Cabaret

SHOW QUEEN : THIS SUNDAY NIGHT @ GINGER’S

 

SHOW QUEEN is Sydney’s favourite, most fabulous cabaret and musical theatre variety night.

Each month we feature a hand-picked lineup of Australia’s best and brightest musical stars and cabaret performers – direct from current and upcoming musicals in Sydney and around the country.

The event is hosted by and stars Trevor Ashley with musical direction by Bev Kennedy who is at the helm of a three piece band.

The Show Queen cast includes-

Daniel Belle (My Fair Lady)
Jennifer Peers (The Sound of Music)
Mark Trevorrow (Cabaret Royalty / Bob Downe)
Erin Cornell (Cats)
Ali Calder (Wicked)
Luigi Lucente (Jersey Boys)

Tickets: Reserved Seating (limited); General Admission (seats available on a first come, first in basis) when doors open.

DATE
Sunday 22 October – Door from 7pm at Gingers at the Oxford Hotel, 174 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.

For more about Show Queen, visit https://www.showqueen.com.au/
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BACKSTREET DIAMOND : FRINGE CABARET AT ITS BEST

What fun! BACKSEAT DIAMOND is exactly what I need in a Fringe Cabaret. Great characters, lots of laughs, fine singing and a conspiracy to boot! The brain child of Megan Kozak, the neatly written show has some terrific song choices. Lots of Motown and some soft rock, toe tappers and hands-in-the-air hits to the just sit back and enjoy soulful classics.

Beginning with ‘Aint No Mountain High Enough’ after a beehived, sexy split spangly dressed diva arrives to take her place at the back of the tiny stage. All the way at the back? At a lonely rear mic behind the 2 lead mics. Odd. And when the song starts there is something missing… the lyrics. Lovely orchestration by Mark ( Mark Chamberlain) at the keyboard but all we hear are the la la backing sounds. Something’s not right.

But not to worry, Mary is a charge taker. Since she was a young girl singing into her hairbrush she has yearned for this moment and with a “You don’t mind do you?” to the audience she launches in! Continue reading BACKSTREET DIAMOND : FRINGE CABARET AT ITS BEST

WAYNE TUNKS’ NEW PLAY ‘DIVA WARS’ @ THE NEW THEATRE

It’s such a lovely theatre time in Sydney in September. The weather is lovely and there is a plethora of lovely, reasonably priced shows as part of the Sydney Fringe. Doubly lovelerly, there is always something gay to be seen. The Queer Fringe, sequined blessings on the New Theatre for their stewardship, showcases community centred work.

And what do we get as part of the Queer Fringe? In the case of DIVA WARS, we get authenticity. There are seven men on stage here. Lovely looking each, I might say, and each holds dearly to a Diva who got them through … music to cry to, trial by media to find strength in and, not forgetting, style to emulate. Lemonade Salvation if you will. They sometimes fight among each other in a surprisingly aggressive laddish way, sometimes they speak directly to us but any didacticism is mitigated by vignettes which tell a story which brings all the characters together. And an inventive bit of audience participation in the middle. It’s pretty obvious that the on-stage characters are not the only Diva devotees. Continue reading WAYNE TUNKS’ NEW PLAY ‘DIVA WARS’ @ THE NEW THEATRE

MADISON MCKOY IN ‘YANK DOWN UNDER’ @ CITY RECITAL HALL

 

After a sold-out concert with his band at Sydney’s Factory Floor, Madison McKoy is getting back to basics with a piano and voice performance in his show YANK DOWN UNDER in their new late night cabaret style event 2 x 20 – September Edition.

In this concert you will be taken on a musical journey through Madison’s life growing up in America’s South.

You will hear about his days working in the tobacco fields, superstitions, church, family and haircuts. You might also  recognise songs by James Ingram, Burt Bacharach and Madison himself.

Madison has performed in the musical “Buddy”, “Miss Saigon”, “Sweet Charity” and “What The World Needs Now”.

His film roles include ‘Blood Money”, “2:22”, “South Pacific”, and “Looking For Natalie Wood”.

Madison performs around the traps to promote his soul/rnb CDs “10th Child” (2005) and “Deep Within” (1999). This guy also runs and directs The 8-Week Choir and he teaches English to speakers of other languages.

