Ali Harper

Review snippets

Naughty & Nice Album
cdcover

Ali was excited to launch her double CD Naughty and Nice in the first few months of 2013. The album was released on the 23rd of April 2013. The recording weekend was booked for March, with a fantastic team of musicians.

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Scroll down for reviews / endorsements for Cabaret, Theatre or MC work.

 

A CABARET DINNER PERFORMANCE, CHRISTCHURCH: 2016 (CABARET)

Jemma Appleton, Activities Supervisor, AlpineView Retirement Village, 22nd June 2016 

Truly spectacular. Such a powerful voice, had everyone in complete awe. Thanks Ali, for making it such a special evening – we are a very happy village !!

 

NAUGHTY AND NICE, TAURANGA: 2016 (CONCERT)

Liam Ryan, National Jazz Festival, Tauranga, 26th March 2016 

Ali Harper’s Naughty and Nice concert at the National jazz Festival was a perfect mix of theatre, musicianship and storytelling. Her singing and spirit filled BayCourt Theatre and she was accompanied by a superb band. The audience was in love with her from the first song to the encore ovation.

 

LEGENDARY DIVAS, HAMILTON: 2015 (CABARET)

Ngaire Riley, Theatreview, 6th November 2015 

The promo line of “Quiet please there's a woman on stage” is litotes in Ali Harper's Legendary Divas. She dominates this delicious evening out. She sings divinely. She shares snippets of women's lives in between singing their songs and her rapport with the audience is infectious.

 

HOME AND FAMILY CHARITY FUNDRAISER: 2015 (MC)

Phillip Duval, Chairman of the Board: 29th October 2015

Ali, thank you so much for a star performance last night at Home and Family's DWTS. You were sensational and loved by all! 

 

LEGENDARY DIVAS, HAMILTON: 2015 (CABARET)

Steve Scott, Hamilton News, 23rd October 2015 

Singer and entertainer Ali Harper is a very clever and imaginative artist. She also possesses a rich, powerful and controlled vocal.

Gail Pittaway, Theatreview, 17th October 2015 

 Her energy is phenomenal, while her warmth and ability to work with the band and to the audience is delectable.

 

LEGENDARY DIVAS, CHRISTCHURCH: 2015 (CABARET)

Alan Sharr, Rotary Christchurch, May 2015

Garden City Rotary members who attended Ali's Christchurch show very much enjoyed the occasion... many were looking to go to it a second time as they enjoyed it that much!

Moyra Whiting, Ashburton, 29th March 2015

Ali Harper is a diva in her own right... powerful, in control, gorgeous and every bit the ultimate character.

Lindsay Clark, Theatreview, 1st March 2015

Loud applause for this generously gifted actress, with an all-enveloping voice that can take us with her no matter what she sings, is a further extension of the celebration of song that she offers.

'Quiet please, there's a lady on the stage' is not a difficult instruction to follow, captivated as we are. The heartfelt applause at the end says it all. 

 

AN EVENING WITH ALI HARPER: 2014 (CABARET)

Moyra Whiting, Ashburton, 25th September 2014

Ali’s interpretations of songs such as Evergreen, Diamonds are Forever, Songbird and Shadow of your Smile were the essence of what the evening was all about - an opportunity for Ali to showcase her individuality in the best possible way.  Her ability to use acting skills as she sings serves only to enhance what is already world class entertainment.

‘The Winner Takes it All’ ended a brilliant evening and Ali was indeed that…a winner.   

 

OKLAHOMA: 2014 (THEATRE)

Maraea Rakuraku, Theatreview, 29th August 2014

The spark between Ado Annie (Ali Harper) and Will (Stefan Olivieri) is fantastic... 

Standouts are Cameron Douglas, whose tone and voice is just lovely, and Ali Harper, who brings so much emotion to her role...

 

BLOOD BROTHERS: 2014 (THEATRE)

Barry Southam, The Star: 11th July 2014

There is a fine rendition of the two mothers, especially by Ali Harper as the solo mother in a low socio-economic envoronment in Liverpool, who displayed her usual stunning voice in the songs.

Charlie Gates, Christchurch Press: 1st July 2014

The show is held together by a standout performance by Ali Harper as the matriarch. She has a fantastic voice, and judges the role well as a still and loving centre at a whirlwind of youth.

