Like 8 Mile out of Precious, PATTI CAKE$ is a rock solid cinematic rap to dreams, aspirations and perseverance.
Written, directed, and with original music and songs by Geremy Jasper, the film stars Danielle Macdonald, an Australian actress fallen on her feet in the American film market.
Macdonald plays the titular Patti Cake$, a Jersey girl tending bar, doing casual catering gigs, and dreaming of making it in the music business as a rap artist. Patti’s rich inner life is depicted in hallucinatory sequences that turn classic hip-hop tropes into surreal dreams, giving the film a delightful dose of cinematic splendour. Continue reading PATTI CAKE$ : A UNIQUE AND ORIGINAL CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE→
GHOST JAM! at the Giant Dwarf Theatre will pack the world’s best ghost tales into an hour of whirlwind action for adults and kids ages 5 to 12.
Theatregoers are invited to join enigmatic storyteller Lafcadio (comedian Sean Murphy) and the mischievous Kitsune (musician Sophie Unsen of Taikoz) on a silly, spooky journey through traditional Japanese folklore complete with booming live music.
The show’s producers say audiences should be prepared to enjoy gasps, giggles and ghoulish good times!
Performances: Wednesday 27th – Saturday 29th September (10:30am and 12:30pm daily) at the Giant Dwarf Theatre, 199 Cleveland Street, Redfern.
Doors open 30 minutes before each performance.
Duration – 60 minutes.
Prices: Adult $17.50, Child $16.00, Group of 5+ $15.00.
The good folk at the Ambush Gallery in Waterloo are inviting members of the public along to their Spring Party where you enjoy free food, drink and music and listen to some lightning talks by local identities who started at the very bottom and have become success stories in their own right.
The talks will be given by Camilla Gulli, Content Marketing Lead at Vodaphone Australia, Adam Jacobs, Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Iconic,Mary Huang, Founder of The Indigo Project and Caroline Shields, Co-Founder of Be An Unfucker.
The event will take place at the Ambush Gallery, 4 James Street, Waterloo between 6-9 pm on the 22nd September.
Aboriginal art, crafts, bush foods and entertainment will fill Sydney’s spectacular harbour headland park as the iconic Blak Markets return to Barangaroo Reserve.
The open-air market will feature more than 20 stalls selling unique handmade items, accessories, jewellery, art, photography and bush tucker by Aboriginal makers and food producers from around NSW, plus paintings from South Australia’s highly awarded APY Art Centre Collective.
Soak up family-friendly entertainment with live music by singer-songwriter Rebecca Hatch, dance workshops with the Ngaran Ngaran traditional dancers, hunter-gather performances by Larry Brandy Storytellers and a bush tucker cooking demonstration with celebrity chef, The Black Olive (Mark Olive).Continue reading BLAK MARKETS @ BARANGAROO RESERVE→
Theatre foyers these days are too often the province of the middle aged and older. How refreshing it was then to see such a young crowd mingling pre show.
We had all come to see 13 THE MUSICAL, book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, which premiered on Broadway back in 2009.
This was the return season of this show which was originally presented by the Chatswood Musical Society. This production was brought to us by the newly formed theatre Company, Brand New You, in association with The Annex Dance and Arts Centre.
Hunters Hill Theatre’s A LETTER FROM THE GENERAL is everything you want in a night out at a community theatre. An entertaining show with committed performances, chatty and engaged audience members, friendly and professional front of house staff and as a bonus … really, really good coffee.
The play opens on a bamboo lined set and with the insect cacophony of the audio track we are obviously somewhere tropical. An infectiously enthusiastic young nun bustles in searching for an implement to fix the wire of the chicken coop. In her noisy and excitable poking around, she is obviously disturbing an older, more sombre Sister who is sitting at the desk focused on cataloguing some text books.
It is the 1950s in a nameless country as Chinese communism assumes political power and begins to oust foreigners. The nunnery is part of what used to be a mission school and child refuge. Now there are only five Sisters left and their priest has been arrested and tortured. The local British representative is closing up his consulate and heading out of the country too. Continue reading HUNTER’S HILL THEATRE PRESENTS ‘A LETTER FROM THE GENERAL’→
Production photography by Rupert Reid Photography.
Darkness edges the two figures who appear before us. The shadowy stage lights have crept up to wash the tiny downstage area with a yellow tinged late afternoon falling. They are hard to make out these two schoolkids with their bored skatepark slouching. The effort of peering seems to blur them more.
