2020 Chinese Lunar New Year’s Gala Night

Sydney Town Hall – 28 Jan 2020 7:30PM

Enjoy a stunning gala night combining traditional and contemporary arts from east and west.

The performance is being held to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year 2020 blending dance, singing, music, acrobatics and martial arts with the leading performers direct from China and Australia.

Pop stars and classic culture artists come together delivering a sensational modern performance not to be missed. This phenomenal production takes you on an incredible journey from the starting point of the legendary “Silk Road” of Shaanxi, highlighting the traditional through to the modern cultures of today.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful night of celebration with family and friends!






Jamie Lee Curtis  is married to a Baron, the fifth Baron Hayden-Guest, a hereditary British peerage. However, he is more commonly known as Christopher Guest, writer, director and actor in a series of wicked satires starting with “This is Spinal Tap’, ‘Waiting for Guffman’, ‘Best in Show’, ‘A Mighty Wind’, ‘For Your Consideration’ and ‘Mascots’.

One might think that she was a latter day Meghan Markle marrying up in the world to the British peerage. Jamie Lee Curtis came from Hollywood royalty being the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

Janet Leigh’s most famous role was in ‘Psycho’ and in particular the shower scene. One might say that Halloween’s Jamie Lee Curtis is both a literal and metaphoric daughter of horror.

It is an auspicious time for this movie’s release as it is 40 years since she made her film debut in 1978 starring as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’. She has reprised the role of Laurie in four sequels, Halloween 11 (1981), Halloween H20 (1998), Halloween Resurrection (2002), and Halloween (2018). Continue reading JAMIE LEE CURTIS, HALLOWEEN AND THE BLACK CARPET

Gordon Ramsay proves an ultimate fit in bondi junction

Gordon Ramsay.chatting to some youngsters. Pic by ben Apfelbaum.

On  Friday 19th January, Bondi Junction Westfield hosted one of its biggest crowds ever when controversial celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay made an appearance to promote his latest book GORDON RAMSAY- ULTIMATE FIT FOOD, as well as to signal his association with Royal Doulton ware. Continue reading Gordon Ramsay proves an ultimate fit in bondi junction


The Industry Awards were held at the Star on the 4th December, 2017 to celebrate the  work of the ‘behind the scene’ players. Some prominent celebrities turned up to show their support.

Pics by Ben Apfelbaum.



This year the rock and pop chicks decided to go glamorous and the blokes wore the traditional grunge. Although the headline acts did not walk the carpet, the presence of so many up and coming musicians gave the Red Carpet a very special buzz.  Featured image is of Samantha Jade. All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).



Beautiful. Not only was the musical beautiful but so were many of the celebs who walked the Red Carpet. Here are some of the best pics that Ben Apfelbaum took. Enjoy!

Featured image. Left to right- Director Marc Bruni, Writer Douglas McGarth, Producers – Michael Cassel and Mike Bosner.


Featured photo –  Ensemble Patrons Georgie Parker and Todd McKenney.

All photos by Ben Apfelbaum (c).

At a swish function held  at the theatre, the Ensemble announced its 2018 season. The foyer was overflowing with both subscribers and theatre identities.

Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry unveiled details of  the season and the theatre’s 60th birthday celebrations, with an opening song by Queenie Van De Zandt accompanied by Max Lambert from her cabaret BLUE – THE SONGS OF JONI MITCHELL.

Guests then enjoyed a Spanish themed after launch party in the downstairs Bailey restaurant with George Washingmachine’s  trio playing in the background.

The 2018 Season includes four world premieres from Australian writers, a novel adaptation of a French play, four comedy classics, and two gripping international dramas from master playwrights.

Mark Kilmurry is directing five of the plays and there will be five guest directors; John Bell, Mitchell Butel, Susanna Dowling, Nadia Tass and Janine Watson.  Theatre legend Reg Livermore will be performing his new one man show, The Widow Unplugged.

Other highlight 60th birthday events include a season of Pop Up Cabarets, featuring Mitchell Butel, Todd McKenney and Queenie Van De Zandt and a series of  ‘Mornings with Sandra’- 11am matinee sessions featuring Australia’s longest serving Artistic Director , recounting some of the theatre’s history and highlights with Ensemble founding members , Lorraine Bayley and Reg Livermore together with acclaimed playwright David Williamson.




How appropriate that an outfit called Icon Books should publish Charlotte Rampling’s WHO I AM.

Rampling is an undeniable icon of film and popular culture, and her book, co authored by Christophe Bataille, is sure to achieve iconic cache.

The first thing to say about WHO I AM is what it is not.

In the first paragraph, Rampling says, with a laugh, One thing it definitely can’t be is a biography. I’ve tried telling my life story. It doesn’t work…..I don’t open up. Continue reading CHARLOTTE RAMPLING’S MEMOIR REVEALS WHO SHE IS, SORT OF…


The York Theatre foyer at the Seymour Centre proved to be an informal red carpet whilst invitees gathered for drinks prior to the recent Sydney Theatre Awards ceremony.

