Get ready to say “hellooo!” to a brand new month filled with some of the best events around. Auckland sees The International Comedy Festival kick off, as well as celebrations aplenty that have your name all over it all to do with wine, whisky and hot sauce and even a legit French cabaret. Get excited for these 21 things to do in Auckland this May.
The Big Show 2017 | 1 May—13 May
They said it was too big for The Classic, and too big for The Comedy Chamber, so these four international comedians are taking over Q Theatre for one huge night of comedy at The Big Show 2017. This year’s Big Show boasts ‘The Best of British’, with comedians Ed Gamble, Lou Saunders, Iain Sterling and Adam Hess taking the stage in this whopping two-hour show that’ll have you in stitches, struggling to breathe between your laughs!
Amadeus | 2 May—17 May
Delve deep into the man behind the madness and music during the Auckland Theatre Company’s ASB Season of Amadeus. A winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Play, Peter Schaffer’s psychologically thrilling drama about the life and times of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is not to be missed. Dancer-actor Ross McCormack takes the reigns as Mozart, who will be met by Mozart’s murderous rival and conniving court composor Salieri, played by none other than Michael Hurst. You’ve heard his music, it’s time to hear his story at this theatrical extravaganza!
The Pumphouse Theatre 40th Anniversary Celebrations | 2 May —6 May
Toast and rejoice with the people that made Pumphouse Theatre possible for 40 whole years! Discover more about the theatre’s rich history in a dynamic weekend of fun at The Pumphouse Theatre's 40th Anniversary Celebrations—watch Love Letters performed by Max and Sue Golding from Tuesday to Thursday, and on Saturday they’ll open the doors to invite you into all of their backstage secrets—costume displays, tours, as well as a whole load of family-friendly activities, including buskers, kapa haka and face-painting!
Mount Michael Pop-up | 2 May
One of our fave wee spots for afternoon hangs, Gypsy Caravan is partnering with Central Otago boutique winery Mount Michael for their Wine and Diné series. The first event out of three is a bespoke four-course dinner by Chef Touvai Poloniati with matched wines by winemaker James McElrea, and owner Anna Robbie joins to share the story and history of Mount Michael wines. Nab yourself a ticket and bask in the wonder of this perfect Central Otago drop.
TED 2017: Highlights | 3 May
Some of the most inspiring, motivational and downright moving thinkers and doers in the world graced the TED stage once again for TED 2017, and you’re invited to see what went down at the week-long conference. TED is being made available to the public like never before—it's been made exclusively for cinema—so you'll feel like you were right there as it happened. Get an exclusive look into opening night and the revelatory talks and performances as they unfold in this one-of-a-kind opportunity!
Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Winemaker Dinner | 3 May
Cloudy Bay brings you this exclusive dinner hosted by Cloudy Bay Viticulturalist (someone who studies the science and production of grapes!) Jim White at Cloudy Bay's Pinot & Duck Winemaker Dinner. Wine and food enthusiasts (aka everyone) reserve a seat now, and get ready for a stellar night of dining at Oyster&Chop. A bespoke menu inspired by New Zealand’s duck season, this four-course dinner will be paired to Cloudy Bay’s acclaimed Pinot Noirs. Learn about the delicate pairing and production process of this world-class wine as the food and wine melt in your mouth.
May the Fourth | 4 May
May the Fourth at Stardome celebrate you must! Celebrate the galactic empire on May the Fourth at Stardome Observatory & Planetarium at one of their three planetarium shows, and learn what it takes to fly across Milky Ways to galaxies far, far away. Presented by a Stardome Jedi Master, bring your kids along to this family-fun event. Everyone’s welcome—even if you’ve gone to The Dark Side! Psst, dress up as your fave Star Wars character and you can even get in for free!
Margarita Masterclass | 5 May
We all loooove a good margarita, there’s absolutely no denying that! Nail that recipe and celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style at Mexico’s Margarita Masterclass. If the fine art of concocting (and consuming) the perfect margarita sounds like a bit of you, nab yourself a ticket which includes invaluable margarita education, two of the freshest creations and some of the most drool-worthy Mexican creations from their kitchen. Everyone will be begging you to make ‘that margarita’ at every party you host in no time!
The Lunch at Cable Bay | 6 May
Starting this month, Cable Bay is hosting long lunches on the first Saturday each month—taken to the next level. You know you’re in for a treat ‘cause it’s bubbles on arrival, and then an exclusive menu showcasing the best of seasonal produce, most of which is grown in their very own organic gardens! Each course is designed to match one of their elegant wines perfectly. At $99 a head, you ought to hustle a group and get some tickets ASAP ‘cause this is bound to quickly become a monthly fave—you just can’t beat that view with a wine in hand, and a forkful of deliciousness in the other!
#WhiteShirtDay | 8 May
The white shirt—a timeless classic, a wardrobe essential… and a lifesaver? That’s right! Witchery’s OCRF collection is back again, so not only can you can add a sleek white shirt to your collection, but also bring hope and support to those living with ovarian cancer. 100% of sales from Witchery’s White Shirt collection is donated directly to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, so you can help save lives of women across Australiasia and get a timeless white shirt in exchange! Even if you can’t get a new white shirt, rock one you have on White Shirt Day on 8 May to start the conversation and join the movement!
What The Health | 11 May
This is the to the highly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret! Premiering at Hoyts Cinema Sylvia Park, What The Health is a groundbreaking feature-length documentary that explores the impact of highly processed industrial animal products on our personal health and even the wider community. This surprising, sometimes hilarious, investigative documentary will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about the health industry. You can also add a healthy, cruelty-free meal box from Clean Food to your ticket for a delish change from the usual popcorn!
