19 October 2010

BeatCamp!: Entertainment for the Masses

After traveling all over the country and the world with New Zealand’s favourite girl group for the last 14 years, The BeatGirls creator Andrea Sanders tells us all about her current show, BeatCamp!, currently rocking the house in Circa Two.

DOTW: I understand that you created The BeatGirls – can you give us a bit of the history of the group?

AS: The BeatGirls were born 14 years ago in a show called Blame It On the Bossa Nova at Downstage. The format of 3 women in a girl group was popular and the idea to play only Beatles music was the initial musical direction. Since then the repertoire has broadened to include all eras, from the 1940s to now, Lady Gaga.

DOTW: What can you tell us about your current show, BeatCamp!?

AS: BeatCamp! is a similar format to previous shows, such as It’s My Party, although the focus is not so much on ‘60s girl groups. This show incorporates all styles, from The Andrews Sisters to Madonna, from Peggy Lee to Amy Winehouse, with a little Motown on the side. All the usual comedy, fab costumes and tight choreography. Suitable for all ages – kids to grandparents.

DOTW: What can you tell us about your fellow BeatGirls in BeatCamp!?

AS: It is great to be working alongside long-standing member Carrie Mclaughlin – a fab and trusted performer who really goes the extra distance. Kali Kopae, a fantastic young performer with a beautiful voice and a rising star! It’s great to work with both of these talented women who each bring their own yummy flavour to the line up.

DOTW: Your past shows at Circa have all but sold out; what is it about The BeatGirls that audiences respond so well to?

AS: I think our shows sell out because people like the format which is basically entertainment for the masses. We combine popular music with razzle dazzle (lots of sequins!) and also accentuate the humourous side of a lot of the songs. There is no pretention, just an honest delivery along with often informative banter about the artist we are covering. Unlike a lot of bands, The BeatGirls have a theatrical style which means they are equally at home in a theatre or at a party where the dance floor is packed. Over all, I think The BeatGirls have a fantastic vibrant energy which you can’t see but you can feel. How else can you explain how three performers can keep a dance floor of 300 people full? Energy is infectious! The fact that the music appeals to a wide demographic also helps.

DOTW: The BeatGirls have traveled extensively throughout NZ and Australia – what has been one of your favourite performances, and why?

AS: Festivals are always a buzz to perform at, such great atmosphere! We’ve had so many fantastic trips overseas and extensively throughout NZ, its hard to pick but obviously performing in Athens at the Olympics for all the Sports Illustrated parties was a real buzz. They could have had any band in the world, but they chose us from little old new Zealand, and that in itself deserves a huge round of applause! Some of the best gigs could be in someone’s lounge at a birthday party, so it’s not necessarily based on the location or size of the event. Performing our Anzac show We’ll Meet Again is always lovely, especially when the folks who served in World War II turn up with medals and all sing along to ‘We’ll Meet Again’. We know this generation won’t be around forever, which makes it all the more poignant.

DOTW: Finally, being a member of NZ’s favourite girl group gives you the opportunity to sing a lot of great songs by a lot of great artists. What are your top five favourite songs of all time?

AS: Tough question, as there’s sooooo many songs and they were all #1’s in their day so they are all well written and iconic. Generally, the new songs you learn are your favourites, but here goes:
-         Beatles – ‘She loves You’
-         David Bowie – ‘Rebel Rebel’ or ‘Golden Years’
-         Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 – ‘Agua de Beber’
-         Smokey Robinson – ‘Baby I Need Your Loving’
-         K.C. and the Sunshine Band – ‘Give It Up’
This list will of course change and I’ll be sick of singing these songs, but for now, that’s it!

BeatCamp! runs in Circa Two until 30 October. Tickets are going fast (23, 29 and 30 October are already SOLD OUT) so call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or go online at www.circa.co.nz to get yours today!

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