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.
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
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
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
Making the most hype in lead up to its opening is the
Tony Award-winning Torch Song Trilogy which returns to Sydney for Mardi Gras 2013
in a bold new production directed by Stephen Colyer (Kiss of the Spider Woman,
Paris Letter, Hello Again). Funny and poignant, Harvey Fierstein’s intensely
personal collection of three works chronicles a Jewish New York drag-queen’s
quest for love, respect and a life of which he can be proud.
Gaiety Theatre, who
play at the small Darlinghurst Theatre have over recent years really given the
Festival its dramatic soul – if anyone can bring this 80’s play of 3 and a half
hours to life for today it’s this company and Stephen Colyer.
Stephen has assembled
a strong cast, led by the experienced and acclaimed Amanda Muggleton with Simon
Corfield, Thom Jordan, Mathew Verevis, Christian Willis and Belinda Wollaston.
The search for love,
family and acceptance is a universal story and this classic gay play fits well
with this festival’s focus of ‘Generations of Love’, I’m looking forward to
seeing it in this new light.
British playwright Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing comes to Sydney for its
20th anniversary as part of the 2013 Festival. This exciting new production,
directed by Brandon Martignago, tells the story of an urban fairy-tale of two
young men who find each other on a London housing estate.
Beautiful Thing is a love story between two young men coming to grips
with their sexuality and the effect it has on the people in their lives. It
tells the story of teenager Jamie's relationship with classmate and neighbour
Ste. Together the two boys find comedy, warmth and the music of Mama Cass
through their loud-mouthed next door neighbour Leah.
Many will remember the wonderful 1996 cult film
version also written by Harvey but revised from the play and how it heavily
featured the music of the Mama Cass Elliott.
This is our chance to see the story in its original
form but still at its heart is the story of what it means to be sixteen, in the
first flush of love and full of optimism – good for all our souls me thinks.
This is billed as a one woman show with a supporting
cast. It’s one of the shows we’ve been waiting to see for years. Dallas
Dellaforce is the creation of Daniel Cater and has been part of the Sydney
scene for just over ten years now. It’s been an evolving, ground breaking and
inventive career to date – all of which will spill into In Pursuit of Glamour.
Dallas is drag queen and performance artist, cleverly
mixing both or showcasing the singular. Daniel is an extremely creative soul
trained in fashion and design and is the best example of the artist who won’t
Dallas is a DIVA winner costume designer, has showcased
in a RHI Mardi Gras party show and appeared in every season of the show DRAG at the Sydney Opera House. Dallas
headlines mainstream and alternative nights – it’s this that makes the idea of In Pursuit of Glamour such a must see
Appearing with Dallas is Lillian Starr, Betty Grumble,
The Amazing Ari and DJ Sveta. This show will blend performance art, drag,
burlesque and multimedia, whilst drawing heavily on the themes of fashion and
popular culture. Guessing this will be special and we’ll be talking about it
So that’s where I’ll be over the next three weeks,
sipping champers in foyers, taking in our community vibe and enjoying all our
wonderful local talent. Happy 35th Mardi Gras Festival to all -
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