Cityscape: 30th June 2014

The cast is excellent across the impressive boards (the set is exceptional), with Harper and Matt Pike’s Narrator – the ever-present, black-clad harbinger stalking the cast from the shadows – scorching the stage with blistering performances.

 

STEVE and BONNIE'S WEDDING: 2014 (MC & CABARET)

Bonnie McKay, Blushing bride17th June 2014

Ali Harper inspired our wedding she made our day run so smoothly… She is the best by far, I highly recommend her.. . we couldn’t have done it without you, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts xx

 

AN EVENING WITH ALI HARPER: 2014 (CABARET)

Doug Kamo, Director DKCM Ltd12th May 2014

Ali Harper owns every space she enters, whether in theatre, cabaret or as a recording artist. The Dunedin audience during her recent ‘An Evening with Ali Harper’ concert were spellbound as she presented a thoroughly entertaining show full of insight to some of her experiences through song, comedy and narrative.

 

SINGAPORE AIRLINES CABARET: 2014 (MC & CABARET)

Kate Mayo, South Island Sales Manager11th February 2014

We had an amazing night and you really made it extra special and very entertaining! and... your voice... amazing ! 

 

BOMBSHELLS, NZ TOUR, 2013 (THEATRE)

Jo Mills, New Plymouth reporter at 4th Wall Theatre, 19th December 2013

Harper portrays six very different female characters and it soon becomes apparent why she was named the Chapman Tripp actress for the year in 2008. You actually feel that six different actresses have been on stage. Harper captivates the audience. Before their eyes, she skilfully transforms from character to character.

Harper can act, sing and dance with an artillery of ability.

Gina Gilbreath, The Star, 25th October 2013

Bombshells is a one-woman show that demands a lot from its lead actress, and Ali Harper delivers a superb performance, well actually six performances if you count each painstakingly crafted character...

Robert Gilbert, Director of Theatre Arts at Rangi-Ruru Girls School, 22nd October 2013

What a treat and an honour to see this magnificent production. The standing ovation was greatly deserved. Theatrical highlight of the year. Best wishes for the rest of the Christchurch season and remainder of the tour.

David Stevens, Theatreview, 16th October 2013

Ms Harper let's fly with a truly knock-out performance... She has the audience at her feet and many rightly rise to their feet, cheering at the end. 

I shall not easily forget the characters I met last night, and I shall not easily forget the play. If it comes your way, I urge you to see it. It is, I think, a classic of the New Zealand repertory that defies the test of time and it is a proving ground for any actress. 

Adey Ramsel, Theatreview, 12th October 2013

Six monologues encompassing the whole canon of emotion is a feast for all and Harper is a non-stop express of energy and perfection, each line timed within an inch of its life. This is one talented lady! She takes my breath away with her presence and power.

The vignettes range from static widower who reads to the blind, to a 'has been' alcoholic cabaret singer, staggering and attempting to strut her stuff around her comeback stage. Harper injects each with her power and panache, delivering six one act plays, after which you will swear you'd witnessed six full length biographies played out.

I find myself shaking my head more than once in awe at each creation and on two occasions – the aforementioned widower and hobby speaker Tiggy Entwhistle – I cannot see the performer within the character. What better accolade than that? 

Karen Beaumont, Theatreview, 06th October 2013

Zoe Struthers gives Harper the opportunity to show the power and range of her singing voice: a cross between Minnelli and Bassey. She is a convincing American diva.

The ability and fitness to maintain the pace, be convincing as six different women and to hold the audience are all carried off with aplomb. The laughter, attentive silence, wolf whistles and final applause are all indicators of the audiences' reaction to, and enjoyment of, this one woman show.

Roger Childs, Kapiti reviewer, 03rd October 2013

A virtuoso performance from an actress at the top of her game and it  is not hard to see why Ali is a former winner of a prestigious Chapman Tripp award. Starting with the highly stressed thirtyish mother of three to the washed up cabaret artiste of indeterminate age, Ali Harper never missed a beat and added plenty of her own.

 

20th ANNUAL CANTERBURY HENRY FORD MEMORIAL RALLY (New Zealand), 2013 (Cabaret)

Lorranine & Trevor Stanley-Joblin, Rally Organisers, 29th September 2013

It was both a privilege and a dream to have Ali Harper entertain the participants of our last Henry Ford Memorial Rally at the final destination after organising this event for twenty years in succession.  Ali’s professionalism had our Ford owners totally spellbound for the entire concert.  It was just magical to see and hear her sing requests with such precision and beauty.  We were so impressed that we have booked Ali to entertain at a future Canterbury Classic Car Rally.

