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:- http://www.sydneyartsguide.com.au/ 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.

A NEW EXHIBITION BY SHIRLEY PETERS @ GALLERYONE88 KATOOMBA

‘Wentworth Falls At The Top’ 115cm X 179cm oil on canvas
Gentle Light Before The Falls 115cm X 179cm oil on canvas

Shirley Peters’ latest exhibition at Gallery One88 in Katoomba is titled  “ABUNDANT WATERS”  and features lush, wet landscapes. The creative exploration of the effects of rain on her dry bushland at Mulgoa, and in the Blue Mountains, have resulted in a stylised interpretation of reality, focusing on patterns and shapes.

“My painting interest has shifted from general landscapes to this local phenomena: the floods in my backyard. The cascading waterfalls that appeared overnight as the dam breached its bank were beautiful.” says Peters.

Shirley Peters is a landscape artist. She paints “fast art” plein-air in the country, travelling in her motorhome from beach to river to mountains (with husband Bob and Honey the dog).

At home she makes ‘slow art’ in her studio by painting large detailed works inspired by her travels; and every year in July Peters paints a daily watercolour of the Tour de France bike race. Bikeartbyshirleypeters.com

Since 2014 Shirley has lived and worked from her studio in Mulgoa, NSW, and prior to that, 37 years in Putney, near Sydney. They have two children, Natalie and Mitchell.

Her biography and previous works can be seen on the web site: shirleypeters.com.au and instagram www.instagram.com/shirley_peters_art/

Shirley is represented by Gallery ONE88, Katoomba

Shirley Peters’ new exhibition ‘Abundant Waters’ at GalleryOne88, 188 Katoomba Street, Katoomba opens on Thursday 1st July and runs until Monday 12th July.

‘Flood Water At Weeping Rock’ 115cm X 179cm oil on canvas

Featured image – Artist Shirley Peters in her studio

 

 

 

 

 

PERFUMES : AN ENCHANTING FRENCH FILM : TEN DOUBLE PASSES

Anne Walberg (Emmanuelle Devos) was once the star of her industry – a perfumer whose ability to  produce enticing new fragrances was second to none and which saw her rise through a competitive  landscape. She remains in demand, but her intemperate behaviour has made her difficult. However,  striking up an unlikely friendship with her equally troubled new driver, Anne sees a way to return to  the top, which might offer a solution to both their problems.  

DIRECTOR/WRITER: Gregory Magne 

KEY CAST: Emmanuelle Devos, Gregory Montel, Gustave Kervern

CLASSIFICATION:

RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes 

RELEASE DATE: Thursday July 1, 2021 

LANGUAGE: French 

SUBTITLES: English

Arcadia Films has given Sydney Arts Guide ten in season double passes to give away. Email editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com  with PERFUMES PROMOTION in the subject heading. Please provide your postal address in the body of your email. Winners will be advised by email. 

 

EAST MEETS WEST ORCHESTRAL EVENING : TEN DOUBLE PASSES

Sun Yi

THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN INDEFINITELY POSTPONED DUE TO SYDNEY’S CURRENT COVID 19 OUTBREAK

East Meets West Orchestral Evening will present a unique blend of music from China and beyond. This is a stellar opportunity for audiences in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide to hear some of Australia’s finest musicians perform Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto and Yellow River Piano Concerto, two hugely popular Chinese classics, rarely performed live on Australian stages, touring late June to September 2021.

Guy Noble, revered music maestro, esteemed award-winning conductor will direct a 50 piece orchestra comprising musicians from leading symphony orchestras from Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane. Guest artists include Australia’s top pianist Tony Lee, winner of the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition, accomplished violinist Sun Yi, (Associate Concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony) leading Sydney-based Guzheng musician Angie Liu, mezzo soprano Victoria Lambourn and soprano Sharon Zhai.

The repertoire is a combination of traditional and contemporary music from the east and the west. Mezzo soprano Victoria Lambourn will sing the Habanera from Carmen and soprano Sharon Zhai will perform Pamir – My Beautiful Hometown. Tony Lee will play the celebrated and technically advanced Yellow River Piano Concerto, a joyful exuberant piece which has truly crossed the continental borders and become immensely acclaimed in the West, it was performed centre stage at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It was written by Yin Chengzong and Chu Wanghua and based on the Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata.