Doors open at 9:00 pm on Thursday 14 September. Performance is between 10-11pm. $10- no booking fee. The event is 18yrs+

http://www.madisonmckoy.com

For more about MADISON MCKOY in Yank Down Under @ 2 x 20 City Recital Hall Sydney, visit https://tickets.cityrecitalhall.com/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=3634
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BERNADETTE ROBINSON IN ‘THE SHOW GOES ON’ @ THE PLAYHOUSE

The ever amazing Bernadette Robinson (Songs For Nobodies, Pennsylvania Avenue) dazzles and delights in this sensational new show the world premiere season of THE SHOW GOES ON

We are left gasping at Robinson’s incredible range and talent as directed with great polish by Richard Carroll. The show is a tribute to several divas of roughly the last 75 years – including Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Maria Callas, Shirley Bassey, Patsy Cline, Julie Andrews and Edith Piaf.

Under Carroll’s direction the show is terrifically devised and structured as a showcase for Robinson’s phenomenal talent and voice and her uncanny ability to mimic some of the greatest voices of our era. Her seamless, smooth technique is incredible.

Robinson is on stage the entire time, supported by a splendid band led by Martine Wengrow. Continue reading BERNADETTE ROBINSON IN ‘THE SHOW GOES ON’ @ THE PLAYHOUSE

CABARET IN THE DAY : BROADWAY BABIES @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

A delightful and at times very moving Cabaret in The Day, the final of this year’s series, “ BROADWAY BABIES’ was at Mosman Art Gallery featuring the talents of maestro Glenn Amer and Adele Johnston.

The versatile, extremely impressive Amer needs no introduction to audience members of Cabaret in The Day. Johnston is a versatile artist excelling in a variety of genres including cabaret, musical comedy, opera, operetta, concert and lieder recitals. For this concert she was elegant in black and silver and – at least at the start- draped in a hot pink feather boa.

In this concert we were treated to a range of ‘The Greatest Hits’ from various musicals ranging from Annie Get Your Gun to Phantom of the Opera and more… Continue reading CABARET IN THE DAY : BROADWAY BABIES @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

Cabaret In The Day : I’ll Follow My Secret Heart @ Mosman Arts Gallery

Featured photo- singer Christopher Hamilton.

The second of the 2017 Cabaret In The Day season was the wonderful I’LL FOLLOW MY SECRET HEART, with maestro Glenn Amer on piano and starring Christopher Hamilton

Hamilton has appeared in many musicals and plays in both professional and community theatre including The Pirates of Penzance, Paris, A Song to Sing O!,Vice, Man of La Mancha, The Hatpin, The Producers, Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, The Venetian Twins and narrating Peter and the Wolf.

This show was a great nostalgia trip, with the performance looking at the career and songs of two of Britain’s greatest 20th Century songsmiths – the dashing Ivor Novello and the ultra sophisticated Noel Coward. Both composers remain the ‘gold standard’ of wit and romance, their works evergreen favourites.

The show opened stirringly with Novello’s 1914 patriotic Keep The Home Fires Burning . Amer then told us a bit about Novello’s life (he was described as ‘ the British Valentino ‘ , terribly handsome, who wrote seven musicals – yet apparently couldn’t sing!) .

Hamilton, dapper and very elegant in black and gold with cravat and tie pin, then launched into the liltingly romantic I Can Give You The Starlight from the 1939 musical The Dancing Years. Also from that musical we then heard the romantic infectious Waltz of My Heart . We then learnt that between the Wars Novello moved to Hollywood where he worked as a script doctor.

Amer then swept into the swirling passionate, longing, yearning title song from the 1935 Glamorous Night .

We then jumped to Novello’s comic songs and Hamilton then, through gritted teeth, performed the biting, witty And Her Mother Came Too.

Amer then talked further about Novello’s luxurious, flamboyant somewhat scandalous gay life and his links to and influences upon Coward. Amer then played Someday My Heart Will Awake from Novello’s King’s Rhapsody.

We then heard more about the rise and rise of Coward and how Novello’s work generally went out of fashion and he sadly passed away in 1951.

