TOP MODEL NEW website review; Max Lyons photos:: Stuart Buchanan
Event: Top Model Worldwide Australia National Finals 2018.
Date: March 4th, 2018.
Venue: The Trust, Melbourne. Event Review: Top Model Worldwide Australia National Finals 2018 By Maxwell M. Lyons
On March 4th the Top Model Worldwide Australia National Finals 2018 were held at The Trust, Melbourne. A spacious venue with a quaint yet elegant rustic chic, The Trust seemed like the perfect location to hold what I can only imagine will be the first of many Top Model Worldwide Australia fashion events. This should come as no surprise though to those familiar with the work of fashion and modelling savant Deborah Miller, the mind behind it all. As if being National Director for Miss World Australia and Miss Tourism Australia wasn’t enough, Miller’s latest venture looks to launch the Australian-division of the prestigious Top Model Worldwide brand.
The event as a whole was sophisticated, well-executed, and highly enjoyable (if only terse). Latest little more than an hour, the show hit the ground running as it powered near seamlessly through numerous walks and costume changes from the stunning 27 model-hopefuls looking to win the national final and go on to represent Australia in the international finals at Top Model 2018, held early April at the Hilton London Metropole (UK) – an incredible opportunity for those looking to break into the industry and make a name for themselves.
Noteworthy appearances and roles were those of wellness expert Andi Lew as the vivacious and incredibly well-spoken MC helping to carry the show, and judges Esma Voloder (Miss World Australia 2017) and Harrison Craig (winner of The Voice Australia season 2) who had the extraordinarily challenging task of crowning the sole beauty to represent our great nation.
And the winner… *drumroll*… Hope Ellen. A massive congratulations from all of us here at Bohemian Rhapsody. We wish you nothing but success in London and your developing career beyond. And kudos to fellow runners-up: Maria (2nd), Harrison (3rd), Hannah, Ethan, and Connor.
Top Model Worldwide Australia will be returning bigger and better than ever in 2019, with nationwide shows planned for each state, the winners of which will compete in the national final (location TBA) once more for the chance to represent Australia at Top Model 2019.
Interviews with director Deborah Miller and winner Hope Ellen can be found on our website.
I was extremely excited about this particular media invite as it sounded quite intriguing. The theater was full and I met Bohemian Rhapsody Club VIP members attending the show. It was a very pleasant accident to be honest to meet four keen people and so familiar faces at the Atheneaum Theater. Although the show started quick slowly and I would even say "coldly" in about 10-16 minutes it became very hot burning like huge fire at the final notes when the guests were screaming in excitement act after act. The show's main theme is burlesque extravaganza. The show girls of immaculate complexion showed us grace, beauty and their flexible bodies. As I mentioned about there was no free seat at the theater and every sound from the well responding audience was heard and received. The acts were of all kind: funny , playful, sexy, sensual, circus-like-illusinic (when handsome Michael Boyd appeared with his gorgeous assistant). There were dancing acts, songs and acrobatic acts - all so well mixed and so well prepared we have not even noticed that it was time for the break. the acts were mainly related to the name of the show: Paris it was: as we all imagine it - romantic and beautiful city of all lovers in the world. I would not ca this show sensational, as for sensation we , Europe-spoiled audience would require a larger numbers of show girls of course.... but I have to admit the show was immaculately performed and prepared by many masters. The audience was also skillfully engaged and even participated in some acts. Were we excited? Most of all and yes! My favorite dance was the pole dancing more close t the very complex acrobatic routine it shined with the elegance and fine flawless movements. The girls bewitched us by the glamorous costumes where the amount of feathers would most likely make happy any Australian emu farmer (imaginable one of course!). The performers changed quickly we have not even noticed the end of the show thought it was so logical and so expected in its best sense. I also thought: oh mu god, my dad would probably love this cancan dancing 0 always his favorite. I think I will get him and my mum the tickets - they will love the show too. People but wait, please wait when you see ad former Moulin Rouge star, Marissa Burgess of astonishing beauty! I will never forget her small steps in the sparkling small shoes - she is a perfection in the female body!
The pure Paris is at your feel, people of Melbourne , please catch your chance and get the tickets before the show travels to the next Australian city!
Viewers please be aware the evening shows reveal the completely topless girls! Just a note to those of you who are not tolerant to the crazy but natural nipples showing up!
THE CONFESSIONS OF JEREMY PERFECT NEW website website review by Max Davine
The Confessions of Jeremy Perfect At LaMama CourthousePosted on4 Days Agoby goodvibesmelb Director Judy Ellis began her incredible scope of experience in Perth in the 1950’s, and through various companies has staged some of the greatest plays there are out there, often to packed out theatres. *She also directed this multi-award-winning but at times a notoriously difficult young actor in the role of Uncle Louie in 2015’s “Lost in Yonkers”, for Geelong rep. What can I say, Judy? Now I’m judging you? The tables have turned….. Ellis’ most recent project is her own company, Onamatappear, whose focus will be to bring original, Australian theatre to the Melbourne stage. For this season, she has enlisted the work of writer Sandy Fairthorne, and assembled a truly fine cast to bring it to fruition. “Jeremy Perfect” is what a soap opera might become, if only the writers had a chance at a second draft. There are clichés; the drunken writer, the torrid affair, the passive-aggressive and ultimately abusive psychiatrist wife, and so on.The underlying need to be loved and to procreate provides the motivation for this lost and lonely assortment of characters. Having said that, this is well executed work. Dialogue is an immense improvement on what one normally finds in Australian theatre, Fairthorne shows a finesse with her work that translates excellently to the stage and her years of study are evident. The casting choices are also inspired. Most notably in the forms of Simon Finch, a Geelong native whose work is a staple of the town’s better-quality live performances and Ruby Wall, with whom he shares scenes of explosive chemistry and whose own subtlety adds an intimate touch of reality to material that might hazard melodrama in lesser hands. Alex McTavish is also in excellent form here. The pain in her character is so well created and so expertly concealed that in the moments it does surface, it elicits genuine shock from the audience. There is extraordinary bravery and intimacy being asked of the cast here. And with the delicacy one might expect of her, Judy Ellis has encouraged creative choices, lent as much to the intimacy and reality of the performances as expected in what might be suggested to have been a somewhat restrictive rehearsal period. Despite this pressure and the logistics of having a lead actor living in another city, she has enticed out courageous performances from her entire cast and they must be applauded for giving themselves over to the material and their director. In lesser hands, “Jeremy Perfect” would surely slide into the ridiculous, it is just the nature of such intimate scripts, they balance a fine line that must be respected at all times. Gladly, it has been done skillfully by all here. Get your TIX Review by Max Davine
review by Max Lyons
Show: The Confessions of Jeremy Perfect.
