CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY NEW website review by Katherine Kelly
Confessions of a Mormon Boy Chapel Off Chapel 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran chapeloffchapel.com.au Friday, 7 February 2020 7-9 February 2020
Last Friday classically trained playwright and sole actor Steven Fales spent 90 minutes sharing his story from his early childhood right through to the present day amidst a dark backdrop consisting of a bench, two chairs and clothes with lighting to complement the various moods of the narrative.
The eldest of six children and a sixth-generation Mormon, Fales grew up in the faith and spent two years in Portugal as a Mormon ambassador. His quest to spread the faith and in turn aspire to perfectionism – the Mormon way - a way which eschewed many “vices” including alcohol and drug consumption and homosexuality.
Steve’s relationship with Mormonism was to come under threat when he experienced an awakening in the direction of same sex attraction (SSA). We hear of his struggle to come to terms with such a “gender disorientation” – in Mormon terms.
On returning to the US, he attended Brigham Young University (BYU) to study Musical Theatre – “the place to find a good Mormon wife”. There he met Emily Pearson who later became his wife. Prior to the marriage, he expressed his “crisis of normality” with her (her father was gay and died from AIDS). After ungoing conversion therapy, they married and had two children. He described their union as the “Tom and Nicole of Mormondom”.
Overwhelmed by trying to effect perfect Mormonism and the effect of conversion therapies, Fales eventually came out. This resulted in immediate divorce and excommunication by the Mormon “Court of love – Disciplinary Council”. Cast out on his own, Fales landed in New York where he transformed his perfect proselytism into perfect prostitution with the accoutrements of alcohol and Ice - no doubt about transferrable skills in this changing world!
Fales survived his ordeal to become a well renowned award winning author, playwright, educator and actor as well as his true vocation –a father to his kids.
The interaction between Fales and the Friday night audience was magical. One last confession that he made was his love of Melbourne and its audiences. He said he will return soon with the next two instalments of the ‘The Mormon Boy Trilogy’.
'Confessions of a Mormon Boy' is part of the Midsumma Festival and Part One in 'The Mormon Boy Trilogy.' Part Two and Three are called 'Missionary Position' and 'Prodigal Dad.'
AMAZING GRACE, NEW YORK, NEW YORK website review by Elice Thomas
AMAZING GRACE: NEW YORK, NEW YORK This show was dazzling. From the beautiful costumes to the impressive choreography, I enjoyed myself from start to finish. And what a start! The opening number of “New York New York” set the scene for Act One – an exploration of optimistic New York City in the 20th century, set in a swanky speakeasy where major theatre numbers were performed every night. When the curtain rose to reveal a glittering ensemble cast, with the orchestra in the background against a shimmering golden backdrop, I gasped. From the beginning it was clear that a lot of work had been put into this show.
It was refreshing to watch a musical which wasn’t quite a musical. There was no plot or overarching story. In Act One, all of the performances were set in this nightclub; the location served to tie all of the performances together. Act Two changed things up by doing away with the club and instead presenting each number as a showcase, as though I was at an end-of-year talent show. Being able to enjoy each number as its own separate performance felt like I was being given a chocolate box full of the best that Broadway has to offer: each was a bite-size delight, and taken out of context I couldn’t help but pay more attention to the song itself rather than the story behind it. I just wish I had recognised more of the songs on display. I’ve seen my fair share of Broadway musicals (not on Broadway, though, unfortunately), but I only recognised three of the numbers. Now I’ve got a whole list of new musicals to explore. I’m not complaining.
The men and women on stage are incredibly talented. Not only are they incredible at calisthenics, which forms the heart of the choreography, but they also dazzled in tap, ballet, and singing. Some of those women can really belt it out! Contrary to my expectations, the show didn’t only consist of big, show-stopping musical numbers. The skill of these performers was also showcased in smaller, more intimate songs like “Autumn Leaves” and “Steam Heat” (from ‘The Pyjama Game’), as well as songs like “Mack and Mabel” where the spotlight was squarely on the high technical skill of these calisthenic artists. I enjoyed seeing a calisthenic take on some very well-known musicals as well, such as “Big Spender” from ‘Sweet Charity’. Whatever the performance, though, each one had clearly been worked on until it was perfect; the synchronicity of all the dancers and high technical skill of the choreography proved that.
My favourite performances came at the end of each act. “A Musical” was a fantastic way to leave the audience wanting more at the close of Act One. The nod to musicals which didn’t otherwise get showcased – ‘Annie’ and ‘Les Misérables’ being two – had the whole audience laughing, as did the tongue-in-cheek swipes at the absurdity of musicals, and their predilection to have characters burst into song in the middle of a conversation. Then Act Two outdid itself at the very end with “One”, which was unashamedly Broadway. It had it all: sparkly golden tuxedos, top hats, a chorus line, a massive dance break involving everyone in the cast, and of course, vocals that make you wake up and pay attention, if you’ve managed to doze off near the end of the show. It had everyone in the audience clapping along, which is sure proof that they’re having a great time. All in all, AMAZING GRACE far exceeded any expectations that I’d been holding. The cast proved just how talented and highly skilled they are, the choreography was creative and challenging, the costumes were amazing, even down to the small details, and the energy coming off the performers was infectious. It was a great length, too, each routine short and snappy, and with just enough routines to keep my attention while avoiding repetition. And to put the cherry on top, the cast came out for a cheeky encore performance that had everyone laughing and singing along. An unexpected treat like that doesn’t come around often, but I always cherish it when it does.