Game of Rhones | 13 May
Lords and ladies, brothers and warriors—pledge your sword and ready your horse for the return of Game of Rhones! Taking place in the kingdom of Auckland at Saint-Matthews in the City, celebrate the amazing grape varieties of Rhone Valley. Grenace, Shiraz, Mourvedre, and some white wine for good measure, it’s country vs country, region vs region and producer vs producer from more than 100 wines, to find the champion that will rule your tastebuds. Some of the players include Babich, Trinity Hill, Craggy Range, Man O’ War and many more ready to take battle. There’ll be something for everyone—beer, cider and food will also be on offer from some local countrymen. Don’t be left in the cold—Wine is Coming!
Till Death Do Us Part: Fifty Years of Vintage Wedding Style | 14 May—28 May
Bridal fashion wasn’t always mermaid or sweetheart, A-line or tea length as you might see them now. It also wasn’t all Married At First Sight, Bridezilla or Say Yes to The Dress—as hard to believe as that may be! Travel in time all the way back to the 1930’s to the 1970’s, and explore how wedding style has evolved over time and get up close and personal with precious textiles from way back when at this Glory Days event Till Death Do Us Part. These one-of-a-kind dresses will be auctioned off at the end of the event if you want to nab a piece of history. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Aunties, an organization which helps women and children who have experienced domestic violence.
Green Day Revolution Radio Tour | 14 May
Whether you never stopped lovin ‘em or you’re ready to be hit with some crazy nostalgia and fall right in love again, old school fave Green Day is back for their Revolution Radio Tour. Be treated to their second and final performances of their entire tour (so you know they’ll be performing extra hard) from these Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and Grammy Award winners. They’ve added an extra date ‘cause the first night sold out, so you know it’s gonna be a head-bangin’, sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs night.
Auckland Writer’s Festival | 16 May—21 May
Staging more than 180 events gathering together 170 of some of the world’s best writers and thinkers, this year’s Auckland Writer’s Festival is back to delight, surprise and make you laugh, cry and wonder. Learn what makes The Observer’s restaurant critic and Masterchef judge Jay Rayner tick, or see how you can champion journalism, and even celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter with Quidditch demos, Harry Potter Trivia and more! With its most extensive program yet, get ready to be enlightened!
Whisky at Rosebank Coffee and Kitchen | 17 May
Limited to a mere 15 seats, this exclusive whisky and food match is nothing like you’ve ever experienced before! This amazing evening at local hot spot Rosebank Coffee and Kitchen will consist of six whiskies with glorious matching dishes, while you take the journey through the history of whisky and the different regions of this rich, dark liquor.
BarberCraft | 20 May—21 May
Where boys turn into men! Kicking off at Shed 10, BarberCraft is New Zealand’s premier barbering and male grooming event. Lads, we’re sure you’re over the girls going off to Ladies Expo or the Girls’ Festival so this one goes out to you. Watch live barber battles (it’s a thing, and we know you’re intrigued!) and chill out with the live entertainment. Featuring the best of men’s fashion, lifestyle and grooming brands, become the best version of yourself all in the space of a weekend!
Annual New Zealand Hot Sauce Festival | 20 May
Get ready to crank up the heat! More than 100 hot’n’fiery sauces from thirteen iconic New Zealand brands are ready to hit you with their best shot! Taking place at Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen, some producers to look out for at the Annual New Zealand Hot Sauce Festival include (but not limited to!) The Lucky Taco, Fire Dragon Chillies, Gringo Killer and Hottt Ass Chillies. This fiery line up will get even hotter thanks to the inclusion of six World Hot Sauce Award Champion winning sauces. You’ll be able to buy all of the hot sauces on offer that your heart desires (and your belly can stomach), and your ticket will also include a 60ml bottle of Fire Dragon Hot Sauce made exclusively for the festival! For all you extra-hot chili heads, there’ll also be a homemade hot sauce competition, and watch the final of the 2017 Chili Eating Champs, starring the world’s hottest chili—the Carolina Reaper! Brace yourself for the eye-watering heat!
NZ Trio Loft Series | 21 May
Q Theatre’s loft space is transforming to something seriously stunning! Part one of three shows, NZTrio’s Loft Series pairs wonderfully different musical styles into a single concert. It’ll be the end of an era for the remarkable NZTrio at this final public appearance of the original group together, as they farewell violinist Justine Cormack after a whopping 15 years together. It’s playful, daring, nostalgic and comforting—all rolled into one performance and you’ll be taken away with the top caliber musical talent on offer.
Doc Edge International Film Festival | 24 May—5 June
The 12th annual Doc Edge Film Festival is back and kicking off at Q Theatre this month! Get excited, as it is headlined by ‘Whitney Can I Be Me’, the poignant and insightful life story of the endlessly iconic Whitney Houston. That’s not all—the full program offers 49 feature length films and 20 short films, showcasing the top-tier of international and New Zealand-made documentaries.
Cabaret de Paris | 27 May
Forget expenny flights to Paris, Moulin Rogue is hitting our very own shores in the form of Cabaret de Paris at the Civic Theatre. Starring Marissa Burgess, the longest-serving performer in Moulin Rogue’s 120-year history, plus 14 other showgirls from around the world! A burlesque, hip-hop and circus mash up, it also features over a quarter of a million dollars worth of lavish, barely-there costumes adorned with jewels, feathers and sequins, and what’s more, acclaimed illusionist Michael Boyd will perform some of his greatest mind-boggling illusions and magic. This is a one-night only show, so get your tickets quick and don’t miss out on an experience of a lifetime!
Image Credit: Mexico