After a year like 2021, we all deserve a little indulgence. Browse our Christmas Wishlist and discover shows and events that are worth a letter to the North Pole. Early Bird offers also still stand on most of our shows and events!
For the BFFs
He Kōpara Featuring Whirimako Black
Gift wrap an evening of sublime music featuring Whirimako Black with Allana Goldsmith, Leon Wharekura, and Dixon Nacey. Rich and versatile sounds of soul, jazz, and more abound in this not-to-be-missed music spectacular.
Truth and Lies
Share a hilarious, naughty and dazzling night out with your BFFs! Truth and Lies dances through the light and shadows of naked truth, bare-faced lies, and the complexity of everything in between. Aerialists and acrobats will leave you awestruck with flying leaps of faith – suspending belief as you get caught up in the threads of their tangled web.
Full Moon Folk Ball
Join us for a joyful evening that celebrates humanity and connection through exuberant live music and social dance traditions from around the world, led by NZ dance icon Michael Parmenter. No experience or partner necessary.
Legacy Vogue Ball
Strut up to the Auckland Town Hall for an extravagant evening of runway divas, stunty vogue battles, gaggy effects, and seductive sex sirens, in competition for cash grand prizes.
Bill Withers Social Club
From ‘Lean on Me’ to ‘Use Me’, ‘Grandma’s Hands’, ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, and many more, an all-star band of Aotearoa musicians breathe life into song selections that reflect their personal connection to the Bill Withers legacy, while leaning into his signature relaxed style of performing.
Anthology of Truth
Featuring songs and waiata from all genres, Anthology of Truth is a grand celebration of singer-song writers on the closing night of The Civic Club. In the words of Stevie Wonder, “music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.”
For Something Different
The Unruly Tourists
A genre-defying comedy opera that will spark conversation long after the curtain goes down, The Unruly Tourists from New Zealand Opera is written by the award-winning duo of Livi Reihana and Amanda Kennedy (The Fan Brigade) and composed by Luke Di Somma.
Featuring live musical performances, spoken word and visual arts, this is a show of total wonder and immersion. Ticket buyers gain free entry to a Lecture Demonstration with cross-genre collaborator and composer Horomona Horo.
Live Live Cinema: Night of the Living Dead
Share an invitation to the world of George Romero’s 1968 cult classic. In this breathtaking collision of theatre, music, and cinema from Silo Theatre, Romero’s astonishing debut film is accompanied by two performers who have been tasked with performing just about everything you see and hear: voicing every character bar one, creating every sound effect, and playing a new original score by composer Leon Radojkovic (Live Live Cinema’s Little Shop of Horrors, Dementia 13, and Carnival of Souls).
Masked maverick Jonathan Bree makes a rare live appearance in Tāmaki Makaurau, debuting new songs and crowd favourites before departing to Europe for a summer music tour! This is your chance to tick off someone's bucket list.
Skyduck: A Chinese Spy Comedy
Blending lo-fi with high-tech, and utilising projection, puppets, musical numbers, and a dizzying array of transforming and handmade gadgets, Skyduck deploys all the charm of rough theatre alongside a truly impressive use of technology to recreate dogfights, chases, and a multi-layered psychedelic journey live onstage.
Untrained is an irreverent and humorous theatrical experiment from leading Melbourne contemporary dance company Lucy Guerin Inc that gives both performer and audience a whole new experience of dance. Captivating audiences from New York to Toowoomba, Untrained will have you on the edge of your seat as you are launched into an extraordinary and unpredictable display of backspins, turns, and head slides – and a fascinating insight into the stories our bodies tell about masculinity and humanity.
For the Cool Kids
BLKCITY presents: The Diaspora
For one night only, the Auckland Town Hall is home to a colourful celebration of Black excellence. New Zealand’s hottest African hip-hop supergroup BLKCITY is not only a coming together of some of the most respected names in the local hip-hop scene, but a vibrant, positive expression of music, dance and identity through the immigrant and African diaspora in Aotearoa.