They will pull us, disturbed and fearful for them, into their fragile, adolescent lives in ninety minutes of engrossing theatre yet the playwright, director and cast of MOTH (atyp) conspire to be unreliable narrators. Claryssa and Sebastian will never really take shape. They will flutter just beyond our understanding and will beat their wings wildly to warn us away. At the end of the play, as these creations melt back into darkness and we emerge blinking into the light, we are slow and panicky in our anxiety for the young people around us and the world we are leaving them. Continue reading MOTH : FRAGILE ADOLESCENT LIVES EXPOSED IN DECLAN GREENE’S NEW PLAY→
Prior to the performance there was a pre-concert talk by Mark Grandison. His exposition of the works by Borodin and Brahms was by itself worth attending…highly illuminating without lapsing into a dirge of technicalities.
The Omega Ensemble is another nascent rising star on the Australian Music Scene. It was founded in 2005 and Simone Young is its current patron. Much loved composer George Palmer is also a supporter.
The Legion of Mary may well take out a fatwa on this Lady of Fatima inversion of Rosemary’s Baby.
MOTHER has a shocking, literally scorching pre title sequence. Fire and ash give way to verdant vistas, a pristine secluded paradise, an Eden of solitude.
The Adam, credited as Him, is a writer, a poet suffering writer’s block. The Eve, credited as Mother, is his handmaiden, renovating their rural abode, cooking, cleaning, creating a space for him to create. They are newly married yet the union has yet to be consummated.
Into their universe of two, someone comes a knocking, a tubercular doctor, a chain-smoking quack seeking succour. Continue reading MOTHER→
Last time Judi Dench was directed by Stephen Frears, she was nominated for an Oscar.
The film was Philomena.
The last time Judi Dench played Queen Victoria, she was nominated for an Oscar. The film was Mrs. Brown. That was twenty years ago.
Sadly, VICTORIA & ABDUL is not up to the calibre of these preceding films, however there is no denying the technical virtuosity and sheer screen presence of Judi Dench.
Here she plays the Queen as a moribund, morbidly obese monarch obsessed with her bowel movements. Nobody does bedpan as dead pan as Judy!
This supposed true story unfolds thus:
In 1887,Abdul, played by Ali Fazal, a tall Muslim bookkeeper travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, a task allocated to him merely because he is tall. He is tutored in protocol which he breaks and Queen Victoria is quite amused, beginning an unlikely relationship, reminiscent of the Mr. Brown infatuation. Indeed, the court refers to Abdul as “the brown Brown”.
It is in Scotland that Victoria’s history with John Brown resonates and strengthens her new bond with Abdul. Screenwriter, Lee Hall, observes Glassalt Shiel was Victoria’s remote, private little house where she would retire to be on her own, sometimes with John Brown. After his death, she had avoided going there. But from the diaries found, she took Abdul there. Hall and Frears tap into the resonating romance to the place; they share an appreciation of the glorious landscape. The Queen and Abdul grow closer. Continue reading VICTORIA AND ABDUL→
This was a stirring, passionate concert with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in fine, elegant form.
Under the baton of guest director and violin soloist Henning Kraggerud, the concert celebrated the music of Norway’s best known composer. It was multi layered and displayed a great range. There was fine ensemble playing and some very exiting mini solos.
Special guest of the Orchestra, Henning Kraggerud, Artistic Director of the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra , is renowned for his interpretation of Grieg and his extraordinary creative versatility, with a career that his seen him playing many different roles from being an Artistic Director to composer, performer, arranger and even and improviser. He spends much of his time touring the world as a concert soloist and has written over 200 compositions.
Rockdale Musical Society’s DREAMGIRLS is a vibrant, highly entertaining production of this Tony Award and Olivier Award-winning musical.
With music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen the musical is based on the show business aspirations and successes of rhythm and blues acts such as The Supremes.
DREAMGIRLS tells the story of a young female singing trio called “The Dreams” that crosses over to the pop charts in the 1960s to become music superstars, but at a price.
Dreamgirls is not just about exciting singing and dancing as it reveals the behind-the-scenes reality of the entertainment industry, the rivalries, the heartbreak and the tough business side of success.