Amer and Hamilton performed one of Novello’s most famous songs We’ll Gather Lilacs from Perchance to Dream (1945).

Hamilton swiftly changed from his black to a white dinner jacket while Amer talked more about Coward and his various auto)biographies, letters, plays and aphorisms.

Another duet was enchantingly performed I’ll See You Again. We then heard the title song of this particular show I’ll Follow My Secret Heart, again as a duet , which lead to more discussion about how both Novello and Coward were gay with Coward being more discreet about it.

Hamilton then launched into Cowards’ Mad About The Boy.

Amer then talked about how Coward moved internationally (Bermuda, Jamaica , Switzerland) for tax reasons but always remained at heart an Englishman.

We then heard (with Big Ben chimes on the piano) the stirring, moving London Pride written during the 1941 Blitz. We then heard the jaunty , bouncy A Bar on the Piccolo Marina with its tongue twisting rhythms .This was followed by the delightful Dance Little Lady Dance with its emphatic rhythms . Amer then performed a powerful captivating solo Gypsy Melody on piano .

Next we jumped to the delicious witty Nina, with its infectious Latin rhythms and tongue twisting lyrics. We were then treated to a provoking, sarcastic and haughty Why Do the Wrong People Travel ? another duet for Amer and Hamilton.

Three classic Coward pieces followed: a breathless Mad Dogs and Englishmen, the witty I’ve Been to A Marvellous Party and the blistering, pleading, eventually furious Don’t Put Your Daughter On The Stage Mrs Worthington.

Amer gave a stellar performance of the rather strange Uncle Harry which was followed by a sad, reflective If Love Were All , which is regarded as autobiographical and is from Coward’s 1929 Bitter Sweet. The final song was a duet, a wistful, romantic version of The Dream is Over.

The audience vociferously cheered and applauded at the end leading to the encore of three Coward songs from his The Girl Who Came to SupperLondon, What Ho Mrs Briskett and the music hall like Saturday Night at the Rose and Crown.

We were then thanks by artistic director Melvyn Morrow and given a sneak peek of next week’s show Broadway Babies with the sizzling powerhouse Adele Johnston.

Running time 90 minutes without interval.

I’LL FOLLOW MY SECRET HEART,  part of the Cabaret in the Day concert series, took place at the Mosman Art Gallery on the 16th July.

CABARET IN THE DAY : YOU ARE MY HEART’S DELIGHT @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

 

This first concert in this year’s delightful series and included music by Johann Strauss, Franz Lehár and Imre Kalman.

Piano maestro Glenn Amer played and sang fabulously. Amer also played the role of narrator and enjoyed making incisive, witty comments.

We were whisked to Vienna and heard classics such as The Blue Danube,and selections from Die Fledermaus, The Gypsy Baron, The Merry Widow, The Land of Smiles, Countess Maritza, The Gypsy Princess and works by Richard Tauber, Joseph Schmidt and others.

Amer opened the program with a very dynamic, infectious selection of famous waltzes. He placed the waltz in social context and remarked how scandalous it was when it was first performed, even raising t,he chagrin of certain bishops in Germany.  Continue reading CABARET IN THE DAY : YOU ARE MY HEART’S DELIGHT @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

BEDLAM CABARET @ MARRICKVILLE’S RED RATTLER

For one night only Marrickville’s Red Rattler will be taken over by Company of Rogues to create their own little slice of Bedlam right here in Sydney.

Featuring performances from some  favourite local artists, musicians and performers – plus a surprise or two – it’s going to be a big Thursday night. And when the stage isn’t being lit up by Bedlam’s inmates you can play with their madhouse antics and soak up some cray cray at the bar.

So put on your formal straight jacket and dust off your bed straps because this is one fundraiser you do not want to miss!

Tickets just $35.

http://www.trybooking.com/POKN

DATE- 
Thursday 4 May 7-10 pm @ Red Rattler Marrickville

For more about Bedlam Cabaret, visit
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HIDDEN SYDNEY : IMMERSE YOURSELF IN A SINFULLY GOOD TIME

King Cross is a state of mind. No boundaries to its name, no limits to its life. Half a century later, however, has Kings Cross been crossed out?!