Date: March 9th, 2018.
Location: La Mama Theatre, Carlton.
Director: Judy Ellis.
Writer: Sandy Fairthorne.
Cast: Simon Finch Eva Justine - Torkkola Alex McTavish Ruby Wall Sean Paisley - Collins.
Set Design: Elisenda Russell.
Sound Design: Camden Tilley. Theatre Review: The Confessions of Jeremy Perfect By Maxwell M. Lyons
The Confessions of Jeremy Perfect is the latest work by Melbourne-based artistic director Judy Ellis – written by Sandy Fairthorne – a dramatic comedy centred around themes of marriage, mental health, desire, compulsion, and not always getting what you want. Driven by vehemence, the cast of five (5) all personify a distinct desideratum – to confess, to medicate, to be loved, to bear child, and to save everyone.
On paper, the plot is delightfully absurd; a pastiche of the quintessential soap opera, with such clichés as the drunken writer, his brazen passive-aggressive psychiatrist wife, familial deceit, and the torrid affair. Though in practice the play is incredibly authentic and well-executed, and nothing felt overly engineered or needlessly contrived. Character dialogue and chemistry felt natural, with emotional complexity and genuine intimacy seldom seen among actors of the independent theatre scene. A true testament to the brilliant performances by the cast.
Set design was commendable and utilised the space very well, with numerous furniture pieces sprawled across a single open-plan floor, depicting a handful of rooms within a home, including living room, kitchen, balcony, bedroom, and upstairs. Sound design was minimal but effective, a tasteful music score most notably apparent in its utilisation to punctuate and transition between scenes.
Overall, The Confessions of Jeremy Perfect made for a remarkably enjoyable watch. Narrative absurdity aside, the show delivers an intrinsically human allegory about the irrationality of life and relationships, and the underlying need to be loved – something everyone, admittedly or not, can relate to. An exercise in sonder, The Confessions of Jeremy Perfect is funny, dramatic, emotional, and captivating; highly recommended.
INERVIEW WITH Bernard Angel (playing Franki Valli)
IL: How does your usual Sunday afternoon look like? BA: Sundays I work the opening shift at a café. So by around 3 I’m on my way home. For the last few months and as I get closer to Jersey Boys starting, I’m taking my health and exercise a lot more seriously, so Sunday arvos I swim because I never seem motivated enough to run which is what I usually like to do for exercise.
IL: Do you consider yourself similar to your character in any way? BA: The similarities are that we both had/have clear goals and dreams. Frankie was singing from the age of 15 and Sherry didn’t make them stars until he was 30. I hope that I share Frankie’s work ethic and drive.
IL: Did you find it easy playing this character? AB: Easy is probably not the word but I do feel like it is a good fit for me. What do you like about your character? What really resonates with me is Frankie’s work ethic and the way he didn’t give up on making it despite the decade and a half it took before they had their first hit. Frankie was known as a perfectionist, always searching for that perfect sound, voice, performance, song. I enjoy playing that part of him and respect that about him. I also enjoy getting to play a guy who was a rockstar and had all the trappings of fame. I’m not sure it would play out to well in reality long term but for a couple of hours on stage each night, it is fun.
IL: Is there anything you dislike about the character? AB: Like us all, Frankie isn’t perfect but unlike most of us, Frankie has a musical written about his life and so we see the good and the not so good. We see him succeeding and sometimes failing. We see him making good decisions and bad decisions. But I don’t dislike anything about the character. I will be playing him every night so I’m protective of him.
IL: Which other character in the show would you have liked playing? AB: In an alternate universe I’d love to play Tommy who is the closest thing to a villain in Jersey Boys. He really gets the boys into a jam. He’s nothing like me… And yet, I do have an affinity for him.
IL: Do you think that your character in real life contributed to the success of the Four Seasons? AB: Frankie was pivotal to the band’s success. It was his voice that made those songs. Though in fairness to all the band members and as you see in the show, they all contributed in their own way. Tommy was the fixer – without him, they wouldn’t have gotten together and was an incredible guitarist, Nick arranged the songs in the iconic Four Seasons style, he was an untrained harmonic genius they say and Bobby wrote and later also produced their songs. Through it all was Frankie’s voice. You have him singing something like Sherry and then you hear him singing Can’t Take My Eye’s Off of You. He had incredible depth and range.
IL: Who or what inspires your performance? AB Being based on a real people, a lot of the inspiration comes from Frankie and the Four Seasons’ actual story. It really is incredible – these boys coming from the working class Jersey suburbs to selling 150 million records. Along the way, there are quite literally births, deaths and marriages plus mobsters. The show is very special to me and so I want to do the best job I can because the show and the people associated with the show deserve that.
