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O Extravaganza! The Great Extrav Reunion Weekend & Capping Revue Revival [1993]

The Big Chill II

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The Big Chill II

(To be read to the tune of Lesley Gore's 1963 hit, "It's My Party".) They say that if you can remember the 60s you weren't really there, but recollection attempts persist anyway. On the weekend of July 17 and 18 in Wellington, the ageing stars of the old Extravaganza student revues will gather to relive the best years of their lives, and to revive some of the worst songs and skits ever seen on stage.

The once-famous, politically edged Extrav shows are, by now, a distant memory from the pre-television age, but the names of many of the current generation in power can be found on the dusty programmes: Barbara Ewing, John Fernyhough, Liddy Holloway, Keith Aberdein, Roger Hall, Paul Holmes ... even one Michael Fay is mentioned by old timers as having played some peripheral role in proceedings. As television producer and former 1963 Extrav star George Andrews says, "The huge irony is that we have become the people we lampooned."

Andrews and fellow veteran Murray Gray are organising an all-day train trip to Wellington on Friday, July 16, for Auckland Extrav survivors (one whole carriage of the Silver Fern is booked) during which the old songs and skits – including an all-male ballet – will be rehearsed. The reunion itself takes place in and around Victoria University's student union Memorial Theatre on the Saturday, with three shows scheduled for 6.00, 8.00 and 10.00pm, punctuating a running party. Each show consists of three strands – "The Dark Ages" from the 50s Extrav, "The Middle Ages" ("We wanted to call it 'The Golden Ages'," says Andrews) from 60 to 65, and "The New Ages" from the late 60s on.

Anyone cracked enough to want more information should contact organiser Sharon Major at Victoria University on 04 495 5246, or George Andrews in Auckland on 09 522 0502.

A forest that gives greenies indigestion by BURTON SILVER