The production HIDDEN SYDNEY is back by popular demand for a strictly limited season. The production, featuring an all star cast, is an immersive cabaret celebrating Kings Cross in the 50s, 60s and 70s. The play is set over four floors of The Nevada, a former Sydney brothel which boasted the biggest bed in the world.

Theatregoers get to rub shoulders with a motley cast of characters including Bea  ​Bea Miles, Abe Saffron, Roie The Witch, Standover Jim and the iconic Les Girls.

Last drinks are served at the Chevron Silver Spade.

DETAILS- 

May 25 2017 until June 18th 2017 at the Nevada, the World Bar, Bayswater Road, Kings Cross.

For more about Hidden Sydney returns for Vivid, visit http://www.bloodmoontheatre.com/
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DIAMONDS ARE FOR TREVOR @ THE CONCERT HALL SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Accompanied by a stunning 24-piece orchestra lead by the iconic Musical Director John Foreman, Trevor Ashley is returning to Sydney Opera House on Thursday, March 2, this time at the Concert Hall, with his acclaimed two-act show, DIAMONDS ARE FOR TREVOR, celebrating Dame Shirley Bassey’s 80th birthday in what will be the official curtain raiser for the 2017 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Nominated for three Helpmann Awards (Les Miserables, Fat Swan, Diamonds Are For Trevor) Trevor Ashley says that, The Shirley Bassey songbook is full of incredible songs, and I can’t wait to sing many of them again on a special night.”

With dazzling costumes designed by Academy Award® winner Tim Chappel, and armed with his trademark humour and unrivalled set of lungs, Ashley will perform dozens of Shirley Bassey hits as he takes you on a tour of her life – complete with feathers, flash and frequent diva tantrums.

Doors to the Concert Hall open at 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm.

Tickets are on sale now through http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/diamonds_are_for_trevor.aspx.

 

THE CLASSIC ‘CABARET’ COMES TO THE HAYES THEATRE

This is quite the experience seeing one of the great Broadway musicals performed in the tiny, boutique venue that is the Hayes Theatre.

CABARET begins with naive young American writer Clifford Bradshaw arriving in jazz-age Berlin, determined to live life to the full. Bradshaw gets much more than he bargained for during his time in the German capital, and he leaves the city as the scourge of Nazism takes hold, a very different and much more worldly man.

From all vantage points Nicholas Christo’s production is impressive. First to the principal cast:

Jason Kos gives a warm, winning performance as the sensitive young writer.

Paul Capsis is mesmerising as the Cabaret’s cutting emcee, forever ‘telegraphing’ the fate that is soon to befall Germany.

Chelsea Gibbs grabs the role of Sally Bowles, one of the great parts in musical theatre, and makes it her own. Her version of the title song is incandescent and deserved the strong audience reaction that it received.

So good to see this production entice three veterans of the Australian theatre back to the stage.

Kate Fitzpatrick plays the tough and money hungry German Fraulein Schneider who runs a salubrious boarding house in which Herr Bradshaw takes lodgings.

John O’May is terrific as her shy, charming long time Jewish beau, the perfect gentlemen, forever buying her gifts.

Markus Graham plays the part of Ernst Ludwig, a local who befriends Bradshaw when he arrive in Berlin and shows him the nightlife of Berlin, and ends up being a very sinister figure.

Debora Krizak is just right as Fraulein Schneider’s wild natured scallywag boarder Fraulein Kost who always a sailor or two in her boudoir.

Christo’s set and staging, and Kelley Abbey’s choreography work well. A crack Kit Kat Club band led by pianist Lindsay Partridge, situated behind luscious satin curtains (and sometimes a scrim), play in a rousing fashion all the way through, with a particular highlight a red hot trumpet player.

James Browne’s production design was very effective. A few small cabaret dining tables were set up at the front of the stage to add to add ambience, with a few lucky patrons getting the best seats in the house.

A constant refrain through the play was the use of Kit Kat club performers, eerily looking on at the seedy action from either side of the stage.

Costumes (unattributed in the program), make-up by Mariel McClorey, wig and hair design by Drew-Elizabeth Johnstone and atmospheric, smokey lighting by Rob Sowinski were outstanding.