Manilla Street Productions has outdone itself with this showcase of calisthenics and theatrical talent. I’m so glad I had the privilege of enjoying it.
BLUE LOTUS WATER GARDEN VICTORIA website review: Olga Kirk
Blue Lotus Water Garden I have discovered so many amazing places in Australia and other countries and it’s hard to surprise me with anything. But this was a really special garden which brought me feelings full of joy, pleasure and inner peace.
This place reminded me of my admiration for the Sakura blossoms in May in Japan.
Also Monet’s Giverny, Chinese floating garden and the backwaters of the Indian Kerala River. Such places are captivating in their beauty and will stay forever in your memories. The great news is - we don’t have to travel overseas but you only have to drive around an hour and a half to enjoy this amazing beauty.
Owner Geoff Cochrane has been developing the garden since the mid-1990s. He decided to turn his vegetable farm into a fly-fishing resort. And he ended with different sizes and depths of water bodies, more than 70 water lily varieties populate the garden’s biggest lake. My personal favorites are the white “Hermine” and “Cream Lutea”, “Perry’s Pink” and “Colorado” (which sports salmon-colored blooms).
It was also very interesting to find out the fact that Oga Lotus is one of the oldest lotus flowers known to exist! Their seeds found were carbon dated to be 2000 years old!
Garden attractions includes lakes, ponds, café, Flower Fairy Garden with cute elves and fairies, Kids play area, Dragons Trail, Tropical world with crocodiles and Giant Amazon Water lily with laves nearly 2m in diameter, BBQ area, café. Nobody is bored here.
Also the garden is a great attraction for creative people (photographs, artists, poets etc.) who can be inspired by nature and create their best masterpieces.
I would definitely recommend to come here for Clod Monet’s lovers as the red bridges and atmosphere is fantastic and very artistic!
Another excellent tradition of mine to enjoy this Garden with family (or alone depends on my mood) every year!
photos: Ian George at Coffee Table Images
BOMEO DISCOVERY PARK: ANIMALI IN SAND website review by Katherine Kelly
Visit to the Boneo Discovery Park 695 Limestone Road Fingal
A friend and I recently visited the Boneo Discovery park, an area containing 27 acres of wetlands and gardens to bring visitors closer to nature.
Our purpose was to view the Animalia in Sand based on Graeme Base’s well known illustrated children’s book Animalia. On offer were 26 giant sand sculptures which were created by some of the world’s best sand sculptors. The sculptures were organised in alphabetical order from A for Alligator to Z for Zebra. The animals make up the alliterative alphabet created by Base some thirty years ago with descriptions such as “Unruly Unicorns Upending Urn of Ultramarine Umbrellas” and “Two Tigers Taking the 10.20 Train to Timbuktu”. Musical instruments were also a feature such as the ukulele which hangs around the neck of one of the unicorns. To further deepen the Animalia experience, visitors are able to download the Animalia App which brings each animal to life by placing your phone or tablet on the AR (augmented reality) notice. The app provides videos about the collection. And there are prizes to be won by downloading the app. Additionally in the park, there is an area with instructions where kids can get the opportunity to build their own sand sculptures
Other attractions include pedal boats, a train, a hedge maze and mini golf.
Facilities are great with a café, providing the most delicious pies and very good coffee.
Animalia in Sand runs from 14 December 2019 through to 30 April 2020.
YOUTH ARK THEATRE: 63 RESULTS website review: Katherine Kelly photography: Stuart Buchanan
63 Results Youth Ark Theatre Lilydale Heights College Thursday 16 January 2020
Actors Jason SmithNoah Ruta Noah MurphyMichael Douthwaite Emma SmithBrigette Jennings Amelia HarbourElla Preston Kelly SmithRachael Shand William CarterOtis Geary
Production team Zoe Hendriks Writer and director Kurtis Hoegel-ClinchAssistant director Bella PrestonFront of house, Marketing BrendanLighting
Youth Ark which started in 2015, is a non-profit amateur youth theatre community group in the Yarra Valley. It was created to empower young people (12-25) to produce theatre, theatre workshops and provide a social network. Their latest theatre work 63 Results was created and written by Director Zoe Hendriks. I went along to watch the rehearsal process.
Jason is a 14-year-old, living with his single mum Emma. He has no friends except for Amelia who often sleeps over at his house due to her parents’ arguments. His mother is a helicopter parent who scrutinises her son much to his annoyance and snappiness. He meets Noah, a foster kid who is socially awkward and eager to befriend Jason. This causes some unease and suspicion from Amelia, who feels left out.
