22 December 2013

A wonderful year for Sydney audiences!

It’s holiday time at last, and time to relax and reflect on a year soon gone in a flash. Here in Sydney it’s been a great year for all aspects of entertainment, we’ve seen world standard performances and been blessed with a steady flow of unforgettable experiences in the theatres, stadiums and cabaret clubs.

I’ve looked back at the reviews and pieces that got the most attention from you readers, what you liked, shared, clicked and commented on. So here is the review of my year on Guidetogay.com, collenwindsor.com and facebook.


It’s been a great year for cabaret and such a broad variety of artists played in concert halls to pubs with Kristin Chenoweth getting my gong. Best known on-stage for creating the role of Glinda, the good witch, in the original Broadway and West End productions of Wicked, Kristin Chenoweth toured capital cities after appearing as the headline act for the opening weekend of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. I saw her concert at the Sydney Opera House which was packed to the rafters with her amazingly appreciative fans.

Ms Chenoweth sang songs covering her whole Broadway career, Cabaret, Avenue Q, Glee and of course Wicked. This concert included one of those ‘you had to there moments’. Sitting in the house seats was Lucy Durack, Australia’s Glinda; Kristin called her up on stage to sing with her. Kristin asked Lucy to sing Glinda’s part to her Elphaba’s part of For Good. Goosebumps were flying up the neck of everyone in the hall – a truly electrifying and unforgettable moment. I wrote in my review at the time “this was as good as cabaret gets”.
A massive year for ‘world tour’ concerts calling by Sydney and apparently they all did huge business - Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and J Lo amongst them. But the gong here is all Pink’s The Truth About Love record breaking extravaganza!  Pink played the most dates, stayed the longest and grossed the most revenue – Australian audiences love her and she gives back to every ticket holder in spades. They even shot the DVD in Melbourne for US release next year.
The concert had heart, was very creative in its look and feel, production values as good as any, and the most amazing circus aspect I’d ever seen.  The playlist featured mostly from the album of the tours name with a very tight cast of singers, dancers and an awesome band. Pink is the ultimate all round entertainer but at her core a brilliant singer.

8 November 2013

The Mrs Carter Show World Tour

Sydney: 2 November 2013

These spectacular arena shows are to me this day Ringling Brothers – ‘greatest show on earth’, a super sensory overload of colour, light and sound held together with magic and a dash of smoke and mirrors.  And so it was with this the fifth concert tour by American recording artist Beyoncé Knowles.
This show was one of the most expensive productions I’ve seen – in the same class as a Madonna or Michael Jackson world tour shows. It contained the use of every stage effect you could possibly have, the video element was huge and I mean a huge screen that covered the whole front of stage area at times, truly pretty lighting and many many wonderful costumes. 

Beyoncé and cast used a running theme referencing the look of Marie Antoinette and Queen Elizabeth throughout the show most notably in beautiful photos and graphics shown on the video screens - the ermine capes, sceptre, gilded ruffs, ‘caged’ skirts, tiaras and jewels.
This was cleverly blurred as the video came to life in dance and suddenly Beyoncé arrived in white and just stood there for several seconds as the whole arena stood as one to welcome the queen! ‘Run the World’ was the first of many of the hits from her last album 4; ‘End of Time’ and ‘If I Were a Boy’. It’s fair to say, at this show, that her voice for the first few songs was showing the signs of ‘fourth night in a row’ syndrome but once off and running we were treated to all of the bells and whistles of her amazing talent.

1 November 2013

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

photo kurt sneddon
I went along to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which has recently opened at Sydney’s Theatre Royal, because it’s starring Tony Sheldon, making his return home after great success as Bernadette in Priscilla on the West End and Broadway, but what I got was a whole lot of fun and a very surprising night in the theatre. 
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is based on a 1988 film of the same name, which I’ve never seen, so I didn’t know the story beforehand and was delighted with this clever, entertaining and very funny kind of old Hollywood comedy that took me on hilarious turns I couldn’t see coming – this script is the fantastic base on which this show is created.      