IL: What helped you play such a famous character and at the same time impress the audience? AB: Research and preparation is your best friend when getting ready for a show. Especially when you are playing a real person. The creative team are also your best friends – they help you shape your character and your performance. Your fellow actors on stage are your best friends, you collaborate and feed off what they are giving you. Really it’s a mix of doing your own work and also being open to all the other people working on the show. We’re all trying to make the show and us as good as we can be.
IL: Which scene do you think was the funniest? AB: For much of act 1 the boys go through many different band names but none really stick. The scene where they finally hit on “The Four Seasons” is a funny one. I won’t spoil how it goes here.
IL: Do you have a favorite moment in the show? AB: I have many. Finishing Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Walk Like a Man which all come in quick succession, always feels like you’ve climbed up and back down a mountain, I enjoy the scenes between Frankie and Lorraine, the “sit-down” where Frankie finally has it out with Tommy, singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, the sad tenderness of “Fallen Angel”, the final monologue… and many more.
IL: Besides Jersey Boys what’s your favorite stage show? AB: Favourites are too hard to pick. A short list would be Chess, The King and I and Fiddler on the Roof. Recently I’ve really enjoyed the music of Waitress and Hamilton.
IL: Who was the funniest person during rehearsals? AB: We haven’t started rehearsing yet but the dance supervisor, Danny Austin is one of the funniest people in the show, he is always a step ahead.
OPERA AUSTRALIA : LA TRAVIATA NEW AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE website review by Ivan Lubkov
La Traviata – Giuseppe Verdi
La Traviata, an opera in 3 acts first performed in 1853 returns to Sydney Opera house. The libretto was originally based on the romantic novel La Dame aux camélias written by the son of Alexandre Dumas. The production has been immensely popular for more than 165 years and it is still a remarkable jewel in the modern entertainment landscape. The first act stars with a scene where the primary characters are introduced: Violetta played by Soprano singer Stacey Alleaume, Alfredo Germont performed by Ji-Min Park and Giorgio Germont performed by Vitaliy Bilyy. One of the first remarkable aspects of the show that the viewer notices is the set and costume designs intricately implemented with exact reference to French decors and fashion during the Napoleon Era. The act finishes with a humble induction of a love story that is going to be the center plot for the rest of the show. Throughout the opera the characters live trough a range of events where Violeta struggles to find solace, happiness and love while battling a life-threatening decease. Her admiration, while being deeply in love with her gets confused and carried away at some points by his father. The desire of Violeta to live and be loved presents admirable sentimental scenes that cause audience to cry. The performance of the Chorus and the Orchestra leaves only positive impressions and deserves plenty of compliments. The show would impress both a seasoned Opera viewer and a newcomer intending to observe French and Italian classics.
I am very impressed by the shown it causes tears even writing the review :)
JOHN LENNON - THROUGH A GLASS ONION NEW INTERVIEW WITH JOHN WATERS website by Susan Reynolds
Lennon – Through a Glass Onion John Waters
Congratulations on the success and longevity of the show John thankyou for speaking to me. Interview By Susan Reynolds
Questions: Q. 'Isolation' John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band you’ve commented before is a favourite Lennon song. Do you believe John was very vulnerable? This song really suggests that to me? A. Yes it’s really about the human condition; another he wrote on the 'Imagine' album was the song 'How' all about fears in life.
Q. John Lennon was a complex character do you believe you share any personality traits with John? A. No, have not really thought about that. It’s all about honesty; where things come from.... that place inside yourself.
Q. You talk about the show as playing a role; would you consider this biographical approach with other performers as a tribute? A. No I wouldn’t see myself doing another performer. John Waters then talks about being a young teen when he first heard the Beatles and the fact he saw John Lennon as a big brother figure. We discussed these formative years and how this influence would be intensified by his own youth at the time.
Q. Have you made significant or minor changes in terms of the first show up until now? A. I have made a number of changes over the years, which probably add up to a significant difference from those early shows. The biggest change was that as recent as last year, when I decided to add a whole new song ("Cold Turkey") and more monologue regarding Julia and her death in 1958 in a car accident. These things all added to the sense of 'pain'.
Additional information: Beatles Historian Mark Lewisohn the biography 'Tune In' about Lennon’s mother …..“For John who’d grown up without Julia from the age of five, losing her again at 17, with such appalling finality, was the most tremendous and irreconcilable heartbreak.”
Following in the footsteps of its similarly dark-humoured brethren The Book of Mormon, Hand to God is the latest American import to hit the Broadway stages of Australia following the notable acclaim of its initial 2015 showcase. Nominated for 5 Tony Awards with a myriad of high praise to boot, it has cultivated a reputation for itself as one of the must-see comedies of recent times, but will it see an equally successful run in Australia? Probably, but that doesn’t make it a good show.
Written by Robert Askins, and directed (in Australia) by Gary Abrahams, Hand to God features an impressive line-up of only five cast members, including Logie and Helpman Award winner Alison Whyte, and Logie and multi-AFI Award winner Gyton Grantley. The show centres around Jason (Grantley) and his mother Margery (Whyte) following the death of their respective father/husband. Still in the processes of grieving, Margery takes solace in the local church ministry – run by Paster Greg – where she is charged with putting on a puppet show with the help of Jason, Jessica (Jason’s love interest), and Timothy (a bad-boy with the hots for Margery). Problems arise, however, when Jason’s puppet (and new best friend) Tyrone is seemingly possessed by Satan. What ensues is a catastrophe of events that hit on themes of grief, religious conservatism, mental health, and even paedophilia, imbued with black comedy style shock humour rarely seen among the mainstream of stage shows. An entertaining watch in theory, and yet a remarkably shallow, comedically-pandering two-hour bore in practice.
