It takes a perverse kind of genius to create a musical out of 30-year-old advertising jingles, but we're in Late Capitalist times, folks: here's our nostalgia for commercials, literally served up by Wellington writer/director Dean Hewison with a Fruju. Ooh, ahh!

Wella McDonald (see what they did there?) leaves her dog Tux in her hometown of Rainbow's End to make her fortune at TV3 and ... Well, the hour is light and slight, and the story doesn't end properly, but we're not here for the plot.

We're here for the Columbine dancing (Brigid Costello's primary-colours choreography is lookin' good) and the belted Flake harmonies and several McDonald's ditties (including that one about what Kiwis love, that me and my cousins once rabbited off-by-heart at the Golden Arches counter, for a free sundae).

Jessie Lawrence as Wella is fittingly bright and bubbly, Paul Williams is just as charismatic, and Carrie Green shows off her impressive splits in the supporting roles.


The costumes nod to the ads' late 80s/ early 90s vintage: Air Jordans, thick sweatpants, a pink scrunchie. Amusingly, one of the basic sewn backdrops makes the MediaWorks building look like a volcano.

This show does what it says on the can: you can sing along to your favourite earworms and rediscover gems that you had forgotten existed, wrapped up in a comedy of mildly questionable taste. Silly and fun: have a drink or two before you go.

What: Jingles
Where & when: Basement Theatre, until Saturday, June 17
Reviewer: Janet McAllister