Recommended, CABARET is playing the Kit Kat Club, no I mean the Hayes Theatre until March 5. The production is then set to go to Melbourne, at the Athenaeum Theatre, at the beginning of May.

YANA ALANA COVERED @ THE MERITON FESTIVAL VILLAGE

“It if don’t fit … don’t force it or you’re gonna make your momma mad.” The 1939 ditty by Barrel House Annie reinterpreted by the gorgeous, grandiose, garish, gifted diva provocateur. All hail YANA ALANA.

When casting around for companions to come with me, way too many said no, mostly after viewing the video on the Festival website. Quoting one of my friend’s text exactly “I pity you having to sit through that dear Judith”. Boy is he wrong. Couldn’t be wronger. So I am out to spread the word, to proselytise in the name of Yana.

Do not miss this show! YANA ALANA COVERED is cabaret at its brassy, brilliant best. Some kind of bastard child from Meow Meow and Bette Midler in her heyday. Continue reading YANA ALANA COVERED @ THE MERITON FESTIVAL VILLAGE

SPIEGELESQUE @ THE ITALIAN FORUM PIAZZA

The Spiegel’esque show put out an invitation that was  impossible to refuse…Leave your real life at the door and come and enjoy the show. It’s an invitation, a promise, that this show delivers on.

Ushers, suitably attired, escorted to our seats in the Spiegel Zelt – a magnificent 97 year old Spiegeltent – which  now calls Australia home after its recent purchase by the Vass Group. It is a warm, intimate venue featuring velvet canopies, cut-glass mirrors and romantic booths, and seats just 120 people. Continue reading SPIEGELESQUE @ THE ITALIAN FORUM PIAZZA

VELMA VEGAS PRESENTS THE VEGAS LOUNGE CABARET

For last year’s Mardi Gras, Velma Vegas played to sold out houses at the Seymour Centre portraying Judy Garland, Barbra, Streisand, Liza Minellei and Bette Middler amongst others! And in 2015, she starred in SCREAMERS! (Best Musical Theatre/Cabaret, Sydney Fringe).

Velma will be back at the 2017 Sydney Mardi Gras to rock the Seymour Centre again in a brand new live cabaret show for Sydney – The Vegas Lounge! It’s a raucous rollercoaster ride through the best of disco, pop, and diva classics from the 60s to today! Continue reading VELMA VEGAS PRESENTS THE VEGAS LOUNGE CABARET

CABARET IN THE DAY – POISONING PIGEONS IN THE PARK @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

For the latest ( and, sad to say, last in the season for the moment ) Cabaret In the Day at Mosman Art Gallery, under the terrific direction of Melvyn Morrow we had a superb POISONING PIGEONS IN THE PARK, a deliciously witty, subversive performance celebrating the wondrous talents of singer/songwriter/social satirist Tom Lehrer.

Lehrer, now retired, was a mathematics and musical theatre lecturer and has a massive cult following. His songs often parody popular song forms although often creating original melodies while doing so. He is best known for the darkly humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and ’60s.

In the 1960s, he produced a number of songs dealing with social and political issues of the day, particularly when he wrote for the U.S. version of the television show That Was the Week That Was. He has also translated The Wizard of OZ into Latin and this is still regarded as the standard Latin version today. Despite their topical subjects and references, his songs are still enormously popular. Especially close attention must be paid to his acerbic , witty , subversive lyrics . Continue reading CABARET IN THE DAY – POISONING PIGEONS IN THE PARK @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

CABARET IN THE DAY – OF BING I SING @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

Rob Palmer
Rob Palmer

The latest in the Cabaret in the Day series at Mosman Art Gallery was Of Bing I Sing , saluting Bing Crosby (1903 -1977 ) , the legendary 20th century American crooner and movie star.

Recording more than 1700 songs, Crosby’s distinctive warm bass-baritone voice made him the best-selling recording artist of the 20th century, having sold over one billion records, tapes, compact discs and digital downloads around the world.

