Ellerslie Racecourse:

The games afoot... Once more, the Ellerslie Racecourse is the venue not just for a summer of horse racing but also for some of the liveliest theatre around. Having conquered Melbourne and Sydney, Pop-up Globe returns to Auckland for its fourth season in three years with four plays designed to highlight the "abuse of power": The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, Measure for Measure and Hamlet. Sit back in the world's first full-scale working temporary replica of one of the greatest theatres ever built and muse on whether Shakespeare got it right all those centuries ago. It's bawdy, hilarious and completely immersive.

Pop-up Globe, The Taming of the Shrew and Richard III, until January; Measure for Measure and Hamlet in 2019. (You can grab a discounted ticket from GrabOne here).

Chris Parker (right) and Comfrey Sanders star as Nick and Rachel in Shortland Street the Musical. Photo/Jason Oxenham.
Chris Parker (right) and Comfrey Sanders star as Nick and Rachel in Shortland Street the Musical. Photo/Jason Oxenham.

ASB Waterfront Theatre:

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It might not be Shakespeare but after 26 years on TV,

Shortland Street

is a genuine New Zealand classic. Now it gets the musical makeover treatment courtesy of Auckland Theatre Company and a cast of some of our finest performers: Mark Hadlow, Lisa Chappell and Chris Parker among them. The parody salutes the Kiwi pop culture institution by taking audiences back to those early days when Drs Hone Ropata and Chris Warner were rivals; Marge staffed the reception desk alongside love-struck Kirsty Knight and the antics of teenagers Rachel McKenna and Nick Harrison amused us all.

ASB Waterfront Theatre, Shortland Street the Musical, until Sunday, December 9.

Q Theatre:

What do you get when you combine live electric guitar – played by rock royalty Shayne Carter – Māori instruments, acclaimed choreographer Moss Patterson and six male dancers from Atamira Dance Company? A night where dance, light and sound create a multi-sensory performance that brings movement, energy and life to explore the Te Kore – the state of unlimited potential for being. Having thrilled audiences in China, Taiwan and on a New Zealand tour, the creative collaborators head to Auckland for what promises to be one of the most intriguing contemporary dance shows of the year.

Rangatira at Q Theatre, Pango, Friday & Saturday.

Western Springs:

If you're nostalgic for a time when RnB had its rightful place dominating top 40 radio, ZM's Friday Jams is your gig. Actually on a Sunday, the stacked lineup is bringing legends such as Usher, Lil Jon, Salt N Pepa, T Pain, Eve, Che Fu and more to Auckland. Entertainment reporter Siena Yates checked out the show in Sydney last week, and describes the tour as an enormous machine, with each artist bringing their own catalogue of hits and massive fanbase along. The event is perhaps best summed up by Salt N Pepa, who told TimeOut: "Classics are classics, and when do you not wanna hear a classic?"

Western Springs Stadium, Sunday, 4pm.

Spark Arena:

Those seeking a different genre of nostalgia will undoubtedly be excited for Bloc Party, who are returning to New Zealand on Sunday to play their incredible and timeless debut record Silent Alarm in full. The 2005 record resonated far beyond its birth year, and influenced music in countless ways; it's been ranked by NME as "one of the best albums of all time". Thirteen years on, Bloc Party are here to celebrate the record's legacy - and they're being joined by local firestarters The Beths, who are charting their own legacy as we speak.

Spark Arena, Sunday, 8pm