The best: The National. Understated, yet magical.
The disappointment: Sufjan Stevens. Some called it artistic, I thought it was painfully self indulgent.
The crush: Mayer Hawthorne. All men should wear suits and be crooners.
The swoon: Aloe Blacc. His Billie Jean was incredible. Being pulled out of the crowd and sang was my Dancing in the Dark moment.
The orchestral: Sacre: The Auckland Dance Project. The APO and several hundred dancing kids (who’d been practicing for months) – I loved the music and I loved the one wee boy who kept wandering the wrong direction. Overall the kids were astonishingly good though.
The surprise: Kitty, Daisy and Lewis. A last minute ticket that was toe-tappingly funtastic.
The silently hilarious: The Boy with Tape on his Face. NZ’s latest star Sam Wills who has just been on the Royal Variety Performance. You can see why he’s owning the comedy circuit in the UK.
The brotherhood: Silo Theatre’s The Brothers Size was not only a theatrical triumph, the three actors sang, danced and showed off their chiselled arms most admirably.
The Sing-a-long: I just loved Peach Theatre Company’s The Wizard of Oz. It was, in a word, delightful.
The heartbreak: A Thousand Hills told the story of a Rwandan refugee and the New Zealand aid worker who befriended him. Featuring the man himself and a strong cast, the story was beautiful, terribly sad and inspirational all at once.
The visual feast: The Sleeping Beauty had amazing pop-up book sets, incredible costumes and of course amazing dancing. I regressed and became a fairytale loving five-year-old and it was fabulous.
The National pride: Everything to do with the Rugby World Cup, but artistically, being at the opening ceremony and first game at Eden Park was an unforgettable night – the performances, the sense of occasion, the ripped jersey…
The innovative: The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer is a work of genius. Tim Watts creates something so engaging that you can’t believe it’s one man operating and acting the whole thing. Ukulele songs, a dancing hand, tragedy and triumph are all there in a captivating story.
The movie of the year: Submarine - loved it at the NZ International Film Festival and I think everyone should see it.
The movie event of the year: The dress up screening we did for the 50th anniversary of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. So much fun. So much style!
The TV show I like best for relaxing: Antiques Roadshow. The twinsets, the tweed, the badly disguised fury!
The TV show that’s a guilty pleasure: The Soup tied with Fashion Police. They’re mean, but they’re entertaining.
The rising star: Rose Matafeo. She’s on TVNZ’s youth channel U Live and she’s got really good, really quickly. I’m a fan, the girl is going places.
The best live and on screen comeback: Stephen Donald. The moments when we collectively froze, repented our harsh words and then celebrated like we’d been on the field ourselves.
The best video by someone I know: Movement, Expression, Aisles by my Auckland Fringe collaborator Jose Barbosa.
The best cat on all the internet: Maru-san is the online cat from Japan who lives in all our computers. His round face and obsession with boxes lightens the heaviest of hearts and entertains the weary.
The best place to eat in Auckland: Al Brown’s Depot on Federal Street. The complete experience – food, service and vibe. It doesn’t hurt when the man himself serves you and cracks a few jokes.
The Cake Sunday location of choice: Hubcap Cafe. The cakes, the sweets, the crockery! Closely followed by Little & Friday.
The Foodcourt: Food City in Northcote. As the signwriting says – never cook again!