Written and directed by Melvyn Morrow, it was presented as a dialogue between Glenn Amer ( ‘” the musical mastermind of Moss Vale ‘’) who has ‘’ the fingers of Liberace and the voice of Mario Lanza” and a collection of 378 78 format style recordings of Crosby, and Rob Palmer, star of Better Homes and Gardens and Dancing With the Stars.

Amer at the shiny black piano was dressed in a dapper suit , Palmer in front of a large black and silver mike was far more casual in a t-shirt and denim. Palmer was tanned and had a dazzling cheeky grin .Palmer had a long introductory monologue explaining how the two met. Continue reading CABARET IN THE DAY – OF BING I SING @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

CABARET IN THE DAY : GILBERT AND SULLIVAN FOREVER @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

The first of this year’s Cabaret in the Day series as excellently directed by Melvyn Morrow was the wonderful ‘Gilbert and Sullivan forever!’ starring Andrew O’Keefe and Glenn Amer.

The best of G&S in an hour and a half was presented by O’Keefe (The Chase, Weekend Sunrise) who is a Mosmanite, and Amer who has been described as ‘the man with the fingers of Liberace and the voice of Mario Lanza ‘.

Together they become a cast of hundreds as we dashed exuberantly through some of Gilbert and Sullivans much loved operettas as well as some rarely heard works too. Continue reading CABARET IN THE DAY : GILBERT AND SULLIVAN FOREVER @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

BROADWAY REVERSED @ MOSMAN ART GALLERY

broadway10This is an evening of Broadway Cabaret with a reverse twist! Old and new Broadway songs performed as you’ve never heard them before. Book a table at the Mosman Art Gallery. Ticket price includes a welcome glass of champagne and a cheese platter for the table. The event is BYO (no cans!).

You can book a whole table or part of a table – please try not to leave single seats on tables.

Friday 18 November 8pm Opening night
Saturday 19 November 2pm
Saturday 19 November 8pm
Sunday 20 November 2pm
Friday 25 November 8pm
Saturday 26 November 2pm
Saturday 26 November 8pm Closing night

Ticket prices:
Adults $40
Concession $32
Children $22

$2 from each ticket sold will go to ACON as a charity donation to support their work with Mental Health, HIV Prevention, HIV Support, and Safety & Inclusion.

For more about Broadway Reversed, visit
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LIZA’S BACK (IS BROKEN) @ THE HAYES THEATRE

All images by Ben Apfelbaum.

This cabaret gem was created by Trevor Ashley (as Liza), Phil Scott and Max Lambert.

Liza Minnelli is a Broadway legend and when she performed a few years ago at the Opera House, she garnered rave reviews.  However the writing trio noticed that her appearances on the musical stage have been infrequent and she has only sung in a couple of true movie musicals.

In another universe where she has performed in all the great and more recent Broadway musicals, how would she have sung in A Little Night Music, Wicked, Cats or Sunset Boulevarde? Well…Trevor Ashley answers these questions when his Liza sings a Broadway repertoire which she never has, but possibly should have.
Continue reading LIZA’S BACK (IS BROKEN) @ THE HAYES THEATRE

BIJOU – A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION @ DEPOT THEATRE MARRICKVILLE

Bijou 3 snap (1)

A grotesque and entertaining French cabaret is the latest production at The Depot Theatre. Chrissie Shaw’s Bijou is a faded character from early twentieth century Paris. She was a sought after beauty, a collector of jewelry, a singer, a dancer, a great hostess and a seedy operator when times were hard.

Her dramatic entrance in a glorious costume tells the audience we are in the presence of a great performer, although slightly tarnished by years of alcohol assisted depravity. She has wandered into a bar and cajoles the piano player into playing songs to her liking, and plays up to the audience to extract coins and drinks from them. Continue reading BIJOU – A CABARET OF SECRETS AND SEDUCTION @ DEPOT THEATRE MARRICKVILLE

DIVALICIOUS- LICENCE TO TRILL @ UTZON ROOM SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

In DIVALICIOUS –LICENCE TO TRILL, two devious divas apply James Bond tactics as they try to outwit, out sing and out trill each other.

