Okay August, you've got some work to do to live up to July's offering.
Huge kudos to the team that brought us the epic World on Stage 2021, and Centrepoint's The Complete History of Palmerston North - Abridged got off to a flying start.
I'm beyond proud that our city council commissioned The Complete History as part of the city's 150th celebrations and, as it continues until August 22, you've got time to see it. I laughed (a lot, loudly, probably at inappropriate moments) and learned quite a bit too so wholeheartedly recommend for the whole family.
The 150th celebrations continue to offer many and varied things to do. Top of my list this month is Who Are We?, performances by six Manawatū artists who explore the lives and experiences of those who've called this place home through music, dance, theatre and ngā taonga pūoro.
I'm intrigued to see there are two performances in two venues in two different formats – first a walking/standing performance trail at Te Manawa on Saturday, August 21 at 2pm, then a seated theatre performance at Globe Theatre on Sunday, August 22 at 2pm. Entry is by donation and the performance is suitable for all ages.
Intriguing seems to be the order of things for August. Te Manawa Art Gallery is opening two exhibitions from Saturday, August 14 by Lauren Lysaght, a New Zealand multidisciplinary artist whose works are held in the collection of Auckland Art Gallery, Te Papa, and the Sarjeant Gallery.
The first exhibition, Trifecta, is an installation dealing with racing and the associated social issues. The second, Kutarere Sunrise, combines female craft (knitting? metalwork? I'm not sure what makes a craft female so I'm going with things my mum can do) with reflections on male labour - specifically butchery. Not something you see every day, so do visit.
Someone else who could be called intriguing is a Palmy teen with a passion for country music, Carson Taare. He's played in Nashville USA, and at festivals and events across New Zealand, and you may have heard him busking around local markets and shops.
Taare is playing at Globe Theatre on Thursday at 7pm. He is a unique talent, and one Palmy should be very proud of as he releases his second original album.
Talent abounds in Palmy's music scene and notable this month is Grawlixes Album Release Tour with local band Rusty Frames in support. Formed just eight months ago Rusty Frames, fronted by well-known singer-songwriter Dave Boyack, have already supported some big-name acts and are worth the ticket price by themselves.
The tour hits Palmy on Saturday, August 14, 8pm at The Stomach. Tickets from UnderTheRadar or on the door.
Drag icon Rhubarb Rouge will host August's edition of So You Think You Can Drag, Palmy? on Saturday, August 7, at The Darkroom. This will be a fabulous night of fun, comedy and glamour, with guest judges. (Me! My proudest July moment was being recognised, not as a city councillor, but as a drag judge from the April event.) Tickets online or from Centrepoint.
Palmy's lively and often hidden literary goings-on continue as Massey University Press and the City Library launch The Front Line: Images of New Zealanders in the Second World War by Glyn Harper with Susan Lemish at 6pm on Tuesday, August 31 at Globe Theatre. Harper is Professor of War Studies at Massey University so, if history is your thing, this will be an excellent night out.
From dance and theatre, to music, drag and literature, via butchery. Truly something for everyone this month.
Also this month:
Curious Contraptions at Te Manawa
We Will Rock You, by Act Three Productions, at Regent on Broadway
• Rachel Bowen chairs Palmerston North City Council's Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee. The views expressed here are her own.