The original trio, Deena Jones played by Sasha-Lee Saunders, Lorrell Robinson played by Jade Montalvo and Effie White played by Kaleigh Wilkie-Smith all have true, strong voices which harmonise beautifully together. My pick of the performances was by Claudio Acosta who plays Jimmy Early, a popular rhythm and blues star, with whom the Dreamettes, as the trio are originally known, are backup singers for. Continue reading DREAMGIRLS : A FUN AND GLITTERING RIDE @ ROCKDALE TOWN HALL→
The two year process has not been easy. Relationships are strained and the pinpoint vision of the eponymous artist has blurred. Yet he creates, before our eyes, his masterpiece. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte arrives fully realised as the first act finale of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE.
When I saw the original version on Broadway in 1984 my heart stopped at this sequence. Georges Seurat’s painting flew in as a scrim to be magically framed by staging. It was breathtaking and transformative. I’m not the only one who reveres the show either. A quick search on YouTube shows how many people still engage with and comment on those grainy videos of the original.
So, how do you reinvent a legend? If Sondheim can seamlessly transport one art form to another then surely an up-and-coming Theatre Company like Little Triangle can mount a fully realised reimagining even on an odd shaped stage in a revamped military shed on reclaimed swampland with a rich indigenous and community heritage as part of the Sydney Fringe. They sure can! And the painting is created with as much power and integrity as that seminal production.
From the team who brought you the comedy podcast with currently over 70 million downloads, comes their live show.
My Dad Wrote a Porno is a free online podcast with British hosts Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine. Each week, Jamie reads a chapter from a series of erotic fiction novels entitled Belinda Blinked, while Alice and James react and add in commentary. Belinda Blinked is written by Morton’s Northern Irish father who goes by the pen name Rocky Flintstone. The books centre around Belinda Blumenthal, a sales member of Steeles Pots and Pans. The show has featured episodes with celebrity guests who are fans of the character’s antics within the books. The podcast has just finished the third book in the series.
Featured image- Yasmin Arkinstall as Suzanne and Ted Crosby as Figaro. Photographs by Tom Massey.
‘Figaro. Figaro, Figaro’…I can hear you singing. But, hey no, this isn’t the opera. The Genesian Theatre Company is putting on a production of the recent hit adaptation, by Charles Morey, of the play by Beaumarchais which was made into a classic opera by Mozart.
Morey’s adaptation is plenty of fun with the focus being on the scheming between the main participants. The show plays out likes a great game of chess between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fisher. Strategy and cunning are everything….
The play features four main players; two are royalty, two are servants…The servants, Figaro, the man servant to the Count, wants to marry Suzanne, the housemaid to the Countess.
The Countess has no issues in regards to the marriage. The Count however does Why? Because the beautiful, sexy Suzanne has been his mistress for quite some time. He won’t be able to continue his shenanigans if Suzanne ties the knot…
As part of Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival, Maddie Parker took to The Terminal stage with Plus One guest Kate Coates to deliver a two-man improv bonanza. First stop was the Tropic of Capricorn, a wildcard location suggested by an audience member and warmly embraced by the duo.
The improv adventure took performers all the way across the globe, trekking to the Tropic of Capricorn in order to have a very serious meeting about overdue rent – the illogical demands of a controlling and pedantic housemate, alas, we’ve all been there.
Without the help of further audience suggestions, the duo improvised a full 40-minute show from spontaneous scenes of pretentious smoothie-drinking hipsters through to plotting geriatrics who will stop at nothing to get to the godly chocolate mousse on the nursing home menu. If ‘smashing your face in’ with a walking stick guarantees chocolate mousse forevermore, then it’s a small price to pay, right?Continue reading MADDIE PARKER – PLUS ONE : PART OF SYDNEY FRINGE COMEDY FESTIVAL→
SISTERHOOD is a wonderful inclusion in QUEER SCREEN FILM FEST 2017. The film is soulful and uplifting despite the pathos of the mystery at its heart. And it has superbly realised relationships to touch the heart of any woman who has had a best female friend. It was the only Macau film at the inaugural Macau International Film Festival in December 2016, where it won two awards including the “Eye of the Audience” award.
We meet Sei. In her late thirties, she runs a Taiwan Guest House with her husband, Chen. She has fallen again and her doctor is tired of treating injuries caused by her alcoholism. “Should I give up drinking?” Sei asks of her husband. “It’d do you good but I want you to be happy.” There is unresolved grief on both faces.