Let’s start with aesthetics; they were fine. Set and costume designs came across as more engineered than natural, and conveyed the scenes and atmosphere to a sufficient standard, though there was nothing overly noteworthy about them. Lighting was similarly uninspiring; present and generally ubiquitous in illumination across the entire stage throughout most of the show, with a few choice scenes of adequate if not unimpressive lighting effects.
My main issues with the show were with its characters (and actors) and the thematic portrayal of its narrative. To the former, there was little depth to the supporting characters, and everybody epitomised their own caricature, overacted and embellished by all too vivacious cast. Beyond that, there was little exposition, making it unclear how old each of the characters were, further convoluted by the costume design of the “children” and the inconsistency in their portrayed maturation. This would normally be a non-issue, however, when the show makes a point to very openly include acts of (albeit consensual) sexual conduct between an adult and minor, I feel it important to make such distinctions clear. Additional gripes included accent inconsistency, performers seemingly forgetting their lines (unnatural/ill-fitting and needless repetition of dialogue made me suspect as such), and some pacing issues – the second half of the show seemed to be needlessly dragged out.
With all that said, I could find more than sufficient entertainment from a show with such faults as long as it still had a fairly cohesive narrative and thematic focus, and delivered on its comedic genre. In short, Hand of God did not. Underneath the humorous façade of its narrative lies some surprisingly complex thematic intricacies hinting at a deeper issue and commentary on mental health, trauma, and religious conservatism. Unfortunately, they remained mostly surreptitious. Every time a new layer to the story was introduced or alluded to it would be overshadowed by vociferously oversexualised and predominantly one-dimensional jokes and sight-gags. Consternation quickly turned to autotelic shock humour – what could have served as well-timed comedic punctuations to sombrous subject matters are instead eclipsed for the sake of a cheap laugh. There was little subtlety or nuance; it merely pandered to the lowest common denominator. The show seemed more enamoured with hitting you over the head with pop-culture references than elaborating on its own intricate allegory – perfectly epitomised during one of the final scenes when Margery beyond-melodramatically exclaims “who ya gonna call? WHO YA GONNA CALL ‽” (the box office for a refund perhaps?).
I was honestly baffled how the show was so blatant in its sexual references and over-exposited immaturity, yet the actual complexity of the underlying story that could have made a profound statement is lost so deep below the surface even the nuanced aspects of the show have a hard time discerning them. You had to go looking for a deeper meaning because there wasn’t much else to carry the show. If I had to extrapolate I might say that Hand to God may have been trying to make a broader point about the naiveté and mistreatment of mental health religion and its incessant stigmatic links with the unholy devilish aspects of many religious views/beliefs – but ultimately, I don’t know.
To end on a positive, one commendable performance was that of Grantley in his capricious back-and-forth switch between the shy good-natured Jason and the mercurially frenetic puppet Tyrone. He may not be a masterful ventriloquist, but a distinct character separation was apparent, facilitating the suspension of disbelief required to truly derive entertainment from the juxtaposition of these unibodied characters.
Hand to God will likely see success purely from its renowned acclaim and comedically pandering humour. Were other people laughing, yes. By nature of the comedy-style, paired with the innate herd response of people, the jokes and sight-gags throughout the show received a consistent stream of laughter – that’s what happens when you pander. Beyond that, it offered little, and I personally found myself laughing a mere handful of times throughout the performance. It’s like an adult came up with the idea of an intricate psychological drama about mental health, trauma, and religious conservatism that was then given to a 15-year-old boy with an affinity for melodramas (bet he was popular in school). To say I was blasé with the show would be an understatement. Hand to God is the epitome of comedic mediocrity, and I would not recommend it to anyone.
SLY RAT THEATRE: ROMEO AND JULIET NEW website review by Max Davine
Romeo & Juliet: Given the Sly Rat Theatre TreatmentPosted on9 Days Agoby goodvibesmelb It isn’t that unusual to be a-wanderin’ around Queens Park, in Moonee Ponds, just north of Melbourne, and see a setup for what appears to be a wedding. Unless, of course, that setup is occupied by an aged, withered Juliet of Capulet, forlornly cooing “Come night, come Romeo.” But that is what happened to a whole lot of innocent bystanders one a balmy February afternoon, and they were quick to abandon their walk, to take in the spectacle that was taking place before them. Guess they didn’t know Sly Rat Theatre was in town. Hang on, you say…Juliet of Capulet? Aged and withered? But what was all that about drinking poison, plunging daggers into breasts, dying but a teenager, becoming a martyr of innocence and love amidst the hatred and fury of houses Capulet and Montague? It’s worth repeating; Sly Rat Theatre is in town. This isn’t just Shakespeare outdoors, up to which thee may wander, plonk thyself down upon the ground, not to tell sad stories of the death of kings, but to help thyself to the show. This is Alan Chambers’ vision for “Romeo and Juliet”. Given his vision for “The Tempest” this time last year, we were all excited. The pop soundtrack welcomed everyone to the grounds, before Victoria Haslam’s Juliet was wheeled onstage in a form we’ve never seen her before, facing the final curtain as a heartbroken old woman, a stage in life this most beloved of Shakespearean characters never got to see, all to the flesh-tinglingly haunting and eye-wateringly beautiful recording of Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful”. The tone was instantly set. Before her eyes, and ours, cometh the play, as a flashback, a vision of what might have been, had only Juliet followed her heart, instead of her father’s orders. It is a concept that touches anyone – we all have that one who got away, and Juliet personifies that intense love that comes first, and comes fast, and smashed and dies hardest of all. For her not to have lived it, and let it destroy her, takes the play to a whole