Best cha cha cha
You won't see any gentle waltzes at the 11th Annual Salsa LatinDance Competition and New Zealand ArgentineTango Competition at the Ellerslie Convention Centre tonight. The categories include salsa traditional form, Latin Freestyle, Argentine tango freestyle and couple or group performance. And when the seasoned amateur competitors and the Latin Fever Dance Company aren't burning up the dance floor to Kantuta and DJ Loco, there are opportunities for the audience to shake their sequinned tail feathers.
LatinDance Competition and New Zealand Argentine Tango Competition, Ellerslie Convention Centre, Ellerslie Racecourse, 8pm, adults $25.
Ph (09) 307 5000
Best animal house
Animals have their chance to enter the house of God tomorrow in the SPCA's annual Blessing of the Animals. The day starts with breakfast at Albert Park, opposite Auckland University from 9am ($10). From 10.25am, a procession of people, their furry friends and the Auckland Police Highland Pipe Band will begin the great animal walk, making its way down Bowen and Victoria Sts, into Queen St, and up Wellesley St to St Matthew-in-the-City. The service starts at 11am. In past years, dogs, cats, rats, mice and birds have mixed it with ferrets, donkeys, miniature horses and llamas. The Heaven Bent Gospel Choir puts in an appearance, as does SPCA CEO Bob Kerridge and AK03 director Simon Prast, who will read from the Prayers from the Ark. All dogs and larger animals must be on a lead and smaller animals must be suitably contained.
Blessing of the Animals: AK03, St Matthew-in-the-City, Sunday 11am. Breakfast in Albert Park, 9am; The Great Animal Walk, 10.25am from the park to St Matthew's
Best national address
David McPhail's mother obviously didn't tell him not to pull faces or when the wind changed, that was it - so did the face. He's been pulling the face of former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon for so much of his professional life now, he's a natural with the expression of the National Party leader who called a snap election in 1984 and lost resoundingly. As well as starring in Muldoon, McPhail also wrote the "moving confrontation with a remarkable man who was arguably the most controversial leader of our time".
Muldoon: AK03, Westend Theatre, St James, tonight and Sunday, 8pm, adults $34-$39, concessions $39. Ph (09) 307 5000
Best street life
AK03 is almost at an end but it's going out in a blaze of glory. Soultana: A Musical Celebration runs over both days this weekend at Aotea Square and on Queen St between Wellesley St and Mayoral Dr. A "snapshot of New Zealand's freshest faces has been assembled to stun your musical senses", with blues, jazz, urban soul, Latin, dance and hip-hop acts.
Soultana: A Musical Celebration, Aotea Square and Queen St between Wellesley St and Mayoral Dr, today and Sunday 10am-6pm
There's a little bit of that domestic goddess Nigella Lawson in Deb Filler, the Auckland-born, Toronto-based actor, appearing at the Maidment Theatre tonight. As part of her 90-minute routine Filler Up, she bakes Jewish challah bread on stage as she "exploits the comic possibilities of women's relationship to food in a society which worships the holy grail of Size 10". Like all good cooking programmes, the end comes when the food is done. She kindly shares the bread with the audience, who are probably quite hungry after all that laughing and having had to endure the smell of baking bread.
Filler Up: AK03, Deb Filler, Maidment Theatre, Alfred St, 8pm, adults, $47, concessions $40. Ph (09) 308 2383 BEST potted history The Crown Lynn Exhibition on this weekend at Pioneer Village in Silverdale is a chance to remember fondly Mum's meat and three veg. There is also a chance to view some rare pieces by master craftsmen. Added bonus: John Parry of Global Village Antiques will be talking about Crown Lynn at 2pm today.
Crown Lynn Exhibition, Pioneer Village, Silverdale, today and Sunday, 10am-4pm. Ph (09) 426 8778