They said it couldn't be done - that you could take a tribute show so clever and polished that it's performed at arts festivals around the world, yet still make it relevant for the corporate events market. But that's the unique position enjoyed by The Beatgirls as they become the only act to have performed at two consecutive Olympics Games organisers' events (Sydney and Athens).
In a reminder of the famous show-room revues of Las Vegas, The Beatgirls are a stage show bringing alive the music, fashions and dance of the eras they pay tribute to. With a trio of singers, amazing choreography, outrageous costumes and wild wigs, The Beatgirls cover six decades of music from the Andrews Sisters to 60's Girl Groups and Beatles, Disco, Abba right through the eras to artists of the 21st century such as Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga.
Whether it's the Olympics, a private party or corporate clients such as Hollywood's Peter Jackson and General Motors, The Beatgirls have earned a global reputation as the entertainers who can get the CEO on their feet.
Katy Couric at the Athens Olympics
When Katy Couric introduced The Beatgirls to NBC's The Today Show at the Athens Olympics in 2004, a huge television audience was seeing for itself what the corporate world already knew: that The Beatgirls could enliven any event with its song and dance shows. "We really enjoy what we're doing up there," says Andrea Sanders. "When performers like what they're doing, it lifts the whole room."
The Beatgirls has its roots in 1996, the year that guitarist and band leader Billy Watkins landed a regular spot at New Zealand's hottest venue. He decided on a twist: "It was a Beatles tribute show... but with three girls doing vocals."
The lead singer - Andrea Sanders - was also a dancer and choreographer, and the show quickly transformed. "Once Andrea brought dance and costumes into the show it was obvious the audiences wanted it." The repertoire expanded into girl-bands from the 1960s (Crystals, Shirelles, Ronettes etc.) and then into disco, which brought bigger costumes, more dance moves and wilder wigs.
Word spread about this tight, foot-tapping show and Watkins & Sanders formed a management company called Total Entertainment to deal with the corporate bookings. The show would eventually reach from The Andrews Sisters to J-Lo, using hi-tech music tracks pre-recorded in major studios. These days a Beatgirls' show is a professionally-produced blend of cabaret and rock concert which performs all over the world.