Taking both Aotearoa and the world by storm following their 2014 breakthrough single ‘Bridges’, with festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, and shared stages with artists like Ellie Goulding, Haim, and CHVRCHES under their belts, Nelson-raised, Los Angeles-based siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott return home this summer better and brighter than ever, with heady, intoxicating new music to share with Tāmaki Makaurau.
Double Goer – the literal translation of doppelgänger – is a deeply surreal work in which two strikingly similar female performers are born, reborn, meet, battle, and try to find the limits of and spaces between their bodies. Choreographed by Sarah Foster-Sproull, two dancers move between interdependence, love, care, competition, wit, physical agility, and stamina in a terrain of intricately handpainted and radically constructed artefacts.
Avantdale Bowling Club Live
Tom Scott’s Avantdale Bowling Club brings a fusion of deeply rich jazz riffs with rap vocals and a killer hip-hop production to the Festival, in full force and with new tracks.
imugi 이무기 + Hans.
Sensational duo imugi 이무기 and buzzing Kiwi-Korean rapper Hans. share the stage for this double-bill of silky smooth electronic pop and laid-back, feel-good hip-hop. imugi 이무기 reach out with a glowing hand to invite you into their multicoloured universe.
The wāhine of KŌPŪ weave live music, performance, poetry, and poi to share a hilariously honest and no-holds-barred account of their femininity on their own terms. Answer the call of a cheeky ballad of a show that shares the songs of young wāhine Māori as they navigate this world, hairy nipples first, in the footsteps of the naughty nannies from the kāuta.
Josh Cohen Radiohead for Solo Piano
Audacious in his approach to music and innovative in his playing range between classical and jazz, pianist Josh Cohen takes on legendary rock band Radiohead in this live show of idiosyncratic covers from the group’s famous back catalogue – interpretations that have gone viral on YouTube with more than eight million views and counting.
In the first few minutes of his third album, Someone Will Be There For You, there is a line that best describes the effect this 24-year-old’s words have: “I’ll find a record now/to make sense of it all somehow.” Through understated, intimate looks at the complications of young adult life, singer-songwriter Eddie Johnston, better known as Lontalius, provides a balm for the broken-hearted.
For the Serious Thinkers & Curious Minds
Written and directed by award-winning playwright Mitch Tawhi Thomas and filled with real characters dealing with real issues, this critically-acclaimed family portrait is carried by – and speaks powerfully to – the value of everyday truth and aroha.
TRUTHBOMBS: The Topp Twins – The Art of Protest
To celebrate 40 years as performers, the Dames will share the stories behind some of their iconic songs that became the soundtrack to New Zealand’s protest movement of the 1980s, from the Springbok tour to Māori land rights, Nuclear-Free New Zealand, and Homosexual law reform.
The Dalai Lama's Inner World
Bring your own meditation cushion (or take a seat!), and drift into healing, resonant visuals and a soundscape that includes mantras and wisdoms from His Holiness paired with an impressive nine-piece band. Guest artists will feature on taonga puoro and sitar.
Waves & Lines
Experience a multimedia song cycle for soprano, electronics and chamber ensemble based on landays – a tradition of Afghan women’s folk poetry – shared almost illicitly, anonymously, over phone calls, text messages and radio broadcasts. Composer Gemma Peacocke, vocalist Natasha Te Rupe Wilson (Te Arawa, Ngā Puhi) and a stellar ensemble of New Zealand’s finest musicians bring evocations of love, grief, home, and war across the ocean for one poignant evening.
Courageous Conversations about Race™
Truth Spoken Truth Heard: This courageous kōrero provides a dose of rongoā for your hinengaro and ngākau on International Race Relations Day.
Join us for an in-depth look at why truth is necessary for a collective understanding of racial equity in Aotearoa, through a protocol for healthy and productive conversations about race and racism.