Since they became nationally known in their DivaLicious performances on TV’s “Australia’s Got Talent” and “The Voice”, these two opera-trained sopranos, Fiona Cooper Smyth and Penny Shaw, have expanded their corporate repertoire and toured their two shows ‘Opera Rocks’ (reviewed in Sydney Arts Guide in 2015) and ‘Licence to Trill’.

Flirtatious and audacious, they flaunt their ambition and other attributes to capture variously the hearts, minds, votes and wallets of their audiences and audition judges.
Though operating as a duo, they each try to be the only diva on stage. They admit that they were and still are “divas-in-waiting” with the song, “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables. Continue reading DIVALICIOUS- LICENCE TO TRILL @ UTZON ROOM SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

PHELAN GROOVY @ SLIDE IN AUGUST

After conjuring his inner Patrick Swayze in a national tour of Dirty Dancing,  Kurt Phelan brings his brand new cabaret, PHELAN GROOVY to Slide on 17 August – a hilarious, access all areas romp into his mind both on and off stage.

The production is part biographical, part behind-the-scenes voyeurism and all entertainment.

PHELAN GROOVY
Date: Wednesday 17 August
Time: 7pm dinner/ 8pm show
Venue: Slide, 41 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Cost: 3 Course Dinner & Show $89pp (groups $80), $44 show only
Bookings: slide.com.au or 8915 1899

For more about Phelan Groovy, visit http://slide.com.au/shows/kurtphelan/#1441252401694-bd7449c5-c4c5f945-d274084b-3efb
Find him on: YouTube | Facebook

AT LAST – THE ETTA JAMES STORY @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

At Last- main

Production photography by Matt Deller.

AT LAST – THE ETTA JAMES STORY saw its world premiere in 2013 and since then has played to packed theatres throughout Australia and New Zealand. Having recently completed a sell-out season at Arts Centre Melbourne the  show came to the  Sydney Opera House, for just one week.

Starring the sensational Vika Bull the show tells the story of soul legend Etta James turbulent life and features some of her most beloved songs including Tell Mama, It’s A Man’s World, I’d Rather Go Blind, her iconic signature song At Last and many more.

Vika puts her heart and soul into this unforgettable show and is joined on stage by The Essential R&B Band – seven talented, multi-instrumentalist musicians. At times their enthusiasm and the sound system encroached a little on Vika’s message.

On the night I went, the lighting lagged just behind the narrators as they moved forward to reveal another peak or trough in her tale. The backdrop of a few black and white period photographs, whilst appropriate, was a bit stagnant. More changes and a few more scenes in the backdrops may have added interest.

The arrangement of songs interspersed with narration flowed well, with the relatively low-key end of the two Acts being sealed by Vika’s high energy encore.

Etta’s story is an engrossing one. During a long career she won six Grammy Awards and a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Etta James influenced a vast array of artists from Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, to Amy Winehouse and Adele. Sadly, her frantic recording and touring schedule coincided with her ever-growing addiction problems including doing time in jail. She not only sang the blues…she lived the blues.

Mercifully, her passion for life and strength of character saw her conquer her demons and she continued to record and perform into her seventies. This is her story. The night ended with Vika receiving a standing ovation. I am sure she will have others, as Etta herself frequently enjoyed, over many decades of performing.

http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/at_last_2016.aspx

JOANNA WEINBERG’S PANDORA’S BAG @ HAYES THEATRE

Above- Sarah Tari as Chantelle. Featured - Joanna Weinberg on piano with the band
Above- Sarah Tari as Chantelle. Featured – Joanna Weinberg with the band

The Hayes Theatre Company in Kings Cross partners independent producers and artists, championing small scale musical theatre and cabaret.  Its 2016 cabaret season runs from June 13th to July 10th.

A highlight of the season is Joanna Weinberg’s cabaret PANDORA’S BAG, a delightful, witty parody of women’s lives as seen through their most indispensible of accessories, the handbag.

Weinberg has written thirteen one woman shows, and in this, her fourteenth, PANDORA’S BAG, she is accompanied on her piano by three fabulous female jazz musicians, Kate Adams on cello, Nicola Ossher on drums and percussion and Ellen Kirkwood, who also does heart-warming harmonies, on trumpet. Continue reading JOANNA WEINBERG’S PANDORA’S BAG @ HAYES THEATRE