Music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Jeffrey Lane, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels centres on two con men on the French Riviera. The first is the suave, sophisticated and successful Lawrence Jameson, Tony Sheldon, the other, a small-time crook named Freddy Benson played with great gusto by Matt Hetherington, who was on team Delta on the first series of the voice and won the Helpmann Award as Best Actor in the musical production of The Full Monty.

18 October 2013

DIVA 2013 – and whose star is rising?

In 1974 the CAPS Awards were the equivalent of the DIVA Awards, and like the early DIVAs, the entertainment at the CAPS was made up of numbers from the working showgirls and spots from those nominated for an Award.  I had been performing in Loraine Campbell Craig’s Sunday afternoon Stray Girls talent show and was nominated in the Best Newcomer category. I was invited to perform When You Smile my big number at the time by Shirley Bassey. I wore a costume I borrowed from a sister showgirl who, in turn, had bought it from Carlotta. I can remember being very nervous and then disappointed when someone else’s name was read out as the winner.

fast forward…  
For an up and coming performer in the Industry, the only interesting Award is that of DIVA Rising Star, and this year is possibly the most wide open category in years. The current Sydney Industry is in great shape with several different talent nights discovering new performers and many show great potential. This got me wondering - do the showgirls who might be nominated have a similar story to mine? I spoke with some of the possible Rising Star’s to find out.
Ivy Leaguee

Ivy has only been a showgirl for two years, which is amazing when you think of her impact on the current Sydney scene. Being a finalist in Tora’s Drag Race in 2012 launched Ivy on her journey to the top. The two finalists of that drag race went on to join the cast of the Midnight Shifts regular Thursday cast where Ivy began to develop and grow her talent.
Ivy told me “It’s about 2 years ago when I decided I wasn't going to stop until I became a Sydney showgirl. Setting goals and achieving them much sooner than I would have ever thought is crazy. It just shows you can do anything if you want it bad enough and are willing to put in the time”. 
Ivy lists her mentors as Minnie Cooper, for encouraging her to do what she wanted when everyone else said the opposite. Kitty Glitter for giving her opportunity's she’d only dreamt of and encouraging her to dream big and reach for them. And tells me Decoda Secret is truly an inspiration, teaching her and prepping her for everything that could possibly happen.
Ivy is a busy showgirl and performs in the current smashes, Kylie-Made in Heaven at the Imperial Hotel and Manuf#cktured at Arq. She hosts her own night at The Gay Bar and recently produced and starred in the spectacular Shakedown party show for In the Dark.
Ivy told me that “One day I hope to be an inspiration and support to many other baby queens and help them reach their dreams, as so many of us wouldn't be here without the help and support from our showgirls and showgirls before them”.

27 September 2013

Art & About, Private Lives – Public Places

For someone that can’t exist in an artless world, spring in Sydney and its annual Art & About festival is always a joy. Just walking around the city centre catching my eye left right and centre is someone’s artistic expression. Some of it with a message, some just for fun and some thankfully to brighten our day.

The whole thing which runs for a month til 20 October is a curated show created and paid for by the City of Sydney. This year is a delight really, with some of the longstanding favourites like City Life making a return and some very clever and engaging installations with a message.
The Sydney Life photography prize is the backbone of the festival and now in its 12th year. Each of the finalist images has been blown up and exhibited along St James Avenue in Hyde Park including sunbakers, family pets, a whale washed up on the beach, Spiderman enjoying a beer and an aerobics class in action.


Jenny Evans from Woollahra is the winner of the $10,000 prize. Jenny’s stunning image, Eleanor, portrait of a boxer, was one of 22 finalist images selected from more than 1,300 submissions. It’s an interesting mix and in capturing so many different aspects it’s a show that hits home what a diverse old lot we are. I loved the black and white shot of Newtown called ‘time is a foggy road that has no end’ it’s a very different and eerie look at City life.