A public notice in the paper will lead Sei back to Macau where, 15 years ago, she applied for a job at a massage parlour. Seen in flashback with a younger cast, Sei’s past will collide with a post-handover Macau. Her story, both the exuberantly hopeful younger self and the remote, self-medicated adult, will explicate a sisterhood of four best friends.Continue reading SISTERHOOD : PART OF QUEER SCREEN FILM FEST 2017→
Only a limited window of an extended long weekend opens for the 12th Latin American Film Festival, but it’s chock full of films you may not see otherwise.
A highlight is the Ricardo Darin starrer, KOBLIC, about an ex Argentinian top gun who rebels at his government’s policy of taking political dissidents up in his aircraft and jettisoning them sans parachute.
Without doubt, my favourite golf movie is Goldfinger.
The sequence where James Bond and Auric Goldfinger club it out for a bar of Nazi bullion is full of suspense, tension, drama and wry humour.
The sequence cemented Sean Connery’s love of the game – he became obsessed with it. Fitting, then, that his son Jason, has directed the film TOMMY’S HONOUR, about a couple of sporting legends and pioneers of the multi-billion dollar industry that thrives on green fees and tees.
By rights, the story of Old Tom Morris and his son Young Tommy ought to be known the world over. Old Tom, Master greens keeper of the iconic St. Andrews Links, struck the very first ball at the inaugural Open Championship in 1860, going on to win the tournament on four occasions. His extraordinary feats were matched by teenage prodigy Young Tommy soon after – establishing the Morris family at the forefront of the emerging sport, and as the pride of their countrymen.
Featured image – The Pretty Face Of Domesticity 2014 (c) Jenny Watson
Jenny Watson is a leading Australian artist whose conceptual painting practice spans more than four decades. Curated by MCA Curator Anna Davis, this survey exhibition features works from the 1970’s to the present, including examples of Watson’s early realist paintings and drawings and a number of key series of works on fabric.
Inspired by both punk and feminism, she has travelled widely since the 1970’s and utilises textiles collected on her travels as the surface of many of her paintings, which also often include collages materials such as images from magazines, horse’s hair, ribbons, bows and sequins.
Many of Watson’s works feature self portraits and altar egos, a cast of long haired women, horses, rock guitarists and cats who enact life’s ongoing psychodramas.
This exhibition is on until 2nd October, 2017 at the MCA.
Featured image – Maha Wilson, Helena Sawires, Osamah Sami, Frances Duca. All Photos by Ben Apfelbaum.
ALI’S WEDDING was chosen to be the opening night film of AACTA’s Festival of Australian Film.
The film was the winner of Foxtel Movies Audience Award at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival and the Age Critic’s Award at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival. The film was chosen to be the opening night film of AACTA’s Festival of Australian Film.
After a ‘white lie’ which spirals out of control a neurotic, naive and musically gifted Muslim cleric’s eldest son must follow through with an arranged marriage. The only problem is that he is madly in love with an Australian born Lebanese girl.
The film has been directed by Jeffrey Walker and features a fine cast including Osamah Sami, Helena Sawires, Maha Wilson and Frances Duca.
An affectionate and entertaining story of love and duty ALI’S WEDDING opened nationally on 31st August.
In Maurice McLoughlin’s poignant play A LETTER FROM THE GENERAL, a revolution has taken place in the Far East in 1950 and the nuns who work at a mission for orphaned children are ordered to leave.
One of the nuns receives a letter from the General, who is the new Governor of the Province, which has a profound impact on the decision to stay or go.
Rev. Mother: Robyn Williams
Sister Henry: Linda Young
Sister Lucy: Courtney Gibson
Sister Bridget: Janet Shay
Sister Magdalen: Carole Grace
Ruth Stilton: Paula Searle
Arthur Stilton: Christopher Clark
Capt. Lee: Dan Ferris
Father Schiller: Michael Richmond
Director: Jennifer Willison. Lighting Design: Wayne Chee. Costume Design: Joanna Simpson & Rhonda Chapman
8th to 17th September 2017 at Hunters Hill Theatre, 22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill.
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+
THE MUSIC MAN follows fast-talking travelling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize – despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef.
Hill’s plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall.
This latest show by the Hornsby Musical Society is filled with memorable tunes such as “Ya Got Trouble”, “Seventy Six Trombones” and “Shipoopi”.