Multi-award winning superstar Rachel Marinade (Trevor Ashley) is one of the most successful entertainers ever to have come runner-up on Australian Idol*. But after a spate of creepy “fan mail” it’s clear that Rachel needs protection. Not only that, after being charged in local court for holding a fake driver’s license, she also needs transport. Continue reading NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING FAMOUS: THE BODYBAG!→
As the kissy kissy photo shoot for the SYDNEY GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS 2018 launch proceeded on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, divalicious Trevor Ashley was heard to pronounce “I need a long black.” No argument there from his fellow ambassadors including Paul Capsis and Todd McKenney and the clickkity click assembled media. That much fun and flair, clustered around a very pink flamingo wading pool, can be very tiring.
“Which side of the Flamingo?” “Again Trevor, higher!” “Everything I do just works …. Believe that!” … from McKenney and “One last twirl please.”
Pink is everywhere at the launch. The program is pink, the stage is pink and Terese Casu ( CEO) and Greg Clarke (Creative Director) are not the pair to let a fashion opportunity pass.
Casu and Clarke were there to unleash the program and Casu made it quite clear that Mardi Gras as it is today was built on the backs of those who came before. The 78ers and also those who committed to community work and social justice in a political climate not supportive of Gay and Lesbian rights. 40 YEARS OF EVOLUTION is the theme for 2018 . Casu paid tribute to the Mardi Gras alumni from parade leaders to Board Members. And to the “best city council in the universe” along with commercial partners who are politically aligned including the principal partner ANZ.
Clarke then exploded in a foam of pink events with the Evolution theme across the entire program … lives; community; cultural; society.
From the MUSEUM OF LOVE AND PROTEST, a signature event for the 40th anniversary celebrations, looking back across four amazing decades presenting an immersive exhibition of original costumes, photographs, rarely-seen film and video footage, iconic posters, storytelling, music and artefacts.
Through FAIR DAY cherished by community and filled with excitement including dancing late into the night in the open air and the world famous DOGGYWOOD, a strut your stuff opportunity.
Through TRANS STORIES – 40 YEARS, KOORI GRAS and festival hubs like Carriageworks where The SISSY BALL will be held and the Seymour Centre where PLAYLIST will be curated by Kate Gaul.
Ultimately to the POOL PARTY and PARADE AND PARTY.
As Clarke concluded the launch: “17 hot days and hot nights to take over and celebrate our history.”
Information about the MARDI GRAS 2018 program here :
Tempted. Very tempted. Tempted not to tell anything about last night’s show. I want to keep it all to myself. But since we’re friends, and if you promise not to spread it around, I might tell you about a really fantastic Sydney cabaret event. It’s called SHOWQUEEN and with the sure hands of Chris Archer and the irrepressible Trevor Ashley beneath it, you just know its reliably top notch. And it’s on every month in Oxford St at Ginger’s: a great little intimate venue with terrific food.
Trevor Ashley seriously. The man is a force of nature. Priscilla Queen of The Desert – The Musical, Diamonds are for Trevor, and just off Liza’s Back (is Broken) at Glen Street. He’s obviously a living breathing icon but who knew he was such a warm, wry and witty host. You get to hear him sing too … bonus.
Upbeat Carpenter’s hit ‘Sing, Sing a Song’ to begin and a superbly grubby blues number ‘Get Laid’ as the evening finale. Trevor, I can call him that, he picked up my jacket when it fell on the floor and patted me, is known for those high notes … his best Streisand for ‘People’ with brushed drums and soul touching joy in sharing … but when he occasionally gets down low in his bottom register I get goosebumps. Oh that sounds rude but I really mean it. He’s not averse to some deep shoulder action between songs either Continue reading SHOWQUEEN : A STARRY NIGHT OF CABARET @ GINGER’S→
It was lights, cameras, action at the Hayes theatre for this very slick production of MACK AND MABEL, book by Michael Stewart and catchy music by Jerry Herman, directed by Trevor Ashley.
This musical, set in Brooklyn in 1911, centres on the turbulent relationship between the two main characters – Mack Sennet, a controlling, director of silent films with tyrannical tendencies and his aspiring screen star, Mabel Normand.
