Alternative might not be the first word that springs to mind when you think about Palmy's arts scene, but peek beneath our mild-mannered exterior and you might be surprised.
What do you know about burlesque? Maybe the movie springs to mind, and I do love Cher, but Palmy is home to New Zealand's boylesque crooner Mr Lola Illusion, founder of Boom Boom Room Burlesque.
In their regular cabaret revue-style show, Lola and Friends transport their audiences into a fantastical camp world of comedy, dance and song designed so the audience can escape the everyday and embrace the extraordinary. On Saturday, May 29, at the Globe Theatre, PROM is a 1950s fantasy that's sure to be a hilarious night out.
Palmy loves comedy. The big shows at the Regent sell out and we're used to seeing national treasures and international stars on our stages – but where do they all start? At their local comedy club! The Comedy Hub have been producing and promoting all forms of comedy in Palmy since 2017.
Coming up on May 22 at the Globe, Crack Up with the Cuzzies 3 is a stand-up comedy show headlined by Gish! as seen on TV's Pulp Comedy and AotearoHA!, with support including Raw Comedy Quest winner Courtney Dawson and local Green Party MP and comedian Teanau Tuiono.
If you're inspired to find out more and get involved then open mic nights happen regularly at Bubbles in the Regent Arcade, this month on May 6 and 20, 7.30pm, $5 entry.
If Whose Line is it Anyway-style improvised comedy is more your thing, then check out SpontaneoUS – Palmy's own twice National Theatresports champions – back from a brief hiatus and on stage at Wallace Development Company Theatre for fast and funny Friday night laughs on May 28. Tickets available online via their Facebook page.
You can't do alternative without talking about The Stomach - a legendary Palmy music venue since way back when. This month they are calling all nuclear wasters to pull up for Neon Trash Fest on Friday, May 7.
If you identify as a nuclear waster (and no, I've no idea what that is) then you are good to go. All ages, $10, 8pm start, details on their Facebook page.
So, try something new and unleash your inner alternate. Let me know how it goes at rachelbowenpncc on Facebook. I'll be back next month with more things you didn't know you could do in Palmy.
Meanwhile, happy NZ Music Month.
• Rachel Bowen chairs Palmerston North City Council's Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee. The views expressed here are her own.