If you can’t stop moving to the funky, funky beat, or want to spice up your life and ain’t got no alibi for being u.g.l.y , then The Basement Theatre’s latest off-the-wall offering is for you.
Revamped for a second season, The Better Best Possible Album Party Anyone Has Ever Been Two (check out that pun though!) opens today.
The part-play-part-concert is fronted by Kate McGill and Frith Horan, making up New Zealand’s most outdated and cringe-worthy pop duo, TYLA & Deni$.
Album Party, directed by Holly Chappell and Tom Eason, features the pairs ReDEMption Tour and is described by Horan as “essentially a pop concert but in a theatre”.
“[It] tells the story of two has-been NZ pop stars, TYLA & Deni$, who had this huge meltdown about two years ago and have not been seen since.”
Album Party is the duo’s “big chance to try and get back in the spotlight” - only issue is, their act hasn’t really changed since the early 2000s and the pair don’t seem quite aware of their “oh so tragic” nature.
So what can audience members expect from Album Party? To put it simply, a heartwarming tale involving two “hot mess” singers set to 11 “nasty” pop songs with an early to mid 2000s vibe.
The 11 tracks are completely original but Horan expects audience members will recognise some Fergie and Nicki Minaj inspiration. The songs (including four new originals for this season) were written with Adrian Hooke and Oswell Didsbury, who also worked on last year’s production.
Album Party 1.0 (titled The Best Possible Album Party That Anybody Has Ever Been To) showed at The Basement Theatre in May 2015 and featured McGill and Horan as two big Latina personalities, Donna Rose and Karla. Horan says the pair decided to revive the show with Kiwi characters to make it more “relatable”.
“We made the decision to try do it with NZ pop stars, because then there is the whole tall poppy thing. We don’t really have that celeb culture here, so when someone comes out and is like, ‘We’re massive – remember us?!’, everyone is sort of like… um, nope?”
McGill and Horan aren’t the only two on stage throughout Album Party, with four students from Epsom Girls Grammar serving as backup dancers. The students are also revived from last year’s season, where Horan says they “ending up stealing the show”.
Album Party aims to be not your typical theatre show. It calls for a crowd that is willing to participate – Horan gives her audience members full permission to get to their feet, get out their phones and yell out.
With a vision of enticing teens, serving as a throwback for young professionals and converting more traditional oldies – it is clear that this show has big aspirations and even bigger personalities.
Album Party runs until this Saturday. Tickets are available here.