“This is the first time I will perform the Yellow River Piano Concerto in Sydney” says Tony Lee. “It’s an incredible honour to perform the work, which is treasured not just in China, but also by the wider world. I’m delighted to share the grace and beauty of this work with new audiences.”

Sun Yi will take to the stage for the second highlight in the program, the heartbreaking love story, China’s Romeo and Juliet, Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, written by Chinese composers He Zhanhao and Chen Gang in 1959“I am delighted to have the opportunity to perform the much-loved classical Chinese masterpiece Butterfly Lovers. It has always been my ambition to play it in Australia. I am tremendously excited to be able to do so,” says Sun Yi.

The concert is an Image China cultural & arts event organised by China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd (CAEG) in association with China Cultural Centre Sydney, presented by Ausfeng. They aim to introduce traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts to audiences around the world. Since its inception in 2009 it has presented numerous inspirational works at venues across the globe.

The concert EAST MEETS WEST ORCHESTRAL EVENING will take place at Sydney Town Hall on Friday 9th July at  7.30pm.

Sydney Arts Guide has ten double passes to give away to the concert. Please email editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com with EAST VERSUS WEST CONCERT PROMOTION in the subject heading and please provide your mobile phone number and your postal address in the body of your email. Winners will be advised by email.

Featured image ; Top left- Angie Liu, Sharon Zhai. Bottom left Victoria Lamboum, Tony Lee, Sun Yi. Far right Conductor Guy Noble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS ART FAIR POSTPONED TILL JULY 2022

Indigenous artists from around Australia were set to come together on 3-4 July 2021, for the third National Indigenous Art Fair– a two-day art market and program of events  in celebration of NAIDOC Week, which was set to take place in the Rocks at the Overseas  Passenger Terminal.

Peter Cooley, Chief Executive Officer, First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation announced today that due to the current Covid 19  outbreak in Sydney  this much anticipated Fair has been cancelled and it has now been rescheduled  for the 2nd and 3rd July, 2022.

Featured image : Phyllis Briant, Sharon Ken & Anistine Ken. Photo courtesy of Tjala Arts

FOLLOW ME HOME : YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING ON THE EDGE

There is a clear, well defined brief for productions that the Australian Theatre For Young People (ATYP) put on. The play must deal with challenging, difficult issues that young people contend with.

Award winning playwright and Artist In Residence at LaBoite, Lewis Triston’s play FOLLOW ME HOME tackles some of these issues head on.

The play’s structure comprises a series of scenes with a break between each scene at which time black and white documentary footage is screened taking us inside youth refuges as we hear some of the stories.

These are just a few of the dramatic situations that the playwright sets up.

A high school boy minding his own business in a  playground is set upon by two cruel schoolgirls who decide it is time to pay out on him. Continue reading FOLLOW ME HOME : YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING ON THE EDGE

THE WOMAN IN BLACK : AN EMPTY STAGE TRANSFORMS INTO GHOSTLY LIFE

Garth Holcombe and Jamie Oxenbould in ‘The Woman In Black’ at the Ensemble Theatre. Pic Daniel Boud

THE WOMAN IN BLACK, a novel by Susan Hill adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt, is created in the metatheatre tradition, using a play within a play approach, which gives audiences an extra layer to work with. Inevitably, the curtain is drawn on the play within, and we are drawn back to the play itself.

The play’s main character Mr Kipps is troubled by disturbing memories of his journey to fog bound Eel Marsh, where Mrs Drablow’s lonely house stands in isolation. Trapped by the fog, he witnessed mysterious events he would rather forget, but cannot. In desperation, he enlists the help of an actor to tell his tale and exorcise the demons that haunt his dreams. As the two men become immersed in Kipps’ story, eerie events materialise from the mists of the past and begin to haunt the present.

Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry is in the Director’s chair with Rachel Chant his Assistant. His production is very much in keeping with one of his previous productions, the 2019 show ‘Murder On The Wireless’, where theatrics were very much in play, and. the audience needed to play along with the play.  Continue reading THE WOMAN IN BLACK : AN EMPTY STAGE TRANSFORMS INTO GHOSTLY LIFE

TEN FAMILY PASSES TO THE NEW ANIMATED FAMILY MOVIE ‘MOONBOUND’

Join Peter & Anne’s fantastic journey to the moon in MOONBOUND , based on a best-selling children’s book classic.

When Peter sets out on a magical journey to rescue his little sister Anne, he needs to travel to mysterious territory: the Moon! 

Anne was kidnapped by the evil Moon Man when she tried to help the beetle Mr. Zoomzeman search for his wife. 

On his fantastic adventure, Peter lands on the Star Meadow where he meets the sleepy Mr. Sandman. He knows, only at the Night Fairy’s dinner in the castle in the clouds, they can find out where Anne is – but there aren’t enough seats for everyone. 

So they join the wild race along the Milky Way against the five Spirits of Nature: Storm Giant, Lightning Witch, Henry Hail, Rainy Robin and Mother Frost…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k52msViETp4

https://rialtodistribution.com/film/moonbound/

Continue reading TEN FAMILY PASSES TO THE NEW ANIMATED FAMILY MOVIE ‘MOONBOUND’

SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR : GARDEN OF THE SOUL @ VERBRUGGHEN HALL

 

Sunday 27 June | 3pm

Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Bookings: sydneychamberchoir.org or 1300 661 738

 

Sam Allchurch

Conductor

 

CLEMENS NON PAPA Ego flos campi

MONTEVERDI Zefiro torna

VICTORIA Vidi speciosam

BRITTEN Hymn to the Virgin, Hymn to St Cecilia, Rosa mystica

JOE TWIST An Australian Song Cycle (World premiere)

At a time when lockdowns and isolation have given us pause to delve deep inside ourselves, and with the natural world increasingly threatened by the destruction of human activity, this program speaks to big questions about our relationships with each other and with our planet.

Gardens were a fertile source of metaphors for the composer of the renaissance. Tomás Luis de Victoria’s breezy Vidi speciosam and Clemens non Papa’s lush Ego flos campi offer a vision of a divinely ordered perfect landscape, setting the exquisite poetry of the Song of Songs. The return of spring in Monteverdi’s heart-wrenching Zefiro torna makes the loss of love all the more tragic.  Continue reading SYDNEY CHAMBER CHOIR : GARDEN OF THE SOUL @ VERBRUGGHEN HALL

GRAND HORIZONS : A RICH COMEDY WITH DARK UNDERCURRENTS

Vanessa Downing plays Carla in Sydney Theatre Company’s GRAND HORIZONS, 2021. Pic Prudence Upton

Bess Wohl, one of the important new voices in American theatre said in a recent interview that she was inspired to write her latest play after hearing stories from friends about their parents breaking up after long marriages. She determined that this was an area worth exploring.

Her explorations, which included interviewing  many senior citizens, have resulted in GRAND HORIZONS, currently playing at the Roslyn Packer Theatre.

Nancy and Bill have been married fifty years. They have just moved into an independent living retirement village called Grand Horizons.

Over dinner one night Nancy says to Bill ‘I want a divorce’. Nonplussed Bill casually replies ‘ok’. Nancy begins the process of moving out. Continue reading GRAND HORIZONS : A RICH COMEDY WITH DARK UNDERCURRENTS

HAPPY DAYS : SAMUEL BECKETT MAKES THEM AS BLACK AS NIGHT

Lex Marinos in Red Line production of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Happy Days’. Pic Robert Catto

As theatrical images go, there is no starker image than that which greets audiences at the beginning of Act 2  of  Samuel Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS.  The main character, Winnie, is buried up to her neck in a mound.

Not far behind is the image, at the play’s climax, of her husband Willie climbing up the mound to reach  out to her.

Through the play Winnie has been trying to communicate with Willie to little avail. Willie has been responding to her in grunts.

Now Willie is trying to reach out to Winnie, when she doesn’t have a free arm to grasp onto him?!