new level, where death becomes a fantasy, and life takes it’s slow, withering course. Performing in the open is no simple task; wind howls, birds screech, crazy people shout from the distance, dogs bark, and voices dissipate into the ether. But the actors here are clear as day, using their voices brilliantly, but still remaining connected to their performances, a combination that seldom goes hand in hand, but for the most skilled performers. Chambers’ recreations of Shakespeare are not conventional by any stretch, but they are not overtly departures, and remain true to the intention, and timeless power, of their source material. Even some of the more bizarre choices, such as the party scene in which Juliet, played by Haslam in the flashbacks as well, meets Masashi Shimamoto’s Romeo, or the moment in which memory rifts off into fantasy, retain their emotional gravitas, because of the respect for the words, written four centuries ago. Though the actors are being put through their paces, all rise to the occasion. Of particular note are Alex Aldrich’s ostentatious choices for the Nurse, Brendan Ewing’s extravagant, yet intimate Mercutio,, and the perpetually magnificent Katharine Innes as Lady Capulet, who lends subtle, unseeable-but-feelable force to a role that demands much more than many realize; she is at various stages a tormented mother, a grieving matriarch, and in Sly Rat’s hands, a malevolent warrior. But this is Victoria Haslam’s show, embodying the looming specter of the earthly form’s slow and inevitable disintegration one moment, and springing vivaciously with the sprightly naivety of the thirteen-year-old, eternal icon of lovestruck youth the next. She was, in her finest moments, the center of us all. Alan Chambers has again pulled off a show both moving, jovial, and surreal. The scenes between Shimamoto and Letitia Sutherland’s Friar Laurence even verge upon the comically unsettling, matching the intense atmosphere he achieved with his magical rendition of “The Tempest”. To say that “Romeo and Juliet” was as visually stunning or atmospheric is far from a criticism, on the contrary, it is original, powerful, and hits every one of its ambitious marks. Review by Max Davine This is a FREE EVENT by Sly Rat Theatre. Fri – Sun Feb 9,10,11 16,17,18 Queen’s park, Moonee Ponds
DANCE 4 FITNESS: MAREE'S BURLESQUE CLASSES NEW website review and interview by Jennifer Zaman photos: Tugba Caglayan
BRC- Tell us something about yourself?
Maree- I am an actor and have performed in many independent theatre, film and TV productions. I am also a certified Tantra Yoga practitioner and have been teaching Burlesque and Tantra-based energy work since 2007.
I am extremely passionate about living an authentic and truthful existence, and my chosen mediums of dancing and acting allow me to tap into my truth. I feel called to help women who want to feel whole again and strongly believe in freedom from repression and oppression in all shapes and forms. There exist so much sexual guilt and shame around sex, which has led both men and women to shut down their masculine and feminine energies.
BRC- Burlesque is a very old form of dancing mixed with funny lyrics and parody dating back to the 17th Century. What is your understanding of it?
Maree-A Burlesque is an art form which developed from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery. During the 17th and 18th centuries, burlesque was divided into two types: High Burlesque refers to a burlesque imitation where a literary elevated manner was applied to a commonplace or comically inappropriate subject matter and Low Burlesque referred to an irreverent mocking style to a serious subject. In the 19th Century England, it took the form of a musical theatre parody in which a well-known opera, play or ballet was adapted into a broad comic play, often risqué.Gradually, Burlesque lost it's appeal towards the end of the 19th century and was replaced by Edwardian Musical Comedy. Around the same time, American Burlesque was in vogue, but with a focus on revealing the female form. Middle Eastern Belly Dancers had a great influence on the origins of American Burlesque and it became a popular entertainment form. In the 1940's, the Burlesque craze waned and around the time of prohibition, most Burlesque venues were shut down, although a few remained and operated underground. There was a resurgence of its popularity in the 1990's and many Burlesque artists emerged in America and eventually all over the world, commonly referred to the Neo-Burlesque movement.
BRC - What and who was your inspiration behind take up Burlesque?
Maree- Burlesque drew me to it because of my theatre background and my love of 1930's and 1940's glamour. Burlesque artist such as Dita Von Teese has been a big influence also but more importantly, I was ready for my sexual energy to be reawakened as I had shut myself down sexually and emotionally for a variety of reasons. So, when I started my Burlesque journey, it was definitely destiny speaking and a perfect timing to reconnect with myself.
Women who suffer from hurt by the opposite sex, shut themselves down in most instances. Burlesque really helped me to drop back in my body and my femininity and allow myself to open my heart and soul again. During my classes, I assist in opening up the chakras to release free-flowing sexual energy. This energy is often stuck in the sacral/sex chakra in most people and therefore, I find Burlesque as this amazing tool to awaken and unblock this energy. Both Tantra Yoga and Burlesque activate sexual energy, which is where the power within lies.
BRC- Please share the experiences of your most enjoyable and memorable performances and where were they?
Maree- My most memorable performances were playing Marie Antoinette and also Madame Pearl, a Victorian Prostitute. I love creating characters and my favourite costumes are 17th, 18th and 19th Century English and French. My favourite acting roles thus far have been playing an alcoholic doctor haunted by ghosts in a supernatural drama TV series for Channel 31 and Emilie, a courtesan in the classic stage play 'Dangerous Liaisons'.
BRC - Since when have you been training Burlesque artists? Do you find it challenging? What makes Burlesque unique in terms of nuances?
Maree- I have been training Burlesque artists since 2007. It can be challenging as emotional blocks may surface within the student as I am very sensitive to picking up energy, but on the flip side, it is very rewarding to see the transformations that can occur. Each student will have a different response to their sexual energy as it depends on what stage they are at, but it is very exciting to witness the awakening process in my students and the freedom of movement they experience whilst doing my classes.
