ASB Waterfront Theatre:

How lucky musical theatre fans are to live in Auckland in this day and age – it's almost like being in a "proper" cosmopolitan and metropolitan city where new productions seem to roll round on a near-weekly basis. Last week it was War Horse; this week it's Once – an altogether different theatre experience which takes audiences into the lives, and hearts, of a Dublin busker, simply known as Guy, who falls for a Girl. Multi-award winning and critically acclaimed, it's directed by Jesse Peach, the not-so-young-now theatre director who returns from London to direct an ensemble of actor musicians including singer/songwriter Lisa Crawley, Adam Ogle, NZ entertainment favourite Jackie Clarke and Priya Sami.

Once, ASB Waterfront Theatre, until Sunday, July 14.

Basement Theatre:

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Theatre-maker Alice Kirker is a woman on a mission – in a world where we're saturated by ideas about "body image", she wants us to stop body shaming and love what we've got. Kirker, current producer in residence at the Basement Theatre, has collaborated with 15 "uniquely wonderful humans" to tell stories about their relationships with their beautifully diverse bodies in what's billed as a celebration of the body as well as a call to arms. It is, she says, a plea for our audience to do better, to love each other better, to get over our prejudices towards certain bodies, to look at each person and identify what is unique and beautiful about them.

Fleshies, Basement Theatre, until Saturday.

Andrew Beer, the APO's concertmaster, faces a musical challenge.
Andrew Beer, the APO's concertmaster, faces a musical challenge.

Auckland Town Hall:

Step forward Andrew Beer – the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's concertmaster is in for a tough challenge when he plays European composer Gyorgy Liget's fiendishly difficult Violin Concerto, described as a piece of music "not entirely tame". Sticking with the European theme, the APO's performance also includes excerpts from Armenian composer Khachaturian's ballet Gayane Suites and Tchaikovsky's last, and arguably most deeply felt, symphony No.6 Pathetique. A true treat for lovers of contemporary and classical orchestral music.

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Pathetique, Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall, tonight at 8pm.

Galatos:

Kiwi stoner metal band Beastwars play Galatos on Saturday as part of their Australasian tour to promote tomorrow's release of their new album IV.

The Wellington four-piece has plenty to celebrate, with the new album shaped by vocalist Matt Hyde's recent triumphant journey through six months of treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2016. The band's legion of fans has had their collective appetites whetted by the new single Raise the Sword and accompanying video, following the earlier release of the track Omens. Presale tickets are $40 plus booking fee, but get in quick as they are sure to be in hot demand with Wellington's Friday night show already sold out.

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Beastwars IV album release tour with Witchskull, Galatos, Saturday, 8pm (R18).

Actors Lee Smith-Gibbons and Tom Sainsbury parody the Netflix show Stranger Things. Photo/Dean Purcell.
Actors Lee Smith-Gibbons and Tom Sainsbury parody the Netflix show Stranger Things. Photo/Dean Purcell.

Glassworks:

From the team who made bonkers, budget parodies of The Fly, Misery and The Exorcist comes Strange Thing, an ensemble production that retells the first season of Netflix's nostalgic sci-fi phenomenon, Stranger Things. Written by Lee Smith-Gibbons and starring Tom Sainsbury, Lucy Suttor and Matthew Crawley (as Eleven!), the ramshackle production embraces DIY with homemade special effects, a custom-built demagorgon costume and a group of actors playing multiple characters (Smith-Gibbons herself appears as hysterical mum Joyce Byers and uber-cool-kid Steve Harrington). Judging by their former productions, this promises to be a riotously funny show, particularly considering that they've condensed eight episodes into one hour.

Strange Things, Glassworks, Ponsonby, until Saturday.