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’.