20 September 2013

Courtney Act - ‘Boys Like Me’

Courtney Act stormed the Gingers stage in Sydney last night – in a triumphant homecoming! Looking drop dead gorgeous in a simple soft pink sequin classic showgirl gown, all class and in terrific voice she brought her new cabaret show Boys Like Me back to her old stomping ground and to an audience of friends and admirers. As she said in her welcoming spiel – “is there anyone here tonight I don’t know”, it was that kind of night.


Boys Like Me is a clever ninety minute showcase of Courtney’s charm. It tells the story of her life in the US and the sexual encounters and delights she has experienced walking the gender divide. I mean what’s not to like about a string of tantalising sex stories and a whole lot of perfectly selected pop songs to illuminate the point.

We learn over the course of the show about Shane’s (the guy behind Courtney) earlier sexual education, through teenage stories of sexual awakening and songs like Katy Perry’s I kissed a girl and a fantastic version of Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t you worry child with chorus lyrics “See heavens got a plan for you” being a stroke of genius in giving these stories genuine heart amongst the wit and fun.

5 September 2013

Showgirl on backtrack

The last thing I thought I’d be up to is preparing for a performance - but ‘Legends of the Golden Mile’ here I come!

Bubbling along, pretty much under the radar, for almost a year is an interest in the 70’s 80’s & 90’s on the Sydney gay scene, and people who had the best time experiencing those years reliving and sharing their memories. I guess it started with the creation of the social media page ‘Lost Gay Sydney’ where everyone shared old photos and past experiences, reconnected with friends and caught up on the whereabouts of the people with whom their youth was lived. 
This led to a tea dance last December, ‘Reunited’, and a group of us eight showgirls who had worked the scene back in the eighties and nineties coming together to perform the signature show. Whilst we had the best time reconnecting and enjoying the company of each other in creating that performance, the party was a bit of a disaster and to cut a long story short – we did not receive our fee. Unfortunately to many showgirls this is not an isolated experience and between you and me, glamour doesn’t come cheap.
For a short time the famous Imperial Hotel in Sydney presented monthly retro events showcasing different showgirls of the past, and that has led to a lovely little series of intimate evenings at the Oxford Hotel ‘Legends of the Golden Mile’.

6 August 2013

‘Sydney Moderns’ the most colourful spot in town

It seems for the art lover that these days you have to travel all over Australia to see the blockbuster that you’ll never forget. This winter it’s to Melbourne for the show from Paris – Monet’s Garden, up to Brisbane for the Spanish masterpieces from the Prado in Madrid or to the National Gallery in Canberra for the much hyped and very popular Turner from the Tate.  So to be honest it was a real surprise that on a whim I took a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW, one of my most favourite places in all of Sydney, and discovered Sydney Moderns – Art for a New World. 

Over 180 works by Australia’s most iconic artists, exploring the making of a modern city and representing one of the most distinctive and creative periods in the history of Australian art, between the first and second world wars. This show is bursting with colour and the pictures jump off the wall as if to say for the first time – look at me I’m very Sydney, new, modern, and exciting – and this in the 1930’s.
Grace Cossington Smith, The curve of the bridge 1930

2 July 2013

Idina Menzel charms Australian audiences

Idina Menzel is Broadway royalty, famed in the world of musical  theatre for creating the role of Elphaba the misunderstood, smart, and fiery girl of emerald-green skin who grows up to become the notorious Wicked Witch of the West in the musical Wicked. She won the ‘Tony’ on Broadway, the ‘Oliver’ on the West End and will be singing Defying Gravity for the rest of her career I imagine.

Idina is just completing her first Australian tour and seems to be leaving behind a mass of adoring and delighted fans. The evening I spent in her company at the Sydney Opera House this week is the kind of concert you always remember for its lovely charm and a performer who sure can sing. 

Idina Menzel has appeared in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne accompanied by that cities very splendid symphony orchestra, her own traveling trio and conducted by the glamorous Vanessa Scammell.

She literally burst onto the stage at the Opera House and immediately took the roof of the place with The Wizard and I from Wicked and straight into Don’t rain on my Parade from Funny Girl. Talk about starting with a bang!

