The Civic

Back in '96, instead of watching movies on a streaming service at home, people actually went to the cinema and the film to see was Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes and a soundtrack that blended grunge, dance, classical, opera and good old-fashioned pop: Radiohead, Everclear, Cardigan, Prince and many more. Now's the time to Dress up – capital d deliberate – in wings, halos and chainmail that can propel you back to a Capulet house party circa '96 and get to the Civic where Gin Wigmore, Jon Toogood, Laughton Kora, Milan Borich, Dave Gibson and soprano Isabella Moore, backed by a 30-piece orchestra, full choir and rock band, are playing the movie's soundtrack for a dance-operatic drama the likes of which hasn't been seen before.

Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet – the soundtrack of a generation, the Civic, tomorrow and Saturday.

The Basement

Since when did watching the film Home Alone become such a beloved Christmas tradition? Who knows but it is and Home Alone 1 and 2 screen at the Basement in the next two weeks as its Live Reel, a live reading of a classic film. First screened in 1990, Home Alone won its young star Macauley Caulkin a Golden Globe nomination for best actor (musical or comedy) for his portrayal of an 8 year old boy who thinks all his Christmases have come at once when his family flies to Paris for the holidays but mistakenly leaves him behind. All is going well until two burglars try to break in and then the hi jinx begin.

Live reel – Home Alone, Basement Theatre, Friday and Home Alone 2, Friday December 13.

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It's a sweet trip to the ballet thanks to the Royal NZ Ballet's Hansel & Gretel. Photo / Stephen A'Court
It's a sweet trip to the ballet thanks to the Royal NZ Ballet's Hansel & Gretel. Photo / Stephen A'Court

Aotea Centre:

It's a story that originates in medieval Germany, but one that the Royal NZ Ballet Company is making its own and sharing for Christmas – even though, apart from a gingerbread house, it hasn't got a whole lot to do with the festive season. The world premiere of its Hansel & Gretel ballet, a new ballet by its choreographer-in-residence Loughlan Prior with music by local composer Claire Cowan, arrives in Auckland this weekend to dazzle audiences with a cinematic twist – and lots of dancing – on the dark and scary tale of two children, alone, lost in the woods and hungry, who stumble upon an adorable looking cottage...

Royal New Zealand Ballet, Hansel & Gretel, Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre, until Sunday; Bruce Mason Centre, Friday, December 13 & Saturday, December 14.

Anthonie Tonnon takes to the tracks for a tour celebrating rail. Photo / supplied
Anthonie Tonnon takes to the tracks for a tour celebrating rail. Photo / supplied

Papatoetoe Town Hall via AT Metro Eastern Line:

This isn't just a show – it's a journey. Musician Anthonie Tonnon celebrates the joys of passenger rail in Aotearoa by travelling with the audience to community venues where he then presents a "theatrical extension" of his live set, mixing new songs with rarely-played older ones. He's in Auckland tomorrow evening, travelling from Britomart with instructions that include arriving 10 minutes early and going to the front two carriages of the 7:46pm Eastern Line train to travel to Papatoetoe and then take the six minute walk to the hall. The timing of the performance allows for the return journey by train. It almost sounds a bit like going to Hogwarts, here's hoping it's just as magical.

Anthonie Tonnon, RailLand, tomorrow.