 

SKAL INTERNATIONAL, NZ CONGRESS DINNER, 2013 (MC)

Leighton Cameron, President Skal International Christchurch, 06th August 2013

A fantastic Mistress of Ceremonies. From the time she welcomed everyone she had the delegates and their partners in her hand with the professionalism that she portrayed interspaced with amazing singing and interaction with the group. Our Australian delegation was so impressed they want her to attend a future event for them.

 

DOWN UNDER DIVA: NEW YORK, 2013 (Cabaret)

Alex Rybeck: 29th June 2013

Ali Harper lights up every room she enters, owns every stage she steps upon, and steals every heart that hears her sing.

 

Christine Lavin, award winning New York singer-songwriter: 29th June 2013

A songwriter's dream, magical and in complete command of the stage.

 

To hear American standards performed in a way that no one else has, (that) was magical.  It was a real privilege getting to watch you in action.

 

 

CANTERBURY CYSTIC FIBROSIS FUNDRAISER: 2013 (MC)

Norm Withers M.N.Z.M, retired Deputy Major of Christchurch: 24th May 2013

I had the pleasure of assisting as a licensed Auctioneer recently for a great fundraising cause --- Cystic Fibrosis. I take this opportunity of extolling the performance of Ali Harper the appointed M.C for the evening. She was very professional,clear and engaging and even entertained with a number of songs from her vast repertoire. I have been fundraising for charity since 1983 and Ali Harper would be among the best frontpersons I have encountered over the years. Naturally I have no hesitation in endorsing and recommending her as a real professional package.

 

NAUGHTY AND NICE: The Court Theatre 2013 (Concert)

The Star by Jo-Anne Fuller: 19th May 2013 

From the opening Jazz Standard 'Teach me Tonight' through to raunchy blues encore 'Dr Long John’ the audience was mesmerised.

 

Nice job Ali Harper! You transformed a wet and dreary Sunday evening into a spectacular night of quality entertainment.

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS FUNCTION FOR SKAL: 2012 (Cabaret)

Peter Morrison, President, SKAL International New Zealand: 14th December 2012

It was great to have Ali Harper perform at our SKAL International Christchurch Christmas Luncheon at The George Hotel on 14 December 2012.  She wowed our guests with some fun songs, carols and a delightful duet with our President.  We have booked her to be the Master of Ceremonies at our NZ Congress in July 2013 - she is that great !!!

 

OPENING OF NZ COLLEGE OF MIDWIVES (NZCOM): 2012 (Cabaret)

Karen Guilliland NZCOM CEO: 14th December 2012 

On a warm and sunny celebratory day Ali Harper’s singing was the jewel in the crown at our building opening function. Many thanks Ali for being there with heart and soul.

 

 

 

ALI HARPER IN CONCERT - Wellington: 2012 (Concert)

Roger Childs Kapiti Independent News: 25th September 2012

Ali Harper is an outstanding singer by any standards and would not be out of place on Broadway or in the Albert Hall.

 

Ali has a wonderful voice with a superb vocal range and skilful modulation. She showed her remarkable versatility in singing songs by Eva Cassidy, Edith Piaf, Doris Day, Shirley Bassey and Barbra Streisand in the style of those artists. However, she has her own very distinctive voice, and in singing a variety of show songs from Guys and Dolls to The Pyjama Game, Ali played to the audience with great flair and panache.

 

 

SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM: 2012 (Theatre)

The Listener by Faith Oxenbridge: 27th February 2012 

Ali Harper is the standout performer. She carries off the tongue-tangling 'Getting Married Today' with one part musicality to two parts comic timing, then moves effortlessly into a restrained 'Send in the Clowns'.

 

 

A SHORTCUT TO HAPPINESS: 2011 - 2012 (Theatre)

The Listener by Faith Oxenbridge: 05th January 2012 

Ali Harper holds the piece together – seemingly effortlessly – with her passionate, stroppy, sexy and completely convincing Natasha.

 

Lighthouse Showcase Charity Concert (Cabaret)

Organiser Helen Lord: 5th October 2011

MAGNIFICENT. You made the concert fabulous. The audience adored you. What an incredible entertainer you are.

 

Australian High Commission concert: 2011 (Cabaret)

HE Paul O’Sullivan AO : Australian High Commissioner: February 2011

Your performance contibuted greatly to the event and was thoroughly enjoyed by all our guests.

