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Wellington gay show wins festival award

Fri 16 Mar 2007 In: New Zealand Daily News

A gay theatrical cabaret show in the Wellington 2007 Fringe Festival that featured some of Wellington's top drag queens who ranging in age from 20 to in the 70s recently won an Honourable mention in the Drama category at the Fringe Festival Awards. “We were absolutely stunned to hear “On The Corner” receive such a mention at the Awards ceremony given that there were 58 other great shows in the category,” says Writer/Producer Phil Rogers. “It was a very colourful show with a cast of 15 and a credit to all, some of whom haven't performed on stage before. Staging it at the Bluenote Bar in the heart of Wellington's red light district where most of the action happened, created an atmosphere that was rather unique, and there were a lot of ‘I remember when…' stories amongst the older audience members at the after show drinks each night.” A highlight of the show was taking an unsuspecting male member of the audience who as they said ‘arrived as a man' and making him up sending him home as a woman. “We were fortunate that top Wellington hairdresser and makeup artist on Lord of the Rings and King Kong, Warren Dion Smith was able to perform and help us with this – the results were stunning – we had difficulty getting our dress and wig back from one of the new “ladies” – he quite liked the idea!” says Rogers. “We got some excellent appreciative feedback for tackling such the homophobia topic and making people aware of just how tough times were for those on the fringe of society in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I take my hat off to people like Dana de Milo and Toni Rogĕt for having the courage to come on stage for the first time and speak of those times from personal experience. For me (with a television production background) it was the first time I have written for the theatre and performances by Parekotuku Moore as Carmen and Toni Rogçt, now in his 70s singing, “Nobody does it Like Me” were just stunning and twice received a standing ovation. Rogers says the show's season was too short, so coupled with the award the theatre group is now seeking more financial assistance to stage the show again later in the year and maybe even taking the show on tour to other New Zealand centres. “With a cast of 15 the logistics are daunting but it is such an excellent and interesting part of New Zealand's history that it is worth telling to as many as possible to appreciate how far the GLB community has come in recent years,” says Rogers. Pictures from the show are available to view on the link below. To contact Phil Rogers, email kpwelly@orcon.net.nz.     Ref: Long Cloak Productions, GayNZ.com (m)

Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff

First published: Friday, 16th March 2007 - 12:00pm

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