All posts by David Kary

David Kary completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (BCA) at Wollongong University between 1990 and 1992 majoring in Arts Journalism and Theatre Studies. Since completing his degree in 1992 he has been writing continuously about the performing arts. He has contributed to a number of publications including Stage Whispers (16 years), The Messenger, South Sydney Bulletin, Tharunka, Sydney Observer, Latte Life Double Bay, and the Australian Jewish News. Since 2005, he has been the publisher and editor of the online Arts magazine Sydney Arts Guide:- He is a member of the Australian Journalists Association (AJA) of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts (AACTA), the Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA), and is a member of the Helpmann Awards Voting Collegiate.


Palace Cinemas will present the inaugural Palace Touring: 2019 Music Film Festival, featuring a kaleidoscopic series of master music feature films covering the past 40 years. 

Opening night (August 1) – THE DOORS: THE FINAL CUT, directed by Oliver Stone features in its Australian Premiere. This stunning 4K restoration is the King Kong of rock movies, portraying the psychedelic 60’s and the myth of The Doors’ iconic front-man Jim Morrison. 

The beat continues, with THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK, a film delving into the iconic bands touring years in the mid 60’s, exploring their inner workings, to the development of their music and the eventual phenomenon that became Beatlemania. 

Continuing with the British theme, the movie CONTROL brings us a poignant, white and black biopic of Joy Divisions lan Curtis, whilst AMY (winner of the 2016 Academy Award for Best Documentary) is a powerfully honest look at the twisted relationship between art and celebrity experienced by British star Amy Winehouse. 

The ball turns to disco, with the cultural phenomenon SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and moves to SUPERSONIC, a look at Britpop’s iconic band Oasis. A tribute to singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell is also found in JONI 75: A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION. 

The power of music is portrayed beautifully in GURRUMUL, a celebration of blind indigenous singer songwriter Yunupingu, who finds purpose and meaning through music inspired by his community in North East Arnhem Land. 

Other films on show will be rock-n-roll mockumentary THIS IS SPINAL TAP, plus 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH and THE LAST WALTZ. 

Hot off the heels of screenings at SXSW and Sydney Film Festival, the festival curtain is closed with THE CHILLS: THE TRIUMPH & TRAGEDY OF MARTIN PHILLIPPS. This brand-new music documentary is an honest and inspiring tribute to New Zealand music’s most genius and loved bands, as told through the eyes of their eccentric band leader. 

The inaugural Palace Music Film Festival will screen between Thursday August 1 and Wednesday August 14, 2019

Featured image- a still from Joni 75 : A Birthday Celebration. From left to right- Graham Nash, Charles Valentino, Joni Mitchell, Sauchuen, James Taylor


Emilio Estevez’s film transports us into the world of a Cincinnatti public  library simply called The Public. The film builds slowly as we get to meet head librarian Stuart Goodson (Emilio Estevez),  librarian colleague Myra (Jena Malone) and  get to know some of the patrons who frequent the library regularly.

We see that there is a bit of tension, friendly enough though, between Stuart and Myra. We also notice that many of the regulars are scruffy and bedraggled looking. We see some of them using the bathroom to tidy themselves up a little and make themselves a bit respectable.

At this point, I am wondering where the film is going to go with its portrayal. What I do know is that  the world being portrayed feels very authentic to me. One group that public libraries attract is people from a low income with the free wi fi, the warm air conditioning, the comfortable seating, and the endless books,  magazines and cds to look at. Continue reading THE PUBLIC : A FILM BY EMILIO ESTEVEZ


This is the next best thing to actually attending an Evening with Paul Keating. As Jonathon Biggins says in the program, “I like to think of this show as the first three dimensional autobiography written by someone else.”

Through the show there is the use of a slide show with pics of his early life and then notable politicians and events in his life. This adds intimacy to the evening.

I found the show both very informative and highly entertaining. There are just so many stories, it is almost overwhelming with Biggins  talking in a rapid fire fashion. At one time he says to the audience, “come on people, keep up. There’s  going to be a test at the end”.

Did you know that Paul Keating is an avid Tom Jones fan and that they shared a bit of a friendship?! This  is one of the times that Biggins bursts into song singing ‘Why, why Delilah”.  I enjoyed the times when, during the show,  he burst into song. It lightened up the evening.