 

EROS: 2010 (Theatre)

Theatreview by Lindsay Clark: 28th August 2010

As prize manipulator Ingrid, Ali Harper is her zesty self

 

ON THE ROCKS: 2010 (Theatre)

Theatreview by Lindsay Clark: 20th June 2010

His passion is echoed and enhanced by the omnivorous appetites of Ali Harper's Frieda. Moreover, since she is German, she is the target of the wider world's mistrust, enhancing the precariousness of the Lawrentian stand. The energy and warmth we have seen from Harper in musicals translates into a vivid role here and some of the inevitable poignant moments are hers.

 

‘I LOVE YOU YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE!’ 2009 (Theatre)

Theatreview by Lindsay Clark: 14th June 2009

Ali Harper is rapidly becoming a national treasure in the world of musical theatre

 

BOMBSHELLS 2008 TOUR: North Island (Theatre)

Theatre News by John Smyth: 24th July 2008 

In this production the ‘blonde bombshell’ turns out to be its solo performer Ali Harper: a truly dynamic talent… Bombshells offers an extremely entertaining insight into the lives of six women in the post feminist era. It’s a huge challenge for one actress (elsewhere multiple actors are sharing the roles) and Ali Harper meets it with alacrity, using her formidable skills to show us the women rather than vice versa.

Dominion Post by Ewen Coleman: 30th July 2008

Harper and her team have done more than justice to this piece in a polished, professional presentation, her finely tuned performance never missing a beat. Well known for her work in musical theatre, Harper shows in this production that not only does she excel at song and dance routines but she is an exceptionally versatile actor as well.

Capital Times by Lynn Freeman: 6th August 2008 

…each of the six roles in this solo show fits her as tight as the wedding day corset she wears at one stage. And if you think that’s impressive, these roles span six decades and none of the aging (backwards or forwards in time) is done with make-up.  It’s all her formidable acting ability…. they’re all treasures, performed with such depth and gusto that you care for each and every one.

 

BOMBSHELLS 2007 TOUR: North & South Island (Theatre)

Marlborough Express: 2 March 2007

So good was Harper's performance, that by simply changing into a slightly frumpish costume and putting on a felt hat, it was hard to believe the character was being played by the same actress. In fact each character was so well conceived and portrayed that anyone could be excused for believing there were six actresses on show¦…By selecting a particular mannerism for each character, Harper ensured that each character was unique. Subtle changes in posture and vocal delivery along with the costume changes made each of the women portrayed incredibly real and believable.

The Nelson Mail: 7 March, 2007

For many actors, the mere thought of a solo performance is enough to prevent them doing it, and for good reason. What could be more demanding and testing of your talents than to put yourself before an audience for two hours or so without a safety net? Madness. Nobody there to bounce off, nobody to rely on but yourself. You could sink like a stone. But then, what a buzz if you nail it. Ali Harper must be buzzing like a beehive. Bombshells has given her the opportunity to show exactly what a versatile and commanding performer she is.
Harper's timing was impeccable, her delivery polished, her stagecraft spot on.

Greymouth Star: 12 March 2007

Ali Harper is clearly an actor near the top of her game. In this performance the evidence is all there for the audience to see her ability to memorise two hours of dialogue, her sense of comic timing, and the way she brings diverse character roles to life.

In her performance as a cabaret singer she is able to display not only her comic ability but also her amazing voice.

 

JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS: Circa Theatre (Theatre)

John Smyth, NBR

As the show proceeds her true voice, versatility, intelligent understanding and deep emotional commitment shine through. Her impassioned lament for Marieke, in Flanders field, and the Song of Old Lovers, sung in French, followed by her duet with Matthew Pike of Brel’s best-know song, If You Go Away, are high points of the show.

John Bristed, Capital Times

The performers are by and large excellent, and Ali Harper is back in town. She is pleasantly partnered by Matthew Pike, Olivia Bryant, Nick Dunbar and Jason Chasland, and you could only say they sang their hearts out. Their efforts in songs like ‘Don’t leave me’ and ‘Songs of old lovers’ squeezed a few happy/sad tears here and there.

 

Maria von Trapp in THE SOUND OF MUSIC: The Court Theatre, Christchurch (Theatre)

Christchurch Press by Timothy Jones: December 2003 

Having been superb as Eliza Doolittle and Nellie Forbush, Ali Harper makes the hat-trick as a simply ideal Maria, a true singing actress in the very best tradition.