Not funny. Just like the play isn’t about happy days. Hardly. Continue reading HAPPY DAYS : SAMUEL BECKETT MAKES THEM AS BLACK AS NIGHT

COME FROM AWAY : WONDERFUL THINGS HAPPEN WHEN PEOPLE WORK TOGETHER

 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, when terrorist attacks in Washington and New York closed US airspace for the first time in its history.

It was then that 38 planes carrying nearly 7.000 passengers from over 100 countries were diverted to a tiny island called Gander in Newfoundland, Canada affectionately known by locals as ‘The Rock’.

Over the following five days the locals took care of the influx of  passengers, affectionally known as the ‘come from aways’, until US airspace freed up again, and they were able to get up in the air again.

The operation undertaken by these Canadians was named Operation Yellow Ribbon.

Canadian writing team, David Hein and Irene Sarkoff

Continue reading COME FROM AWAY : WONDERFUL THINGS HAPPEN WHEN PEOPLE WORK TOGETHER

ONCE : THE STAGE TRANSFORMS INTO A PLAYING FIELD FOR THESE ACTOR MUSICIANS

ONCE started its life as a low budget movie back in 2007, directed by John Carney, and starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who wrote all the songs.

The stage adaptation, with book by Edna Walsh, premiered off Broadway in December 2011.

ONCE tells the story of an Irish busker simply known as Guy and a Czech immigrant simply known as Girl and their five day romance in Dublin.

As a romance ONCE doesn’t particularly stand out. It is  in its celebration of the Irish love and talent for music where it comes to the fore. Every character on stage plays an instrument and, as Robert Catto’s photos show, the cast just use the stage as their playing field. There is even a cast member who plays the violin. whilst skating across the stage on roller skates. Continue reading ONCE : THE STAGE TRANSFORMS INTO A PLAYING FIELD FOR THESE ACTOR MUSICIANS

FROM THE VINE : TEN DOUBLE PASSES

A middle aged businessman arrives in Rome on a flight from Canada. At customs, the  border agent asks if the man is visiting Italy for business or for pleasure. But the man  cannot answer. It’s neither business nor pleasure. 

“Just pick one, Signore,” the border agent intones…and so begins From The Vine, the  story of Mark Gentile, an attorney and automotive company executive who travels to  his childhood home after a major humiliation in business. 

Mark returns to the tiny village of Acerenza in Southern Italy, where he visits the  vineyard where he grew up and finds it in a state of disrepair. Mark gets an idea to bring  the overgrown property back to life and start producing wine again. Mark convinces  various denizens of Acerenza, each with their own comedic personality, to aid him in  this seemingly impractical effort, promising everyone a share in the business if it is  successful. Concerned about his sudden and lengthy trip, Mark is eventually joined by  his wife Marina, and his twenty-something daughter, Laura, who’s purpose is lost. Continue reading FROM THE VINE : TEN DOUBLE PASSES

THE OBBLIGATO SONATAS : CELEBRATING THE GENIUS OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

 

Artistic Director and violinist Madeleine Easton is joined by two of Australia’s most lauded early music specialists Neal Peres Da Costa and Anton Baba to present a selection of Bach’s much loved obbligato sonatas for violin, harpsichord and viola da gamba. In a rare departure from his usual compositional style, Bach took the existing baroque trio sonata form and utterly excelled himself, producing a new and innovative example of three-part contrapuntal writing showcasing the depth of his musical expression and the apparently inexhaustible inventive resources of his genius. They are nothing short of perfection.

Program :

J.S. Bach Sonata No. 1 in B minor BWV 1014

J.S. Bach Sonata No. 2 in A major BWV 1015

J.S. Bach Sonata No. 3 in E major BWV 1016

J.S. Bach Sonata No. 5 in F minor BWV 1018

J.S. Bach Sonata No. 6 in G major BWV 1019

Friday June 18, 7.30pm

St James Anglican Church, King Street, Sydney

Booking link: https://theobbligatosonatas1.floktu.com/

This performance  will also be livestreamed on www.melbournedigitalconcerthall.com

Sunday June 20, 2pm

Parish of the Holy Name Church, Wahroonga

Booking link: https://theobbligatosonatas2.floktu.com/

Featured image : Artistic Director and violinist Madeleine Easton

 

 

CAROL DANCE : A TALENTED MULTI DISCIPLINARY ARTIST

Carol with her daughter in law Julis Dance

The Short and Sweet Festival, one of Sydney’s well established annual theatre festivals, attracts some intriguing and talented participants. Like Sydney journalist, playwright, director and painter, Carol Dance.

