Be Like Billy?

Aotearoa's newest Māori cabaret is hui-hopping around Aotearoa this September and October! 

“Be Like Billy? will surely go down as a true taonga of Aotearoa’s theatre history” - Backstage Christchurch | Belinda Cullen Reid

Join the award-winning entertainer, Rutene Spooner as he celebrates the show-band legacy, idolises the greatest Māori showman, and tussles with the future of Māori in entertainment.

Featuring the flashest southern showband The Tekīra Mutton Birds, Be Like Billy? strums up all new and original waiata, garage party classics and old-school hits from the likes of Uncle Howie, The Prince of Jandels and Te legend, Te master, Te chuckling funny-fala.

Be Like Billy? is everything but an impersonation show. Can you Be like Billy without being the butt of the joke?

“Spooner lays out this complexity for us in a show that starts with joy and celebration, with nostalgia, then pivots to something more complex when the audience is confronted with the division between laughing at and laughing with”Flat City Field Notes | Erin Harrington


Creator - Rutene Spooner
Director - Holly Chappell-Eason
Musical Director - Henare Kaa
Kaiawhina - Juanite Hepi
Set Design - Rosie Gillmore
Lighting Design / Operator - Molloy
Audio Engineer / Company Manager - Matt Eller
Graphic Design - George Wallace
Production Manager - Emily Hakaraia (PANNZ)
Producer - Metro Maori Productions Ltd
Script Advisor - Gregg Cooper
Music - Various composers
Original Compositions - Rutene Spooner
Musical Arrangements - Henare Kaa

Performer - Rutene Spooner
Musical Director / Drums - Henare Kaa
Guitar - Heather Webb
Base - Clayton Hiku
Keys - Jack Bubb

Originally commissioned by The Court Theatre, produced by Metro Māori Productions and presented as part of the PANNZ (Performing Arts Network New Zealand) touring programme.

Special thanks to Pilot Productions, Eruera Pirini, Tom Eason, Kate McGill, Dolina Weihipeihana, Silhouette Studios, Showbiz Christchurch, Andi Crown, Charlie Rose Photography.

Recommended for ages 15+. Contains some strong language and adult themes.

Show Dates and Bookings

Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival, Rotorua

Te Haumako, Sir Howard Morrison Centre

Saturday, 14th September - 7pm


Carterton Events Centre

Wednesday, 18th September - 7:30pm

Māorilands, Ōtaki

Māorilands Hub

Saturday, 21st September - 7pm

Kōanga Festival

Te Pou Theatre, Auckland

Wednesday, 25th September - 7:30pm

Kōanga Festival

Te Pou Theatre, Auckland

Thursday, 26th September - 7:30pm

Kōanga Festival

Te Pou Theatre, Auckland

Friday, 27th September - 8pm

Kōanga Festival

Te Pou Theatre, Auckland

Saturday, 28th September - 8pm

Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival


Friday, 4th October - Times and Ticket details TBC

Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival


Saturday, 5th October - Times and Ticket details TBC