Christchurch Star by Barry Grant: December 2003

The casting is brilliant. Ali Harper is as good as we’ve seen her. Her open eyed, innocent Maria with the golden voice is superb.

Christchurch Press: 2002

“Ali Harper surpasses her very fine performance in last year’s My Fair Lady.”

 

SOUTH PACIFIC: The Court Theatre, Christchurch (Theatre)

Christchurch Star: 10th December 2002

Ali Harper, a performer of strikingly sincere intensity gives one hundred percent, especially in her songs, managing to look and act more like an American girl next door than many Americans.

The Listener

Ali Harper radiates a Julie Andrews-like purity and innocence as the naive Nellie. Harper sings beautifully too – her rendition of ‘I’m in Love With a Wonderful Guy’, is, well, wonderful – but it is her spirit and irrepressible charm that ultimately steals our hearts.

 

SONG AND DANCE: Wellington State Opera (Theatre)

National Business Review: 21st June 2002

Ali Harper excels as Emma, the English rose who opens herself to the world, gets hurt, hurts others and grows stronger as a result. With a beautifully centred actor’s sensibility, she draws us into the nameless character’s story. Because she neither over-emotes nor uses it as a platform for showing off her skills, our sense of her worth is the greater.

Dominion: 14th June 2002

Ali Harper is a tour de force, performing more than 20 songs as she relates all her boyfriend troubles to us via the letters home to mother. The song Tell Me on a Sunday had real poignancy and Harper deserved the enthusiastic applause.”

 

MY FAIR LADY: The Court Theatre, Christchurch (Theatre)

The Listener: 22nd December 2001

Ali Harper’s spirited Eliza is a passionate foil. Harper has a face that could brighten the dullest production, and in this one she shines like a beacon. She sings beautifully, too; it’s a relief when Eliza finally stops screeching and mangling her vowels late in act one and Harper soars into melodious song. She could have sung all night.

Christchurch Star: 16th December 2001

The show is Liza’s and Ali Harper is wonderful. She sings like an angel and easily convinces as both the raw cockney Liza and the stunning sophisticate. She can be very still, yet her emotional range is encompassing and she rings the changes with a cool confidence.

Christchurch Star: Editorial December 2001 

This Eliza sings better than Audrey Hepburn and has more gusto than Julie Andrews.

  

TELL ME ON A SUNDAY: Court II, Christchurch (Theatre)

Christchurch Press: 19th April 1999

A full house gave this show a standing ovation on opening night which was a tribute to the quality of Ali Harper’s performance. Working solo, with nothing but her own echo to bounce off, she performed effortlessly. She moved around the stage and fiddled with her props with an acutely directed precision that she made look natural. In truth, she gave us an object lesson in how to perform a song rather than merely sing it. She made the musical format look like a form of natural theatre rather than the highly contrived circus balancing act that it is. She achieved this through a range of facial expressions but also through a distinct enunciation of the lyrics so that, for once in a musical, the audience could understand every word. She made the show well worth a visit.

Christchurch Star: 19th April 1999

Ali Harper is wonderful. Looking a little like Marilyn Monroe meets Doris Day, Harper uses her powerful, true voice to good effect.

Theatre News: May 1999 

A one woman ‘tour de force’ is the description on the poster and it certainly is. Ali Harper took us through Lord Lloyd Webber’s one woman show with class, strength of voice and great diction. Ali’s performance is remarkable. The standing ovation and cheers at the show’s conclusion proved that here is someone with a gift of presence and voice. Her performance is slick, humorous and with at times a touch of pathos.

 

TELL ME ON A SUNDAY: Circa Theatre, Wellington (Theatre)

Evening Post: 5th October 1998

Ali Harper has a winning presence on stage. Her splendid singing, her fresh appealing blond good looks and her ability to project both the comedy and strong emotional undertow. She is a performer who is clearly going places.

Dominion: 7 October 1998

Ali Harper is stunningly pretty, with a clear, true singing voice and a charming stage presence. All this, and she can act too.

Capital Times: 12th October 1998

Harper was born for musical theatre. She moves well, looks great and above all has a fantastic voice.

 

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Ali's Manager

Ph: +64 3 355 4457
M: 027 207 7105
E: iain@aliharper.co.nz

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Karen Kay
M: (027) 497 3063
E: karen@actors.co.nz

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