Dance has reviewed over 200 plays for leading  Wentworth Courier in Sydney, whilst working as the editor at the University of New South Wales Press, and presently contributes reviews and articles to Sydney Arts Guide.

Whilst working as the  CEO of the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre, she observed the full spectrum of human emotions and decided to write plays herself.

Dance has had 14 plays produced in ten-minute play festivals (Sydney, Malaysia and India) and three full-length plays produced and three published by Australian Plays Transform.

For this year’s Short and Sweet Festival her entry is  a one woman work ‘The Metaphor’ playing. She is directing, and keeping it in the family, her daughter in law, Julia Dance, an experienced actress and singer, is performing the piece.

This the second time Carol and Julia have worked together for the Short and Sweet Festival. The first was in 2018 with another of Carol’s plays, ‘The Woman Who Thought She Thought a New Thought’, performed by Julia and Sasha Dance, Carol’s granddaughter.

‘Low Tide’ exhibited in the Ravenswood Art Exhibition

Dance says that she has painted most of her life. She has been able to concentrate it more since she retired 15 years ago Her first real project was as the artist-in-residence at the commercial art gallery in Port Douglas, followed by a solo exhibition at the Seymour Centre.

She enjoys painting alone, in a studio and getting into the ‘zone’. She has also made constructions, sculptures and etchings. Dance says she tends to work in a series, one set of paintings  at a time then move on to something very different.

You can catch Carol Dance’s play METAPHOR will play as part of Week 4 of this year’s Short and Sweet Festival on Friday June 18 at 7.30pm, Saturday June 19 at 2pm and Sunday 20 at 6pm at the Tom Mann Theatre, 136 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills.

http://www.shortandsweet.org.au

Featured image -Carol Dance

HERSELF : AN INSPIRATIONAL NEW IRISH FILM : 5 DOUBLE PASSES

Single-mother Sandra (Clare Dunne) escapes her abusive partner with her two young children, only  to find herself trapped in temporary accommodation.

After months of struggling, she draws inspiration from one of her daughter’s bedtime stories and hits upon the idea of self-building an  affordable home.

She finds an architect who provides her with plans and is offered land by Peggy  (Harriet Walter), a woman she cleans for. Aido (Conleth Hill), a building contractor, appears willing to help too. 

As her past rears its head, in the form of Gary (Ian Lloyd Anderson), her possessive ex,  and as bureaucrats fight back against her independent spirit, will Sandra be able to rebuild her life  from the ground up?

Continue reading HERSELF : AN INSPIRATIONAL NEW IRISH FILM : 5 DOUBLE PASSES

SHORT AND SWEET 2021 : CHILLS AND THRILLS IN WEEK 3

Alexandra Rigby, Samantha Proctor, Josie Mura and Bar Silverstein in Bar Silverstein ‘s ‘Friendship’

After a week’s break, Short+Sweet Sydney continues its record, 20th hit year with all-new plays in Week 3 – from Thurs 10 June to Sunday 13 June, 2021 at the Tom Mann Theatre, Surry Hills.

This week’s two streams “Bronte” & “Fairlight” feature thrillers, sexy comedies, quirky families… and friendship! 

Bronte  (Thur & Sat 7.30pm, Sun 2pm)

 Life Lessons, by Melbourne writer Steve Wheat and directed by Sari Simpson, stars Camille Qurban and Oli Stening (pictured below, left). When a man finds out that his girlfriend’s first sexual encounter was with her teacher, morals are challenged…

Angela Blake directs Mark Harvey Levine’s LA 8am – “Some things can be reduced to numbers; some can’t…” Starring Blake with Talin Agon, Sam Wallace and Hamish MacDonald.  Continue reading SHORT AND SWEET 2021 : CHILLS AND THRILLS IN WEEK 3

THE CHERRY ORCHARD : A DIRECTOR LOSES HIS TOUCH

Jack Scott, Charles Wu, Sarah Meacham in ‘The Cherry Orchard’. Pic Brett Boardman.