As well as being able to put faces to the critics, young and upcoming actors and creatives took the opportunity to mix with journalists, award winners and even theatre royalty such as Peter Carroll and Maggie Dence.

Unlike in the States where the media is a little insular, Sydney’s media is a collegiate where everybody is supportive and approachable. This convivial atmosphere was on show for all to see on the night.

Featured image- Peter Carroll and Maggie Dence. Images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).


Australian cricket great Michael Clarke was on hand last Wednesday at the Dymocks city store to sign copies of his newly published autobiography MY STORY. 

Clarke was the greatest batsman of his generation and, as captain, possessed the sharpest tactical mind in the game.

Bursting onto the scene in 2004 with a Test century on debut, Michael Clarke was Australian cricket’s golden boy. And the batting prodigy they nicknamed ‘Pup’ certainly fulfilled his destiny in a stellar 11-year international career of 115 Tests, 8643 runs and 28 centuries. Continue reading BOOK SIGNING : MICHAEL CLARKE : ‘MY STORY’


One of the longest red carpets (rainbow coloured in fact) was installed in front of the Hoyts Entertainment Quarter to accommodate, along its sides, a multitude of fans who adore Justin Timberlake.

As well as voicing one of the leads Timberlake also served as the film’s Executive Music Producer, the soundtrack of which features four original songs including songs by Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Anna Kendrick, and Ariana Granda.

Other cast members include Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel, Christine Baranski, James Corden, and John Cleese. Our own  Dami Im is the voice of Grandma Rosiepuff.

Justin Timberlake seemed relaxed and happy  to meet his fans posing patiently for selfies and signing autographs.

TROLLS opens in cinemas on December 1.

All images copyright Ben Apfelbaum.


The greatest Australian cyclist of all time Cadel Evans attended a book signing event at Dymocks Sydney city store on 15th November.

Famous in the sport for his meticulous preparation and an athlete who prided himself on his ability to ‘leave it all on the road’, Evans writes about the triumphs, the frustrations, the training, the preparation, the psychology of the sport, his contemporaries, the legends, and his enduring love of the beauty of cycling. Continue reading CADEL EVANS : THE ART OF CYCLING


Sydney loves to host royalty and foreign dignitaries. On Thursday 3rd November King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands enjoyed a sparkling day packed with events for them to attend.

In the morning the Dutch Royal couple had a private business meeting with the Netherlands  Foreign Investment Agency that aims to assist companies that want to invest in the Netherlands.

After paying a courtesy call on the State Governor David Hurley and his wife Linda at Government House the King and Queen then paid a visit to the University of Sydney. There the Royal couple was welcomed by University Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson and met with Australian students who have been studying in the Netherlands and Dutch students currently studying in Australia. Continue reading DUTCH KING AND QUEEN VISIT SYDNEY


Last Sunday night at the State Theatre  the Australian premiere of Hacksaw Ridge took place.

HACKSAW RIDGE tells the true story of a Seventh Day Adventist Desmond Doss who was drafted into the military during the World War 2 Battle of Okinawa but refused to carry a weapon because of his beliefs. Despite that fact he was  awarded two Congressional Medals of Honour, the highest commendation of valour, but humbly only accepted one of them.

The international stars did not attend the red carpet but the film has a largely an Australian cast, many of whom were in attendance at the premiere .

Director Mel Gibson was also present and pleased with the fact that the film had a standing ovation in Cannes. It is his first directorial stint in a decade and was shot mainly in the Penrith and Richmond area.

Addendum –  In the AACTA award nominations that have just been announced, Hacksaw Ridge has received 13 nominations.

Featured image- Angela Bishop and Richard Wilkins. All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).


I attended the Stanton Library in North Sydney yesterday when Tara Moss, Canadian-Australian author, television presenter, journalist, former model, UNICEF national ambassador for child survival and PHd candidate in gender and cultural studies at Sydney University came through to give a brief talk about her new book, TARA MOSS SPEAKING OUT- A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, and then did a book signing.

Here are a few  of my pics.

Tara Moss - speaking out

Tara Moss @ Stanton Library - 22.6.2016 (10)

Tara Moss @ Stanton Library - 22.6.2016 (3)







Above- A delighted Meg Keneally at the launch of THE SOLDIER'S CURSE. Featured- Proud father and daughter, Tom and Meg Keneally at the launch of their first novel. Photography by Ben Apfelbaum.
Above- A delighted Meg Keneally at the launch of THE SOLDIER’S CURSE. Featured- Proud father and daughter, Tom and Meg Keneally at the launch of their first novel. Photography by Ben Apfelbaum.

As part of Dymocks Sydney’s regular series of book launches, Meg and Tom Keneally attended Dymock’s prized city store this week for the launch of their first collaborative novel entitled THE SOLDIER’S CURSE.