I believe Burlesque is unique and stands on its own as an art form because it allows both a performer to tap into their power and creative sexual energy. It is a healing art form because it allows people to become conscious of physical and mental blocks surrounding sexuality, guilt, and shame. Physically, these blocks are often centralised around the sacral/sex chakra region of the body and we walk around carrying all these emotional baggage. And therefore, I consider Burlesque to be a powerful medium for overcoming our blocks. The use of props and costume is also an added extra, which allows a person to explore their archetypes, e.g. the Temptress.
I don't label myself as a feminist but definitely, have the characteristics. I endeavour to reach out to as many women as possible in the areas of empowerment. I believe that the Australian society is suspicious of anyone who stands out from the herd and is very insular. Hence, I teach Burlesque, Embodiment and Awakening Feminine Erotic Archetypes to impart my skills and knowledge of feminine wisdom to be of service.
BRC - How popular is this form of entertainment in Australia?
Maree- I believe Burlesque is very popular in Australia and our shows often attract large crowds. People want to be entertained in a variety of ways and Burlesque is an alternative and out-of-the-box form which intrigues and titillates. Patriarchy is now being challenged, especially with the recent Hollywood scandals and I am delighted that women have learned to stand for themselves and embrace their wholeness. Both men and women love to witness the power of Burlesque Performance.
BRC. What would you suggest to young people who are interested in taking up Burlesque as a career?
Maree- I would suggest that young people research the industry and become business savvy before they kick-start their Burlesque career. If a person has a desire to become a professional Burlesque performer, one of the most important things you need to learn is, how to market yourself as you are your own brand. You also need to be able to say 'no', set strong boundaries and know your own worth. The entertainment industry is about connections and relationships. If you are reliable and easy to work with, you will get hired again. There are a lot of Burlesque performers in the industry and it is vital to set yourself apart and work out your point of difference, to give yourself a unique signature style which is completely different to your contemporaries.
NIKKI NOUVEAU NEW Kabaret Dietrich website review by Bryanna Reynolds / photos: Arastou Mirshahi
The wonderfully talented Nikki Nouveau is back in Melbourne! We previously caught up with Nikki and were so graced by her beautiful personality. Once we saw her perform we knew we were hooked and loved her on stage persona. When Nikki is on stage performing she entangles you up in her vibrant and extravagant style. If you are a fan of the movie Cabaret I can simply say you will find Nikki divine. Performing a range of vocal, dance and singing cabaret style sequel performances, the one and only Nikki Nouveau is someone you simply must see LIVE when she comes to town. You can find our previous interview on our online youtube channel. Stay tuned for more Bohemian Rhapsody Club news and events.
HAND TO GOD – A SHORT PREVIEW AND THEATRE DISCOVERY
I attended the Alex theatre to cover the media official meet & greet reception for a new play titled 'Hand to God'. The meeting provided the opportunity to meet with theatre owners and the play's actors. Included was a short excerpt from the play by the actors so we could appreciate the style and innovation in this performance. Insight about the direction which this theatre is taking, was provided by the owner at this function. His intent, to bring to Melbourne a 'back street Broadway' style small audience theatre, which will deliver plays both innovative and new from up and coming artists.
The ALEX THEATRE located in St Kilda, having just undergone a face lift, is about to introduce to Melbourne in approximately 3 weeks, this comedy play 'Hand to God'. It's style seems to me to fit the vision! Gary Abrahams, the show’s director, spent two years researching this Broadway production, aiming for a high quality outcome for this very funny story. The actual timing of this performance was altered to ensure the best Australian actors could be engaged to perform it. Although puppets are used, this is not a show for children. According to the director, it is definitely suited to those who leave their morals at home and enjoy big fast moving raunchy comedy. From what I could see, I agree with these comments as the comedy is leaning towards the dark side. The story is set in the basement of a renovated church, located in the town of Cypress, Texas USA. I had the impression that the renovation done to the basement of the church was by the church auxiliary group some time back and conflict exists between them and the puppetry group who are permitted to utilise the basement. To add to this, it appears that the puppetry director (played by Alison Whyte) has just lost her husband and is being pursued by willing suitors from this group and the church. Within this group the director’s son has an out of control puppet named Tyrone, who I can only assume, creates a lot of mischief with its own ideas.
The performance is expected to have a duration of 1.5 hrs plus an interval break. This privately funded establishment includes bar and beautiful lounge facilities. The media launch offered a short portion of this play only and having viewed this, I can reccomend a look at Hand to God, if you enjoy good inovative plays at interesting venues.
Grease, the rebellious youth in search of fun, happiness and attention. The renowned musical from Chicago returns to Australia in a revived presentation and charm. The talented team from Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre make a colorful show with hundreds of performers on stage. The musical is based on youth subculture common in 40s – 60s America, it goes through social issues such as teenage pregnancy, gang violence, teenage rebellious behavior, search for place in life and in the workplace. The characters of the musical start off as teenage high school students full of youthful spirit and desire to do and show all the things that would seem silly or wrong as they grow up and stop by the end of the musical. The show presents a range of famous scenes and songs that finish with standing ovations and cheers of the audience. The stage is fully filled by the mass ensemble who make a joyful and well-coordinated display which has a wow effect at the start of the play. The decorations and light effects create a perfect ambience, suitable for teenage parties. Overall the expertise in musical talent and professionalism of the cast is clear and apparent. The dance choreography is at a suitable level for teenage parties but is well complimented with professional guest characters at important events. The musical is a great Australian revive of a famous musical, and it deserves interest and attention from all age groups. The attendance of the show would be a pleasure for anyone interested in modern pop and rock culture.
