The Red Queen’s taking over Queenstown’s Waikaka Church tonight as part of the Liger Leadership Academy’s second annual ‘fundraising soiree’.

Resort entertainers Charlotte Graf and Margaret O’Hanlon, creators of Arrowtown’s The Blue Door Tiny Room Concerts, have put their heads together to come up with bespoke performances, designed for the ‘evening attire’ function at the old church, on Malaghans Rd, which starts
at 6pm.

Graf, along with her five-piece band, Ginger & Tonic, will wind the clock back to her arrival in ‘Wonderland’ almost 30 years ago — before there were traffic lights, road cones or congestion — where she first discovered the delights of ‘‘song and futter wacking’’.

Paying tribute to those early years and the creative heroes she met that helped her live her dream and become ‘The Red Queen’, her show will feature music from Elton John, David Bowie, Aerosmith, Lorde, Taylor Swift, Dire Straits & Led Zeppelin.

O’Hanlon’s ‘You’ll Never Be a Singer’ promises a humorous and poignant look at how the locally-acclaimed vocal tutor, wTechnoriter and performer came to be where she is today.

Growing up in New York City, she attended the infamous ‘Fame’ school — LaGuardia School of Performing Arts — only to be told she’d never ‘‘become a singer’’.

Instead of giving up, her stoic Irish and Quaker background propelled her forward, to New Zealand, where she started teaching singing, and on the way, found her real voice.

Her show, for which she’s joined by Mark Wilson (piano), Alex Pyle (guitar), Martin Roy Guy (drums), Martin Rylev (bass) and Nigel Hirst (sax), features defining songs by Irene Cara, Aretha Franklin, Mary Black, Nina Simone, Kate Bush and Alicia Keys.

Proceeds from the event, which includes live and silent auctions, go to Liger Leadership Academy students’ participation in various national and international tech competitions, explorations and experiences, such as the Technovation challenge, Young Enterprise challenges
and the FIRST LEGO League.

Limited tickets, from $125, are available via eventbrite.

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