In their promotional material Dymocks has cleverly described father and daughter as Australia’s newest super-sleuth duo. Continue reading MEG AND TOM KENEALLY LAUNCH THEIR FIRST NOVEL ‘THE SOLDIER’S CURSE’ @ DYMOCKS SYDNEY


Marty Feldman- second
Featured pic- Mel Brooks and Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein

“Ray circumcised himself sitting in a café called the 91 on Charlotte Street, SoHo. Ray thought he was Jesus and Jesus was Jewish. He used the knife he’d eaten his fish with. I’m pretty certain Jesus didn’t have chips with his fish.”

So goes one of the myriad anecdotes and stories that go into the minestrone of Marty Feldman’s unearthed autobiography, eyE MARTY.

This resurrected reminiscence comes 33 years after its author shuffled off his mortal coil, the same amount of time Jesus reputedly walked upon the earth. Spooky, as Marty reveals a God complex in these iris popping annals. Continue reading EYE MARTY: THE NEWLY DISCOVERED AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A COMIC GENIUS


Inset pic- Emcees Deborah Hutton and Richard Wilkins. Featured pic- Olivia Newton John and her husband
Inset pic- Emcees Deborah Hutton and Richard Wilkins. Featured pic- Olivia Newton John and her husband John Easterling

She is one of the most famous people in the world thanks to her starring roles in Grease and Xanadu.  

Now nearly three decades on and still looking younger than her age, a smiling and radiant Olivia Newton-John graced the red carpet with her husband John Easterling  by her side.

Olivia was in Melbourne celebrating and co-hosting her 3rd annual ONJ Gala which raises money, support and awareness for her Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital Melbourne. Continue reading OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN GALA CHARITY EVENT



There was plenty of glitz and glamour at last week’s 1950s retro TV themed Annual Red Ball Gala at the luxurious Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne. All the proceeds of the event go to the Fight Cancer Foundation.

Of course all eyes were on the red carpet when Fight Cancer Foundation’s patrons and humanitarians, Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborah-Lee Furness arrived.

The Hollywood power couple, who next year celebrate 20 years of marriage, have been with the Foundation since the beginning. The inspiration came from Furness’s mother.

Deborah told Sydney Arts Guide, “My mother Faye Duncan was one of the original board members who started this committee and it started as a simple sausage sizzle and cooking bake offs. We began really small and have come so far, over 20 years on, with a lot of hard work and a lot of wonderful volunteers and support to make it such a wonderful event”. Continue reading 23rd ANNUAL RED GALA BALL @ GRAND HYATT HOTEL MELBOURNE

David Duchovny’s Holy Cow

david duchovny
Actor turned novelist David Duchovny

Holy cow, David Duchovny can write! Yes the actor who put the smoulder in Mulder in the X Files has turned novelist with an udder delight of a book HOLY COW.

Written originally as a screenplay which Pixar turned down – go figure, cows are far cooler than Cars – Dave has taken the bull by the horns and fleshed out the script to novel dimensions.

And novel it is, the tale narrated by a cow, Elsie Bovary. She’s no Flaubert -night creation.

Intended to be a book read to children by adults, HOLY COW is unabashedly full of dad jokes, pungent puns, and literary allusions that span Animal Farm to Charlotte’s Web and back to Babe.

Continue reading David Duchovny’s Holy Cow

Julie Andrews Charms Sydney

Julie AndrewsMs Andrews is currently touring Australia with a one-woman show about her life: “An Evening with Julie Andrews”. Her press conference, held at the Park Hyatt Hotel yesterday, was to enable the press to photograph Ms Andrews and to also ask questions about her life, work  and her forthcoming show.

For those millions of fans out there, like myself, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear Ms Andrews talk about her life, her achievements and her interests – but sadly, not sing.

An operation that went wrong a few years ago robbed us of her beautiful voice prematurely. Fortunately, she has an exceptionally large recorded oeuvre, both film and music, which we can continue to enjoy forever.

In answer to a question I asked her about how she coped, Ms Andrews talked about the difficulties she had in reassessing her image of herself after her voice was damaged. However, out of this difficult time has come a new direction – setting up a publishing house with her daughter and writing children’s books which incorporate strong story telling and music. I had not come across them yet so will have to road test them with my grandchildren!

Ms Andrews briefly spoke about the people who had mentored and inspired her, but left further details for her upcoming show.  I was particularly struck by her emphasizing that her advice to young people wanting a career in the performing arts was to work hard and be prepared, which I have taken the liberty of paraphrasing as: Luck = Hard Work + Opportunity.

It was wonderful to hear Ms Andrews talk and realise that the person behind the screen and stage persona is such an intelligent and articulate woman with a lifetime of wisdom to share.

If you are lucky enough to get tickets to one of the two shows she is giving in Sydney, on either the 24th or the 25th May, I am sure that you will experience a wonderful evening.

© Toni Adams

17 May 2013