Idina chose a simple unstructured black gown and was barefoot. Five minutes into her patter and it was obvious this was a very highly strung artist; she seemed to be firing on a whole heap of nervous energy, which to be fair was rather off-putting until you got use to her demeanor. Once she was into a song all of that disappeared.

18 June 2013

Kristin Chenoweth cast a spell over the Sydney Opera House

Best known on-stage for creating the role of Glinda, the good witch, in the original Broadway and West End productions of Wicked, Kristin Chenoweth is touring  capital cities after appearing as the headline act for the opening weekend of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Her final show of this tour was the Sydney Opera House, but it’s the one she will surely remember very fondly of her time in this country. A sold out Concert Hall awaited her on Monday night and she was welcomed with a prolonged and very enthusiastic collection of applause, cheers and floor stomping. Her assembled munchkins were all hers – and she sure cast a spell over us.
She wasted no time in showcasing the kind of voice she has been blessed with in opening songs by Kander & Ebb Maybe this time from Cabaret and the gorgeous My Colouring Book. But Kristin Chenoweth is not just a singer, she’s one of those entertainers with a massive E, funny, engaging and a great story teller, not afraid to send herself up performing a hilarious routine with puppets from Avenue Q, which opened in the same season as Wicked and beat it to the Tony Award. 
Kristin guest starred on musical TV show Glee as April Rhodes and sang One last bell to answer and A house is not a home from that show which won her the first of what were to be many standing ovations. Supported by wonderful music from a small 12 piece orchestra and three singer/dancers under the musical direction of Mary-Mitchell Campbell this was as good as cabaret gets.

1 May 2013

The Archibald Prize 2013

Sydneysiders love their Archibald and as in past years the crowds down at the Art Gallery of NSW are huge; it’s certainly a massive attraction heralding the start of autumn.  But what’s missing is any kind of buzz – the show is at best a bit ordinary.

In this the 92nd year there are fewer finalists down to 38, although there were 868 entries, and some of the more well-known subjects include Anthony Mundine, Asher Keddie, Bille Brown, Ken Done and Naomi Watts and for the first time (for me anyway) not a Politian to be seen.
The Archibald Prize is one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious art prizes. It’s awarded to the best portrait painting, preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics.  Jules François Archibald’s primary aim, through his bequest of 1919, was to foster portraiture, as well as support artists, and perpetuate the memory of great Australians.
Hugo Weaving by Del Kathryn Barton
The trend of past years seems to continue with mainly two kinds of work, the huge, over oiled type or the totally photogenic. Mind you this year most of the finalists have made use of a full colour palate – a nice change over those many sepia pencil portraits of the last few years.
The winner is full of colour and seemed poplar amongst the art gallery crowd the day I visited, although it seemed to lack soul for me. Del Kathryn Barton’s decorative, highly detailed painting of Hugo Weaving is a vibrant and joyous portrait – combining traditional painting techniques with contemporary design. This is her fourth time in the Archibald Prize which she won in 2008 with a portrait of herself with her two children.

17 April 2013

They’re creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky – The Addams Family

Do you remember the 60’s – 70’s TV show the Addams Family, well it’s now a delightful Broadway Musical and currently playing  its Australian premier season at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. The orchestra strike up the overture which features that very familiar TV show theme and at once the whole audience clapped twice  where the finger clicks come, setting us up for the next two hours of good old family theater fair. 

It’s a lightweight musical comedy with a simple story line. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family and who she plans to become engaged to. She confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother, which nearly kills him as he has never kept a secret from his wife before.
photo by Jeff Busby
Wednesday wants the Addams’s to meet her boyfriend and his family and has invited them to a family dinner at the Addams mansion.  There all here the lovable larger than life spooky family: parents Gomez and Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Pugsley and the butler Lurch, who Wednesday wants to display as a ‘normal’ family. Of course when the Beineke Family of Mal, Alice and only son Lucas arrive the weird and wonderful all goes into fourth gear with nothing quite going to Wednesday’s plan.

The writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, who also wrote Jersey Boys, have captured the unique style of the TV show that combined the twisted, macabre and just plain weird with charm and wit into a slick and witty piece full of great one-liners and clever sight gags. The songs by Andrew Lippa are pleasant enough with their pop and peppy melodies, although you don’t leave humming them, do add to the story and keep up a great toe tapping pace.  

13 March 2013

Cat on a Hot (well warm) Tin Roof

The Broadway director Elia Kazan said of Tennessee Williams: "Everything in his life is in his plays, and everything in his plays is in his life." Williams struggled with depression throughout most of his life and lived with the constant fear that he would go insane as did his sister Rose. For much of it, he battled addictions to prescription drugs and alcohol, mental instability and issues in coming to terms with being homosexual.

Sydney audiences seem to be attracted to these notions and to the works of Tennessee Williams. Over recent years productions of his plays have been huge hits. These are big plays in the theatre world and require fine acting to be successful.
The Sydney Theatre Company presented William’s The Glass Menagerie in 2002 with Robyn Nevin and Marcus Graham being hailed as some of the best theatre Sydney had seen in years, with a season extended and extended.  Cate Blanchett and Joel Edgerton starred in a very sexy A Streetcar Named Desire in 2009, which won every possible theatre accolade going and toured to New York to great acclaim.
 Ewen Leslie and Jacqueline McKenzie
So Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, currently playing at Belvoir, was hugely anticipated and enjoys such great presale that this season will be extended and transfer to the Theatre Royal. But for me it’s not in the same class as those former productions – it’s good but not great.
The play is set at the home of Brick and Maggie where all the family have gathered to celebrate Bricks fathers 65th birthday. Big Daddy and Big Mama are wealthy land owners with two children, Brick and Gooper. Both are married. Brick is married to Maggie and Gooper is married to Mae. Gooper and Mae have five children, established jobs and a normal home setting. Brick is an alcoholic who refuses to sleep with his wife because he blames her for the death of his best friend, Skipper.  Big Daddy is dying of cancer and although this has been kept from him and his wife, the rest of the family are circling and fighting over who will inherit the wealth.

8 March 2013

Driving Miss Daisy – the Australian Tour

You know you’re in for something very special when a theatre foyer glows with an electric atmosphere of anticipation. So it was when my friend and I arrived at Sydney’s Theatre Royal this week to see the Alfred Uhry's timeless Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, Driving Miss Daisy. 
This Australian tour stars the extraordinary talents of the legendary five-time Tony Award winner and three-time Academy Award nominee Angela Lansbury and two-time Tony Award winner and Honorary Academy Award recipient James Earl Jones. Also starring four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines, David Esbjornson's acclaimed, smash-hit production has dazzled audiences and critics on Broadway and the West End.
 The play spans a period of twenty-five years in an unbroken series of segments. At the beginning of the play, 1948, Daisy Werthan, Angela Lansbury, a seventy-two-year-old, southern Jewish widow, has just crashed her brand new car while backing it out of the garage. After the accident, her son Boolie, Boyd Gaines, insists that she is not capable of driving. Over her protests, he hires a driver — Hoke Coleburn, James Earl Jones an uneducated African American who is sixty. At first, Daisy wants nothing to do with Hoke but over the course of the play this unlikely pair becomes best friends.
Over short and often very witty scenes we travel through many years highlighting their changing relationships, and as the play concludes its 1973, Daisy is ninety-seven and Hoke is eighty-five, we have been witness to a backdrop of prejudice, inequality and civil unrest whist experiencing a wonderful story of friendship and aging.
These performances are extraordinary, the characters totally have you in the moment; as an audience you experience and feel the tensions and challenges of the place and time. It’s not at all dark; one of the most enduring aspects is just how witty the dialogue is.

26 February 2013

An Afternoon with Megan Mullally

“See that fascinating creature, with perfection stamped on every feature” so goes the lyrics to the Jerry Herman song Look what happened to Mabel, which Megan Mullally sang as part of her very charming cabaret show and lit the fuse to a very splendid afternoon in the theatre.