The Belvoir Street Theatre foyer before a show is a great place to be. There is such a buzz of expectancy, as the countdown is on till we are called upstairs.

Opening nights at Belvoir make it even more special.

There was, however, one opening night, years ago,  which didn’t go so well.

Actress Rachel Ward, long before she became an acclaimed film director, spotted acerbic Sydney Morning Herald theatre critic Bob Evans amongst the crowd in the foyer.

Very casually Ward went over to Evans and poured her glass of wine over him, and then walked away. I suspect Rachel did what many hard working theatre practitioners had been wanting to do to Evans for a very long time.

The craft of reviewing theatre is a pretty tricky thing. I have been a fringe theatre reviewer on the Sydney theatre scene for thirty years now. I believe that I lean much more towards being kind than scathing in my reviews. Continue reading THE CHERRY ORCHARD : A DIRECTOR LOSES HIS TOUCH

SIGNIFICANT OTHER : THE NEW’S LATEST IS A RELATABLE, HEARTFELT DRAMA

 

Tom Rodgers and Helen Tonkin in Joshua Harmon’s SIGNIFICANT OTHER at the New Theatre. Pic Bob Seary

New York based playwright Joshua Harmon’s play  SIGNIFICANT OTHER premiered off Broadway in 2015, followed by a Broadway production at the Booth Theatre in the spring of 2017.

The back story is that Jason is a very energetic single New York Jewish gay guy in his late twenties who has a hectic social life.

As we see the play unfold Jason sees a clear pattern taking shape, – he is losing many of his friends as they  ‘settle down’.

Things come to a head when his very best friend Laura does the marriage thing. Jordon and Laura had shared a flat together and had fairly much lived their lives in each other’s pockets.  Now, dammit, she was leaving him too… Continue reading SIGNIFICANT OTHER : THE NEW’S LATEST IS A RELATABLE, HEARTFELT DRAMA

BACK TO M.A : THE MOTHER OF ALL CABARETS @ EL ROCCO ROOM

 

Musical Director Andrew Freeborn
Olivia Vasquez

 

This show is for anyone who spends their whole life talking to their mother and she just won’t listen. But M.A. will. I promise! Coming to a community hall near you!  When a room full of strangers will make sure you are heard and loved!

WHEN: 4, 11, 18 & 25 July 2021 @ 6:30pm (Sundays in July)

WHERE: El Rocco Room, 154 Brougham Street, Potts Point

COST: $45/ $50

DURATION: 70 minutes (no interval)

BOOKINGS : https://events.humanitix.com/back-to-ma

CREATIVES:

MARIA DE MARCO (Writer/Performer/ Producer)

A proud graduate of Theatre Nepean, Western Sydney University & MEAA member since 1991. As an actor/singer Maria has worked for Walk Now Productions, Teatro a(r)Te, EMU Productions, Les Currie Productions, Women On a Shoestring; Jigsaw Theatre Company; About Face Theatre; Doppio Teatro, Company B Belvoir, PACT Theatre, Broccoli Education, Sidetrack Performance Group, Death Defying. For 15 years Maria sang with the a cappella group Blindman’s Holiday (aka Zingari Voci) touring throughout Australia and New Zealand for the MUSICA VIVA- Music in Schools programme as well as performing in every major folk festival in Australia, including the inaugural 1000 VOICES Festival in Adelaide. For film/ TV & the World Wide Web she has appeared in OLD SCHOOL for the ABC, Packed to the Rafters, Watch with Mother – ‘Restoring the wife’ episode, The Illustrated Family Doctor and E Street. Behind the scenes, Maria has worked at Director /Producer/ playwright for various companies including Walk Now Productions, Teatro a(r)Te, EMU Productions, Speech and Drama Studio MLC, Hennessy Speech and Drama Studio, Opera Lounge, Hornsby Musical Society, The 4th Wall Theatre Company; PACT Youth Theatre and Powerhouse Youth Theatre. Maria also works as singing/voice/drama/movement/ performance tutor for schools, TAFE, community groups, theatre companies and was the ASSOCIATE MANAGING DIRECTOR of EMU PRODUCTIONS trading as KING STREET THEATRE for 6 years from 2012 -2018.  