As did the many witticisms, some of which were Keating gems, others Biggins’ own rapier like wit. Keating had a healthy ego such as his remark, ‘this was the greatest achievement of my career. Then again why narrow it down.” As against Biggins own witty remark, ‘She’s a NIDA graduate. There goes another HECS debt that won’t be paid back.”

There’s a lot of did you know’s through the show. I knew that Keating is a big classical music fan. His parents soundproofed his room so that they didn’t have to heart the music blaring. He was also a rock music fan and a bit of a rock entrepreneur, trying to get bands good contracts before he changed direction and started to get involved in politics.

Biggins covers so much territory. Keating is a big Jack Lang fan and the great Labor man generously gave him his time. Lang told him, “You will never be a leader unless you have a host of enemies.”

There  are plenty of references to Keating’s economic reforms, some of which went over my head, and I am sure others in the audience.

Other Keating quotes. “I’ve always been drawn to beautiful things”, which accounts for Keating’s love of  beautiful suits and watches.

“I went off giving State Funerals.  When I gave one to Kerry Packer, it took the gloss off it.

We learn of Keating’s fondness for political colleagues Bill Hayden, Lionel Bowen and Bill Kelty, who was instrumental in getting our current superannuation laws. And Keating was a good hater. “Being a fan of Andrew  Peacock is like being thrashed with raw tofu.” And  Reg Withers, “I am not a proctologist, but I know an arsehole when I see one.”

There are reference to Keating’s view on indigenous issues and his famous speech  in Redfern. And there’s reference to Bob Hawke reneging on his handover of power deal with Keating. It’s all there in this show!

The show has been well directed by Aarne Neeme with stage design of Keating’s apartment by Mark Thompson, lighting by Verity Hampson and sound and video design by David Bergman.

So much to take in! Go and see the show for yourself and take away your own favourite memories.  THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL is playing the Everest Theatre at the Seymour Centre until Saturday August 3, 2019. Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm and there are also matinees on Saturdays at 2pm.














In WHO DO YOU THINK I AM? Juliette Binoche plays Claire, a university lecturer and mother of two teenage boys, who is contending with the approach of middle age and remains stung by the betrayal of her ex-husband, who is building a new life with someone else. Claire has a new lover too, but is under no illusions as to his fidelity.

Out of a mix of petulance and curiosity, she impulsively creates a fake Facebook profile in which to keep an eye on him: she’s ‘Clara’, vivacious, blonde… and 24 years old. He doesn’t take the bait, but his close friend (François Civil) does, and their online connection soon becomes flirtatious. Titillated by the opportunity of being “young again”, Claire’s deceptions lead both of her identities into increasingly dangerous territory. Part psychological drama, part thriller, this remarkable film based on the novel by Camille Laurens explores contemporary issues with sensitivity and intelligence and shows Binoche at her best.

WHO DO YOU THINK I AM?  is releasing in cinemas on Thursday 1st August.

Sydney Arts Guide has three in season double passes to give way. Email with  WHO DO YOU THINK I AM? promotion in the subject heading. Winners will be advised by email.


This is the scenario. A pool party for eight (four boys, four girls) takes place while 16-year-old Mindy’s parents are absent. Mindy like-likes Cam. Cam like-likes Mindy. Izzy like-likes Cam and Cam also like-likes Izzy. What else could happen? Will we find out who Mindy’s secret next door neighbour is? Will the kiss ever come?!

It sounds like a typical teenage drama but this was anything but a conventional night in the theatre. We, the audience,  come into the theatre to see all the performers sitting on chairs on the stage together with the writer and director. One of the performers stands up and ushers us in to the theatre and makes us sit in the middle to keep things nice and cosy.  The screen behind the performers states that there is going to be a pre performance discussion about the show. This was the first sign that things were a bit odd. I’m familiar with a panel discussion after a play is performed but before…

Anyhow we settled into our seats. and the discussion started, It was ‘chaired’ by one of the playwrights and the director. They said that they were going to talk about how the play came about and the process of development. It sounded interesting. Continue reading COOL POOL PARTY @ BONDI PAV


There’s a fascinating play that is coming on soon at the Reginald Theatre in the Seymour Centre. The work is British playwright Tanya Ronder’s play TABLE. 