Megan Mullally
Appearing at the Sydney Theatre with comedian and pianist Seth Rudetsky as the headline act of the Sydney Mardi Gras 35th Anniversary Festival, Ms Mullally and Mr Rudetsky had a full house as putty in their fine-tuned stage presence hands. 
World-famous for her iconic role as Karen Walker on the groundbreaking hit TV series Will & Grace, for which she won two Emmys, Megan has also starred in numerous Broadway shows, including Grease, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.

It seemed to me the theater was 50/50 of hard Karen Walker fans and musical theater devotees, and I wondered how this format of songs and chat was to keep everyone engaged. But together these guys were just so delightful. Right from the beginning when Megan
sang Broadway Baby from Follies we knew she could sure sing – her phrasing was spectacular. She treated us to even more wonderful Stephen Sondheim songs from Follies, Could I Leave You and a spine tingling Losing my Mind.

22 February 2013

Live at Last – East meets West

I really admire Sydney showgirl Christy McNicol who is celebrating a whopping thirty years at the top of her game. Lucky for me I’ve been a friend of Christy’s for the greater part of that time and at various times over that period I’ve had the wonderful experience of working with her. What you see on stage and in the media is exactly what you get, one of Sydney’s most glamorous and witty showgirls.

Christy has really done it all, starting at Les Girls in Kings Cross when very young and further developing her signature style working with the prestigious Simone and Monique's Playgirl Revue. She is one of only a handful of drag show entrepreneurs who have gone on and created their own shows. In the late nineties Christy brought together some of Australia's finest transsexuals to create The Original Priscilla Show which toured the country and was nominated for a Mo Award.
To achieve all this and stay at the top you need to be innovative, clever, focused, brave and talented. And I saw all this when Christy launched her new show Live at Last – East meets West, a transgender cabaret to a house full of showgirl colleagues, friends and entertainment agents at Slide Bar this week.
The show is a two hander of Christy and her partner Darlene, a new comer to Australian shore’s fresh from Singapore and two dancing boys. The whole show is two hours of live singing, cute chorry and clever patter and very glamorous costuming. 
The concept of the show, being a union of east and west, is created right from the beginning with clever video shot in Bangkok and the girls hitting the stage with a lively One night in Bangkok from Chess and maintained right through to their very glamorous ‘tits and feathers’ Kylie Minogue medley finale.
In between the girls take it in turn to sing solo as well as duet covering a great collection of well-known songs. Both girls get to talk to the audience; Darlene’s fresh approach to sharing the transgender story with the audience a delight.
The girls have used the best to create the magic, with the soundtrack being by Ian Gordon at Atlasworxk, costumes by House of Priscilla and Mama Shirl, wigs by Prada Clutch and Melissa Ali and choreography by Nick Bozanic. 

11 February 2013

a must see Torch Song Trilogy

Torch Song Trilogy was the Tony Award winning Best Play of 1983 and in this its thirtieth anniversary year is being revived all over the world. One because it’s a gay  classic but more importantly its ideas and messages of the search for love, family and acceptance are as relevant to an audience now as they were in the early eighties.

 In Sydney we luckily have the Gaiety Theatre production playing as part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival – and its excellent. It seems the critics are giving it the thumbs up but from where I sit social media and good old word of mouth are already acclaiming this one of the festival highlights. 
image Black Rabbit Photograpty
Torch Song Trilogy is a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein performed as three acts: International Stud, Fugue in a Nursery, and Widows and Children First! The story centres on Arnold Beckoff, a torch song-singing Jewish drag queen living in New York City in the early pre HIV/Aids 1980s
Each act focuses on a different phase in Arnold's life. In the first, Arnold meets Ed, who is uncomfortable with his bisexuality. In the second, one year later, Arnold meets Alan, and the two settle down into a blissful existence that includes plans to adopt a child, until tragedy strikes. In the third, several years later, Arnold is a single father raising gay teenager David. Arnold is forced to deal with his mother's intolerance and disrespect when she visits from Florida.