The production features an effective set design by Lauren Peters, featuring moving mirrors and projections on screens, and wonderful lighting design by Gavin Swift and sound design by Neil Mclean.
We see that Mack’s memories shape the narrative and that they are very subjective.
An assured and appealing Scott Irwin plays Mack ‘I just wants to make the world laugh’ who meets Mabel, a deli shop worker, played with verve and vivaciousness by Angelique Cassimatis.
Mack sees acting potential in Mabel and casts her in one of his comedy movies which he churns out prolifically. Mabel soon has the ‘acting bug’ which the lyrics to the song Look What’s Happened To Mabel describes well, ‘she is ambitious and has to say goodbye to bagels and knishes”.
The acting troupe leave Brooklyn for studios in California and Lottie Ames, played by the charismatic Deonne Zanott, sings Big Time with the lyrics, “the cherry on top of the sundae… the shiny star on top of the tree.”
In the the song I Won’t Send Roses Mack warns Mabel about his nature, ‘I’m preoccupied with me…Forgetting birthdays is guaranteed.” Later Mabel sings, “Who wants chocolates, they’d make me fat. I can get by without a gushing valentine. I know I will be left out on a limb.”
Scriptwriter Frank, played by Adam Di Martino, warns Mabel that, “Mack is a despot who doesn’t respect her as an artist”. Alas, Mabel loves Mack and ignores his advice.
For Mabel her meteoric rise to stardom isn’t enough and she meets the charming, suave yet phony director – William Desmond Taylor, played by Shaun Rennie, who has a part for her in one of his upcoming serious films.
At one point Mabel, resplendent in fur coat and hat with silver handbag and shoes, (lovely costume design by Angela White who shows great attention to detail), sings Wherever He Ain’t.
Mack’s films are getting more involved and now feature bathing beauties – a scene of which is played out with stunning choreography by Cameron Mitchell.
Act Two reveals the five piece band under the musical direction of Bev Kennedy.
All of the actors wish for Mabel to return. Comedian Fattie Arbuckle, played by Stephen Valeri, sings when When Mabel Comes In the Room ‘artificial flowers might even bloom’.
The bumbling slapstick of the Keystone Cops, one of Mack’s creations, adds to his popularity and success.
Other song highlights include Mabel singing the heartfelt Time Heals Everything, ‘One fine morning the hurt will end’, and a tour de force rendition by Lottie of Tap Your Troubles Away, a treat for dance aficionados.
Mabel’s life hits a downward trajectory. What’s to become of her? It is as if Mack has written the script to his own life and is unable to alter the ending. In retrospect, he is trapped by his own torturous demeanour and having regrets.
The more than marvellous MACK AND MABEL, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point, is playing the Hayes Theatre until December 18.
“A good heart these days is hard to find!” Also rare is a great mimic with tenor voice morphed into charismatic cross-dressing cameos. Ashley performed from his heart and talented soul, assisted by comic writing from Phil Scott and Gretel Killeen.
STAR STRUCK: A Live Cabaret Tribute to the Divas was fabulous Friday fare at The Star’s vibrant new venue. Ashley presented focused and musically refreshing impersonations. No well-costumed and coiffed diva, dead or alive, was safe from satire.
The highlight with regards to structure and large-venue-deserving energy came in the show’s second half. Back to back transitions with fast outfit changes from one female superstar to the next wowed the audience.
These musical and theatrical treats were ably supported by the triple-threat ‘Trevettes’, aka back-up couple Kirby and Ryan.
Hits and covers by Cher, Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Shirley Bassey and Tina Turner became new hits in the show-stopping hands and heels of Ashley, the ‘Trevettes’ and band.
This performance soared well beyond drag, or a collection of hilarious and dare I say ‘straight’ covers. STAR STRUCK continued a stream of Ashley’s inimitable concept shows.
A complete standing ovation was indication that this latest instalment deserves its history repeating.
Trevor Ashley’s STAR STRUCK played for one night only at the Star Event Centre.