The play’s title refers to a handcrafted table that was built by a master craftsman Mr Best  for his new bride in 1898. The table is passed on from one generation of the Best family to the next generation over the space of some 115 years. As one can imagine a lot of changes take place over this long span of time.

From the time that she first read the play director Kim Hardwick has wanted to stage the work  and she is very excited about the upcoming production. “TABLE is an epic piece, epic in time and in emotion. We are witness to many different conversations that take place around the table.” Continue reading TABLE : AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR KIM HARDWICK


Last week with a small group of friends and family gathered, Poppy Lynch turned on the switch that lit up the new sign naming the bar in the Griffin foyer ‘The Penny Cook Bar’ in honour of her mother. Her dad, David, had just given a beautiful speech recalling how he had met the love of his life at that very bar (prior to the renovations of course!) and hoping that, in a theatre full of ghosts, we may now hear her extraordinary laugh when we come here for a pre-show drink. The sign is pink and the glow lights up everyone in the foyer very attractively, which you’ll be happy to see next time you are here.

The naming of the bar in her honour was an idea dreamed up by Peter Lowry of the SBW Foundation and Diana Simmonds, as a way of publicly remembering that without Penny, Griffin would not be standing where it is today.  Continue reading THE PENNY COOK BAR @ THE STABLES THEATRE

Penn & Teller: The world’s greatest comedy magicians

The masters of modern magic Penn & Teller will bring their record-breaking Las Vegas live show to Australia for the very first time in January 2020 for eight performances in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.

Life-long friends and former high school outcasts, Penn & Teller have spent the past 45 years redefining popular magic with their distinct blend of unconventional magic tricks, comedic mime and bumbling “blunders”. Their Australian debut at the Opera House will combine the outrageous wit, humour and unbelievable magic that has been the hallmark of their illustrious career.

Australian audiences will be familiar with the dynamic duo’s hit TV series Penn & Teller: Fool Us! Originally commissioned for The CW Network, the show airs locally on ABC Comedy and challenges up-and-coming and veteran magicians try to fool Penn & Teller for a chance to star in their hit Las Vegas stage show. Continue reading Penn & Teller: The world’s greatest comedy magicians


The Best of Enemies

THE BEST OF ENEMIES is the true story of the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. During the racially charged summer of 1971, Atwater and Ellis come together to co-chair a community summit on the desegregation of schools in Durham, N.C. The ensuing debate and battle soon lead to surprising revelations that change both of their lives forever. Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell star as Atwater and Ellis in this historical drama. The Best of Enemies releases exclusively to Dendy Newtown on July 25.

Sydney Arts Guide has four double passes to give away to this highly charged historical drama. Email the Editor on with THE BEST OF ENEMIES PROMOTION in the subject heading. Winners will be advised by email.


I loved this show. Like the best theatre it was as if I was cast under a spell in the intimate space that is the Old Fitz.

We are transported to the going on in Inishmaan, a small country town in Ireland. It’s a sleepy old town where nothing much happens, kind of like Porpoise Spit in Muriel’s Wedding, There are the two women who run a small corner shop which everyone visits. My favourite character is an old guy who is the town gossip, who comes in all the time telling them the latest news. Most of his news items are plain dead boring and the women tease him about it. 

Then one day the guy bursts through the door with some news that is actually newsworthy. An American film company are coming to the town to shoot a film. Here is a chance for a bit of fame. Who had the nerve to say that no-one wants to know about Inishmaan?! Continue reading THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN @ THE OLD FITZ


Leading contemporary Australian artist Diana Watson’s latest exhibition ‘Foscari Chapter’ is now on at Gallery One, located at The Brickworks in Southport. The first solo exhibition for Diana at Gallery One opened with ‘Drinks with the Artist’ on Saturday afternoon 13 July 2019.  Gallery clients and visitors were thrilled to meet and congratulate Diana on her new work. 

The internationally renowned artist has received critical acclaim for her evocative still life paintings. Watson’s art has been part of more than 40 solo and 26 group exhibitions in Australia, Italy and the US. Her work is held in collections all around the world. Continue reading DIANA WATSON FOSCARI CHAPTER EXHIBITION OPENS