OLIVIA VASQUEZ (Performer) is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Music majoring in Musical Theatre. Olivia made her musical theatre debut in the Australian premiere of The Bodyguard, The Musical playing Monique and understudying principal role of Nicki Marron. Olivia has appeared in Little Triangle’s production of A Little Cabaret, the premiere production of Gone Too Soon with Mama Montez Productions and was lead vocalist in Dia de los Muertos Latin Show premiering in Papua New Guinea. Olivia starred in the sell-out and critically acclaimed season of In The Heights at Hayes Theatre Co which then made a return season at the Wyong Arts House and another sell out season at the Sydney Opera House reprising her role as Vanessa. Olivia made her Handa Opera debut as Rosalia in West Side Story on Sydney Harbour and then went onto portraying Anathema in Squabbalogic’s production of Good Omens. Olivia released her debut single, Move On in April 2020 during a time of worldwide heartache which is a song that she holds dear to her heart. Olivia Vasquez went on to starring in Table for Six, Please! at Riverside Theatre, then portraying Carla Albanese in Squabbalogic’s production of NINE and has continued to branch out into the world of cabaret, starring in Rewired: Musicals Reimagined by Hayes Theatre Co and her one woman cabaret, Miss Vasquez Intimate & Live, directed by Jake Tyler, which premiered at the Darlinghurst Theatre. Olivia recently signed with Vivienne’s Modelling Agency and is a proud curve model – you can see her in the latest Valentine’s Day Campaign for Bras N Things.

Jake Tyler (Director) is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Music graduating with a Bachelor of Music majoring in Musical Theatre.Whilst at AIM, Jake played leading role Darryl Van Horn in The Witches of Eastwick the musical and since graduating, Jake has performed in Squabbalogic’s production of Kiss Me Kate! and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He then performed alongside American Composer John Bucchino and was also invited to perform with international star Adele in her Australian tour. Jake toured with Echelon Productions and soon after joined the Australian Shakespeare Company Sydney premiere season of The Jungle Book. Jake then went onto starring in the premiere production of Gone Too Soon with Mama Montez Productions and then joined international group The Tap Pack and sailed the high seas. Jake later toured New Zealand playing the lead role of Munkustrap in CATS the Musical. Jake has portrayed Prince Phillip in Opera Australia’s world premiere of Whiteley – The Brett Whiteley Opera and Opera Australia’s most recent Marriage of Figaro. Jake has made guest appearances in MAKO Island Of SecretsMortifiedA Place To Call Home and has appeared in TVC’S including Mamma Mia, Hungry Jacks, KFC and most recently CC & Dry in 2021. Jake will be premiering his self-devised cabaret later this year at an iconic venue which he can’t wait to share with you all very soon.

Andy Freeborn (Musical Director/ accompanist) is a musician, writer, composer and performer. Having completed their Bachelor of Music (Music Theatre) at the Australian Institute of Music, Andy has since performed and toured in shows including Spiegelesque with Kermond Creative as their accompanist, and more frequently in The Vaudevillians, playing the theatre obsessed pianist, touring Sydney, Rockhampton, Adelaide Fringe Festival, P&O Cruises, and in association with Create or Die! Andy has also performed in the pit for Miracle City under the musical direction of Max Lambert, in their 2018 Opera House season. Acting Highlights Include: The Narrator/Mysterious Man in Into the Woods, directed by Tyran Parke. Leopold Bloom in The Producers and The Major General in The Pirates of Penzance, Sid Sorokin in The Pajama Game, directed by Jennifer Murphy, musical direction by Greg Crease, and The Narrator in The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! Andy’s original work has been performed across New South Wales, South Australia & Queensland, varying skit comedy shows, cabaret evenings and musicals. Andy’s corporate gig highlights include: Live Model Pianist for Canon Australia, improvising and providing mood music for a haunted ballerina setting, and most recently, the role of Musical Director for Nikki Webster, for a private performance. (LeMashum). Andy’s music theatre writing credits are; Hansel & Gretel (book, music & lyrics), Holy Ship! (music & orchestrations – performances on the Sunshine Coast 2021) and Alice’s Adventures (book, music, lyrics), which is currently undergoing rehearsals for the first staged, orchestrated and open to the public performance, spanning the 6 years of the project’s development.