WONDERLAND THEATRE (AKA TIVOLI THEATER OF PANTOMIME): RED RIDING HOOD) website review: Anastasia Thomas photography: Glen Wilson
“BIG BAD WOLF was in the woods again but sparkler this time” 17.01.18
We are all familiar with the story of Red Riding Hood. It’s a classic novel by Charles Perrault written in multiple interpretations but the only one plot doesn’t change - THE BIG BAD WOLF eats them all. What if we apply a modern interpretation of this story with the trendy grandma, showcasing Zumba or Red Riding Hood character trying to catch a signal of Wi-Fi in the forest? It seems unreal and humorous. The words of “Twitter” or “Amazon shopping” seem remotely related to the story. This school holidays Red Riding Hood has been introduced in Wonderland Theatre, based in Elwood, as a modern Pantomime. Funny lyrics of songs, dancing, engaging kids and parents, and the most important a BAD wolf with a fancy sparkling outfit,” Big Teeth”, a sense of humour who took the audience on a journey. Grandma, as a central character, truly made the adult viewers laugh. It was amusing to observe children sincerely believe that the Wolf was funny “Evil” until he actually “spits the grandma out”. Edgy expressions of “Muffins to be sugar and taste free” gave the dialogues multiple colors. The story twist was orientated for children yet parents wishing to gain a mini mind break during the school holidays. The actors invited kids on the stage and it built a strong foundation not just for a monologue production rather than a dialogue where all participants were a part of the plan. The final punch of live piano supported the whole performance on vibrancy. It was merely cute. Lots of new productions to come soon inWonderland Theatre! Need a short mental break and laugh, or maybe experience something different yet classic? Come to Phoenix Theatre for more. Find events schedule on: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phoenix-Theatre/1364957263553181?rf=908464682626408
Review by Anastasia Thomas 22.01.17
WICKED website review by Veronika Chekmareva
Years go by and the novelty of Wicked proves itself to be an indestructible part of our society. And the Young Australian Broadway Chorus holds the mark very high as the first Youth production ever to perform in Australia. Starting with their incredibly powerful and strong vocal and acting performances, and finishing with the incredible work of the wardrobe, decoration, light, and of course the all youth orchestra, and many more people involved in the one of a kind production BRC was lucky to witness. A special mention to the unforgettable performance of Elphaba, who is just 19 and performed all the evening sessions of the run of the musical. The wonderful and talented youth truly set the bar high for the older generations, as Wicked once again took a new face in the performance of the Chorus. An absolutely compelling performance, with the youngest member starting from 10 years of age , gets all the five stars.
photography credited: @SashaIwanick at email@example.com
THE PENINSULA SUMMER FESTIVAL: GYPSY MAGIC website review by Jasna Duronjic
@GypsyMagic on January 7 with @SarahBedak vocals @NedadRadic drums & guitar @DavidCarr guitar Stefan Nocevski trumpet Nathan Gatt double bass
Even as a child I used to like to listen Gypsy music. There is something magical and special about this folk music and accompanied by compassionate dancing. The way the artists do the tongue-clacking, hand-clapping or simply clicking of wooden spoons and other methods to blend into the music's rythm and movements is very impressive. Lolo Lovina’s performance was a superb treat. The programme was entertaining and excellent in variety of choices and performance. I loved beautiful singing of traditional pieces with clarity of notes, diction, sensitivity and excellent expression. The music creates an unbelievable feeling inside the listeners' soul only one who experienced it can tell.. I wish I could understand that language but even without that its overall beauty and sincerity brought me to the tears of joy. I felt that the whole concert was entertaining, slick and very well delivered and polished to the perfection.
THE PENINSULA SUMMER FESTIVAL: CYRENS website review by Benjamin Newall
CYRENS - The Swingin' Songbook of Cy Coleman The Peninsula Summer Music Festival. Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, RedHill South Monday 8th Jan 2018
I imagine it could have been a mixed night for Julia Fredersdorff, founder and Artistic Director of the Peninsula Summer Music Festival. On one hand it was her final night leading the company that she had brought to life in 2008 while living in Paris, on the other, the performance, played to audiences sitting on rugs on the grass was a sell-out. Clearly the festival was a success. There is no other explanation for why people would travel to Melbourne’s outer south-east on a chilly Monday night in January. Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, The winery where the event was held, appeared to have sold out not only the grass seating but the restaurant and Piazza café as well. Not bad for a Monday night. Frendersdorff and co-visionary Jennifer Kerr had only four objectives: To enrich the cultural and social life of the region offering affordable and accessible fine music. To engage our community with artists of renown in unique Mornington Peninsula places. To attract visitors to the region by partnering with the local business and tourism sectors. To inspire and educate young musicians of the Mornington Peninsula. Making the most of the usually good weather and high-visitation to the Peninsula each January, the Festival features Australian musicians who live overseas playing in the world’s leading ensembles and who return home at Christmas, while showcasing Australia-born, Australian-based or Australian-trained artists. Through this model, it presents world-class performances locally on the Mornington Peninsula. On this, the final night of the 2018 Festival the featured musicians were The Cyrens: Amanda Harrison (Wicked), Chelsea Renton-Gibb (Chicago) and Melissa Langton (The Fabulous Singlettes) and they were paying tribute to the work of composer Cy Coleman. Coleman was a gifted musician and composer who combined the rigour of classical music with the more free-wheeling jazz music of his time. Composer of mega-hit musicals like Sweet Charity, Barnum and City of Angels, Coleman wrote hit after hit for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey and Tony Bennett, and gave the world unforgettable standards such as The Best Is Yet To Come, Witchcraft and Big Spender. In 1980, Coleman served as producer and composer for the circus-themed Barnum, which co-starred Jim Dale and Glenn Close. Later in the decade, he collaborated on Welcome to the Club (1988) with A. E. Hotchner, and City of Angels (1989) with David Zippel. Several of the songs were familiar though it took a while to recognise some due to the unfamiliar arrangements by Mark Jones who devised the show. Others in the audience did not seem to have the same difficulty and appeared to have enjoyed the show immensely. Rhythm of Life and Don't F**k Around With Your Mother-In-Law, were definitely crowd favourites.
