The gob-stoppingly gorgeous theatre, built as a decadent picture palace in the Roaring 1920s, returns to its iconic roots as A Vintage Cabaret Cinema, screening cinema classics including Funny Girl, All That Jazz, and a special midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Auckland Cabaret All That Jazz SpicyPulp

Annie Crummer, Anika Moa, Georgia Lines, Paige and Tami Neilson, under the direction of Ria Hall, complete the stunning line-up of iconic and up-and-coming music artists celebrating Matariki and the power of wāhine toa in one of the most powerful and reaffirming live concerts of the year – TUAWAHINE – onstage at The Civic.

A spell-binding mix of reimagined classics, original songs, and waiata Māori with the backing of a live band, TUAWAHINE is an unmissable event of the Auckland Live Cabaret Season.

The haunting ghost of French cabaret icon Edith Piaf comes to life and is illuminated by the unforgettable voice of Yulia, backed by a 14-piece orchestra and band, in Edith Piaf à L’Olympia à Paris – a sweeping concert on The Civic stage transporting audiences to the scene of one of Piaf’s most powerful live performances at the legendary Paris Olympia in 1961.

As The Civic mainstage burns bright, high tea and song is served on the Mezzanine Balcony, cocktails are poured, and the secret, late night Piano Bar roars into life, drawing cabaret provocateurs and voyeurs alike.

The original scene of some of Auckland’s most scandalous cabaret highjinks, The Civic’s Wintergarden and its environs welcome a line-up of sublime divas, queens, and extroverts extraordinaire intent on seducing with their beauty, balls, and brains in an exquisitely curated programme of deliciously devastating music; powerful and erotic striptease; classic, classy Māori showband and cabaret comedy; iconic songbooks; exquisite soul; hardcore housie (just like bingo, only brown!); ‘70’s grrrl power and rock; legs for days; a fab foursome; glittery, family-friendly, garden drag; a sexy, sapphic slumber party; experimental cabaret developed right before your eyes; and a call to handcuff your husbands as Fine Fatale return with heels higher than ever, bringing the dance, doo wops and drips of the Pacific Moana in Fever: Return of Ula.

As The Civic prepares to celebrate its 92nd birthday, the 2021 Auckland Live Cabaret Season invites audiences to embrace the heritage landmark and its unique place in Auckland’s vibrant entertainment history.

Auckland Live and Auckland Conventions, Venues & Events director, Robbie Macrae, says throughout its colourful life The Civic has remained a symbol of the power live performance and entertainment has had in contributing richness, identity, and a sense of place to New Zealand’s largest city.

Now almost a century old, he says The Civic has rightly earned its international reputation as a much-coveted stage for some of the biggest names from the worlds of music, theatre, musicals, and dance.

Auckland Live programmer, Janelle Bish, agrees. She says as the largest festival of its kind in New Zealand, the 2021 Auckland Live Cabaret Season’s sparkling programme befits the Civic legend.

“We’re proud and excited to present an unprecedented number of shows in the 2021 season, ten of which are world premieres that have been developed in partnership with Auckland Live,” says Janelle.

“It’s also a privilege to work alongside more than 140 New Zealand artists – a mix of emerging talent, established icons as well as Tim Minchin – sharing top billing and the stage to perform and share their magic with all of Tāmaki Makaurau.”

For all the details on this year’s Auckland Cabaret Season click here.