Marcia Hines is in wonderland - boogie wonderland, that is.
The Australian singer stars in Velvet, a raucous and seductive fusion of disco, dance and circus which headlines the Taranaki and Christchurch arts festivals and, next month, the Auckland Live International Cabaret Season.
In town for a whirlwind promotional visit, Hines talked of the joy of being part of a show which pays homage to disco's glamour, innocence and hedonism.
While she's starred in musicals, recorded numerous chart-topping albums and singles, been a backing vocalist, hosted her own TV show and judged Australian Idol, Hines says Velvet is unlike anything she's ever done before.
She plays a fairy godmother helping a young man who stumbles into a glamorous nightclub where there's a heady mix of disco beats and exotic performers. The glitz, the glamour and the pulsing soundtrack make the show unique, says Hines.
"I don't think disco ever died. It's always been there; it's so happy and joyous so what's not to like about it? I like to remember it as an era of good music but bad fashion!"
The fictional nightclub is modelled on New York's famed Studio 54, but Hines says visiting the club didn't shake her world: "Sure, I saw lots of incredible-looking people and it was fun but it wasn't life-changing."
Then again, Hines' own life reads like a fairytale.
Born is Boston in the United States, Hines' father died when she was only a baby so she was raised by her mother, Esmeralda, who taught her you can be anything you want as long as you work hard and put your best foot forward.
The cousin of singer Grace Jones and a childhood friend of disco queen Donna Summer, Hines was a keen singer from childhood and says her training came from singing in the church choir. At 16, she successfully auditioned for the Australian production of the musical Hair and left home to travel to Sydney.
"I thought I was going to Austria! I knew nothing about Australia," she confesses.
Hines was so young that the show's producer Harry M. Miller had to become her legal guardian. Embraced by Australia, she has never returned to live in the US and has no plans to hang up her microphone any time soon.
"It's what I do; it's my passion."
Marcia Hines performs in Velvet playing as part of the Auckland Live International Cabaret Season from September 21 - October 1 and Christchurch Arts Festival from 6 - 17 September.