SO FRENCHY SO CHIC website review and photos: Stuart Buchana model: Annie Maguire
Sunday the 14th of January began as a showery and cold morning. By the time we had made the easy trip out to the Werribee Park Mansion, the rain and clouds had gone and it had turned into a beautiful day. Warm with a light breeze.
Werribee park is well known for its lush lawns, and gardens and it did not disappoint. The crowds were large, but very friendly and not overpowering.
Everyone except me seemed to have remembered to bring a basket of bread, cheese and summer fruits. They had also brought a blanket to rest on and just soak up the atmosphere.
For children, there were a number of activities. The face painting was very popular as well as life size chess, walking through the gardens and wondering at the water.
For older 'girls', there was makeup, hair plaiting/braiding, and flowers for the hair.
There were plenty of food and drink stalls. So much choice!! Some of the prices appeared a little high, but the quality of all the food looked wonderful.
The music was diverse and kept the crowds involved and enjoying the day.
The whole day was filled with fun and laughter
It was a wonderful family day with lots of activities for children. I hope I can go back next year - but please remind me to take my picnic things!!!
I would particularly like to thank my trooper and model Annie. Despite illness she managed to keep fronting up for pictures and helping us to find some of the best things available on the day.
LEGENDS IN CONCERT website review by Carolyn Newall
Legends in Concert The Palms at Crown January 17th 2018
From the first electrifying musical note it was clear that this was to be no ordinary tribute show. It is also no surprise that it is the first returning show featured in Crown’s premier Australian Open season.
Coming directly from Las Vegas, the 2018 show is a combination of intense energy, slick production values and mind bogglingly realistic characterisations. The ‘Legends’ portrayed this year are Tom Jones, Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, Cher, Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton along with returning favourites Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. Seriously there are moments when you would swear you were watching and listening to the originals.
Legends in Concert made its Las Vegas debut in 1983 for an initial six-week run but was so successful that it has become the longest-running production in Las Vegas history. Along with the flagship show at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel, Legends in Concert travels the globe continuously, playing on cruise ships, in theatres, casinos and various entertainment venues.
The show is lavish and makes the very most of multi-media, lighting and staging but it is the quality of the performances that make it outstanding. From the main characters through to the musicians, the back-up singers and the dancers every performance is high calibre. Indeed the dancers blew me away. The same troupe for all the performers they had a huge number of dances to learn and I never saw a wane in energy or a flaw in choreography. They were sensational.
While I was impressed by all the performers, beginning with David Lawrence’s highly energetic opening as Lionel Richie, the standouts for me were Australian John Blunt as the voice of Freddie Mercury and the stage presence of Damian Brantley as Michael Jackson.
Blunt, frontman for the Brisbane band Killer Queen and the only performer to come out unscathed from ITV’s docudrama, The Great Pretender: Freddie Mercury Revealed, is perfect. As a raving Queen fan this was always going to be the performance I most wanted to be great and I was not disappointed. My only disappointment was that the performers didn’t come out after the show for photos. Apparently, they will on other nights. The cast gave an excellent rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Brantley has been working on perfecting his Michael Jackson for many years and has the mannerisms and moves as well as the voice down pat. His really was a standout performance.
It was my first time at The Palms at Melbourne’s Crown Casino and the venue did not disappoint. Acoustics were really good and the seating at booths and tables was reminiscent of those cabaret scenes from old movies. It made for an even more comfortable experience. Though I would suggest a few more seating options in the foyer before the show. The natural audience of Legends are not as fit as they once were.
Legends in Concert is a really good night out; fabulous music which leaves you feeling energised and optimistic. What more can you ask for?
SAND SCULPTING FRANKSTON: ALADDIN AND ARABIAN TALE website review: Bryanna Reynolds photography: Brett Styles
REVIEW: Sand Sculpting Frankston By Bryanna Reynolds
The Sand Sculpting Exhibition on the Frankston waterfront is one opportunity you don't want to miss out on seeing! Within a 40 minute drive of Melbourne’s CBD you can find your way down to a new world of magical discovery.
From the moment you step into the exhibition you are surrounded by beautiful pieces of artwork in the form of sand sculptures. It truly needs to be seen to be believed.
The sculptures took over 5000 hours to carve by a team of 20 people over a period of 30 days, simply amazing! So have some wishes ready for when it comes the magical genie.
The festival combines a sense of magical feelings through its theme of Aladdin and the Arabian Nights. If you are a fan of Aladdin and the wonderful adventures he takes with his forty thieves then every laneway nook and cranny you walk past will have you bewildered.
If the tales of Aladdin aren't for you then have no fear as you will be able to pick up on the tales of Sinbad the Sailor as well as Alibaba.
There are an assortment of laneways and paths to make your way through so make sure to meander through the exhibition.
If you get tired of walking there are interactive opportunities for big kids and little kids to have a go at sand sculpting or get a face painting.
It is perfect for taking pictures and there are ever present opportunities for social media. So make sure to take along a camera and have your phone handy to snap a pic. You definitely won’t regret it. Needless to say the organisers of the festival have included many instagram worthy opportunities.
The Festival runs from December 2017 - April 2018 so make sure to organise a group of friends and family to check it out whilst its in Melbourne.
I would recommend this festival for anyone who likes spending time with friends and family in a fun atmosphere where you can let loose your imagination. Tickets are on sale through the website sandsculpting.com.au, make sure to book before sold out. Every year the festival gets better and better and I can honestly say that having seen the festival the last two years.