5 February 2013

My top five shows to see in the anniversary Mardi Gras Festival

Almost impossible to belief that the 35th Sydney Mardi Grass festival is about to begin. This year the program leans more to the quality than content trend with favourites returning and some exciting shows playing for the first time.

I’m excited and looking forward to three weeks of fabulous GLBT slanted culture. For all the details visit www.mardigras.org.au or pick up one of their cute little programs and get out and enjoy.
What am I looking forward to the most you ask – well this is my five must see for 2013.
Hats Off
Leading the start of the festival is one of my all-time favorites and never to be missed - Hats Off!  This wonderful gala variety of musical theatre and cabaret stars gathers to raise funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS and since 1997, Oz Showbiz Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Inc. have raised over $750,000.  Since 1997, Oz Showbiz Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Inc. has raised over $750,000 for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV and HIV-related illnesses.       Since 1997, Oz Showbiz Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Inc. has raised over $750,000 for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV and HIV-related illnesses.Since 1997, Oz Showbiz Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Inc. has raised over $750,000 for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV and HIV-related illnesses.
This year is just bound to be special featuring the iconic, timeless and landmark sounds with Hats Off! to the Classics. Including hits from Motown, Disco and every Broadway show, Hats Off! to the Classics promises to be a dream evening for everyone who enjoys the delightful world of musical theatre.
Expected to appear this year are David Harris, Josie Lane, Stephanie Grigg, Deborah Krizak, Monique Salle, Fiona Sullivan, Tom Sharah and of course the always wonderful, Garry Scale. Topping the bill is theatre royalty Nancye Hayes and Toni Lamond with classic Broadway showstoppers.
Taking host duties this year are the fresh and fab Chloe Dallimore and Josh Horner and along with the shows ambassador, winner of Channel 10's I Will Survive Mike Snell the lineup promises to kick the festival off with one huge bang of celebration.
Tina Arena
After four sold-out performances in Sydney last year, Tina Arena is returning to the Mardi Gras Festival for an encore performance with her Band and the magnificent Sydney Symphony conducted by young Melbourne conductor Nicholas Buc.
Tina Arena is one of our most successful international recording and performing artists with a career spanning four decades and millions of album sales worldwide; at this show she sings all her hits and a few wonderful standards.
Tina is once again joined on stage by Anthony Callea, Aria Award winner best known for his record breaking single The Prayer, who will sing two outstanding duets, including The Prayer with Tina.
Tina Arena has been a long time friend of the Sydney GLBT community and has performed at many of our celebrations including several of the Post Parade parties, Sleaze Ball’s and the closing of the Gay Games celebrations. She will be the perfect headliner for this our anniversary festival.

12 January 2013

Blaze – really is a dance spectacular

It’s all going on  at the Sydney Opera House these holidays, and at the core is the high energy, glossy street dance spectacular Blaze. This show comes to Sydney direct from a West End season and it’s full of the best young contemporary street dancers from all over the world.  
If like me you’ve got your insight to these different forms of street dance from the TV show ‘So you think you can dance’ then its that for sure, but with a whole level of production and theatricality that takes it to 90 minutes of full-on exciting and dynamic contemporary dance. The concert hall was packed full with all kinds of people from families, dance school students, date nighters and groups of friends just taking in a holiday show.      

The set, designed by Es Devlin, takes over the whole width of the concert hall stage and is inspired by the chaos of a teenage bedroom and provides a canvas for technically sophisticated video and light projections that use pioneering video mapping technology. It’s super clever with its heaps of doors and draws allowing the dancers to both access and leave the stage in ways that add to the slickness of the visual.     

This show features music by Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, David Guetta and the well known tunes all add to the flow of the dancing – which is just wonderful. These sixteen dancers cover every street style with each getting their moment to showcase their particular style. 

There are several highlights but I loved the trio of tappers working their magic to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the fun of MC Tony Thrill in his audience participation Atomic Food sequence.