JYE BRYANT (Dramaturg) is a Sydney-based, Australian Composer/ Lyricist whose compositions are performed on Cabaret circuits all over the world, where he has gained popularity as the composer of choice for many high profile artists. Known for his quick-witted lyrics, memorable melodies and Social Justice themes, Jye’s songs touch the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere. Credits to date include: Captain Moonlite, The Things I Could Never Tell Steven, Sempre Libera, an adaption of  The Velveteen Rabbit, Gold Digger Nights, Sail Away, My Final Curtain Call, Adam and Steve, Dress Rehearsal, The Oldest Profession and many adaptions of famous fairy tales into popular Pantomimes.  Jye’s newest musical creation, CAPTAIN MOONLITE, the largely unknown story of Andrew George Scott (based on the Death Cell Letters of A.G. Scott) will premiere at Redcliffe Musical Theatre (QLD) from 21-30th August, 2020! And after 7 international seasons, Jye’s musical, The Things I Could Never Tell Steven, will be staged this November at Riverside Theatre’s Parramatta by the National Theatre of Parramatta. Jye is currently working on a new Australian musical, True Blue, with Sydney-based playwright, Maxine Appel-Cohen, about Jye’s famous convict ancestor, Billy Blue who was born to escaped African American slaves in Long Island, New York. He somehow ended up in England after the American War of Independence before stealing sugar and being sent to New South Wales in 1801. Stay tuned to learn more about this quirky character of colonial Sydney. https://www.jyebryant.com/

WHEN: 4, 11, 18 & 25 July @ 6:30pm (Sundays in July)

WHERE: El Rocco Room, 154 Brougham St, Potts Point

COST: $45/ $50

DURATION: 70 minutes (no interval)

BOOKINGS : https://events.humanitix.com/back-to-ma

Featured image : Maria De Marco

 

STREAMED SHAKESPEARE’S LATEST ALBUM : HENRY IV : A SYMPHONIC SUITE

Streamed Shakespeare’s Artistic Director Holly Champion

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown… or a set of headphones, plugged into a digital orchestra… when that head is creating a whole feature film’s worth of music for an epic space opera! 

When Cologne-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Bremen was first approached by old  friend and Sydney-based actor/director Holly Champion to create music for her Woodstock-inspired  The Winter’s Tale in May 2020, neither of them knew just where this would lead. Champion had  founded new theatre company Streamed Shakespeare only two months earlier at the start of the pandemic, but already it was making waves in the Australian indie theatre scene, with hundreds of  actors and creatives on board, all enthusiastically exploring the new frontier of livestreamed Zoom theatre.  Continue reading STREAMED SHAKESPEARE’S LATEST ALBUM : HENRY IV : A SYMPHONIC SUITE

ARCHIBALD, WYNNE AND SULMAN PRIZES : THIS YEAR’S WINNERS ARE…

The Archibald Prize winner. Pic: Jenni Carter, Art Gallery Of New South Wales

Melbourne-based artist Peter Wegner has won the 2021 Archibald Prize and $100,000 for his portrait of artist Guy Warren AM, titled Portrait of Guy Warren at 100.

A six-time Archibald Prize finalist, Wegner painted 100 year old Warren, coinciding with the 100 year anniversary of Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait award.

Speaking from Melbourne, Wegner was emotional when Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand delivered the news that his brilliant portrait of Guy Warren was the winner of the 2021 Archibald Prize.

’When Michael called, my wife burst into tears, and I was speechless. This is an unbelievable moment in my life. It’s the culmination of years of my time in the studio and validation of my work.

‘When I think about the canon of all the previous winners and I get to be one of those names, especially in the 100th year, it is just an extraordinary feeling. I am humbled.

‘Guy Warren turned 100 in April – he was born the same year the Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921. This is not why I painted Guy, but the coincidence is nicely timed,’ Wegner said. Continue reading ARCHIBALD, WYNNE AND SULMAN PRIZES : THIS YEAR’S WINNERS ARE…