The New Zealand Herald's arts and entertainment team hand-pick the best of what's on offer in Auckland this weekend.
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Maggie Rogers is in town this weekend to play her first ever NZ show as part of her Heard It In A Past Life world tour. The indie-pop sensation, who was discovered by superstar producer Pharrell Williams, plays Auckland's Powerstation for what's bound to be a show you don't want to miss. She's been racking up acclaim all around the world, appearing on Saturday Night Live, the Tonight Show, Glastonbury, in the Rolling Stone and more. Catch her now in this intimate venue, because next time she'll be selling out Spark Arena.
Maggie Rogers, Heard It In A Past Life, Powerstation, Saturday
Michael Hurst is one of this country's master storytellers; now he's joining forces with one of our music maestros for a dramatic new take on one of the world's greatest stories. Sound like hyperbole? Maybe but consider the possibilities when you put Hurst on stage, in a contemporary re-imagining of Homer's The Iliad, then let Shayne Carter loose playing a real-time soundscape live on that stage. Riffing off each other, the two are bound to create an unrivalled contemporary take on one of the greatest stories ever told.
An Iliad, Herald Theatre, until Sunday, June 9
And while we're on the subject of epic tales, here's one from another of the world's oldest cultures. Meera, based on a 16th century Indian poem, features a cast of local dancers, actors and musicians in a "celebration of tender love and smouldering passion" set amid a backdrop of mystical India. The dance styles alone - jazz, Indian classical, ballet, contemporary, aerial and even pole - show how the historical and contemporary have been married together to create a truly unique cultural melting pot.
Meera, ASB Waterfront Theatre, Friday - Sunday
Documentary Edge International Film Festival
No, not to see a play but to immerse ourselves in some of the world's most compelling, most intriguing and – sometimes – unbelievable documentary films. Now in its 14th year, some 65 films will screen in 270 sessions in Auckland and Wellington; all wrestle with the Big Issues of the day: politics, climate change, human rights, crime and fearless individuals determined to change the world (one way or another). As theatre geeks, we're especially excited about Repeat Attenders, which delves into the lives of Broadway super fans; then again, More Human Than Human, about whether AI will render humanity obsolete, looks absorbing. So many films, so little time…
Documentary Edge International Film Festival, Auckland until Sunday, June 9; Wellington, June 13 - 23
Demetri Martin's known as an overthinker but you shouldn't think too hard about going to his show at the Auckland Town Hall. The stand-up comedian's brand of deadpan whimsy and exploration of oddly unexpected tangents brings big laughs and this show, dubbed Wandering Mind, promises plenty of both. Expect some songs, some cartooning, some head scratching and a whole lot of one-liners that reveal life's mundane absurdity. He's promised all new material so here's an oldie but a goodie: "I was in a restaurant that had a sign that said 'Restrooms For Customers Only' … I thought, it must suck to work there." LOL. Really, if you fancy a laugh seeing Wandering Mind is a no-brainer.
Demetri Martin, Wandering Mind, Auckland Town Hall, Saturday