Through Noah and with the encouragement of Kelly his aunt, he makes contact with his Dad whom he hasn’t seen since he was a toddler. This initially causes quite a lot of strife for his mother, who wants nothing to do with him, nor does she want Jason to have contact.
63 Results is about secrets and lies, and the catharsis that emanates after the truth comes out. The characters embrace the knowledge that nothing is perfect and that there can be a workable solution for all concerned. It was a thoughtful and cohesive work highlighting the issues in family and society. Well done!
LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVAL AT CHERRY HILL FARM website review: Olga Kirk
How to celebrate Lunar New Year?
Cherry Hill Orchard organised the Lunar New Year Festival to show their beautiful place and entertain the public the best they could. Anyone could enjoy delicious food, cherry ice cream and beverages, cultural interactive activities (two dragons were cute and fun), face and henna paintings or just enjoy the beautiful views and a picnic with the family!
Ice cream or the show- what is the best for your kid? Probably both!
There are thousands of different varieties of cherries, each with their own distinctive taste and flavour. The season was over, so unfortunately we could only buy the cherries not pick them.
As a big cherry fan I’m so happy that cherries are not only sweet and delicious but they are also give us many health benefits.
Cherry Hill Orchards, cherry picking season is in December and the Blossom Festival will be in September. I cant wait to go back for these to discover more of the hidden beauty of this place!
A concert with real music lengends of the world. What a night it was ! The venue , the weather , the ambience... it was a perfect night to witness the great performance at Crown Melbourne. The show was a tribute to Elton John by great artist of industry and of their time such as lady Gaga , Elvis, Diana Ross,Neil diamond , Dussy Springfield, Johnny cash and the crew.
Diana Ross took us to the epic 80’ era, at the same time lady Gaga gave us the taste of today’s hotness and melody .
The village people gave a power pack performance and the dancer, musicians and background singers had made their mark no less then the real stars .
Being a diehard fan of Lady Gaga I can connect to the music and vibes personally and enjoyed it a lot.
It was an event of lifetime. the audience were mostly in their 50’s and above. They were enjoying it so much that they added more glamour to the show.
The dresses, the lighting the stage arrangements were so professional and colourful that made us enjoy every second of the show.
The small snack bar outside was great to grab a drink and nibbles.
We are very thankful to the Natasha , Bohemian rhapsody club and magaxine and marquis fashion magazine who gave us the opportunity to be a part of such great show.
We felt like we were in Las Vegas and really enjoyed from the bottom of our heart . We will definitely com next year as well to witness this great show and amazing artists.
Thank you to everyone once again
Amit and Ben's photos:
LAVANDULA SWISS ITALIAN FARM: LAVENDER HARVEST FESTIVAL, DAYLESFORD website review and selected photos: Olga Kirk
Lavandula's Lavender Harvest festival
It was such a great opportunity to enjoy the whole day with family in this fantastic place! The processes and uses of this wonderful plant are broad and interesting, such as harvesting with hand sickles, bunching for drying, distilling for essential oil and floral water.
It can be used for dried flower arrangements, filling potpourri satchels, culinary lavender used in cooking and oil and water, soap and medicine.
This festival was full of emotions from local Morris Dancers, Pepita Emmerichs with her talented brand of folk music, very interesting demonstrations from lavender distilling, lavender wand making (my daughter loved it) and wool spinning. Also the local artisan blacksmith showed his art of fine metal constructions. There was a face painter for all ages, with a French accent and a great sense of humour, as well as a clown and a wishing tree for kids and adults. There was an abundance of food from the massive wood-fired oven, an Italian-style BBQ and a festival-sized paella. But, our favorite was the lavender scones and lavender ice cream.
If you want to spend a romantic time with your beloved partner- hide in the purple fields, take great artistic pictures to keep the happy memories in your family album for ever, then you will love this festival. A great day for the whole family, dog friendly as well.
BTS photos: Johanna Smith
THE GREATEST MAGIC SHOW website review and selected photos by: Nicole Stenton
The Greatest Magic Show was entertaining from start to finish for all ages. My magic obsessed 8-year-old was most looking forward to this show and he gave it two huge thumbs up! From the start Sam and Justin had the audience captivated, trying to figure out how they had pulled off their magic tricks. If you get the chance to attend and you can get front row seats I would recommend you do. During the show several children were chosen to go on stage to help perform magic and most were from the front row. Each time a child was chosen my kids were upset they didn’t come into the audience more to select a participant, however this was short lived.
In addition to Justin and Sam, the Ring Master was a great addition to the show. He played his character really well and was well received by the audience.
Overall, this is a show I would watch again, and would recommend to families. Upon entry, every child was given their own wand which made the day that little bit more special. When you have an auditorium full of laughter and wonder you know you’ve got a good show!
SHREK THE MUSICAL AUSTRALIA, SYDNEY LYRIC THEATER website photography: Neil Chand
Shrek The Musical Australia is now playing in Sydney at the Sydney Lyric Theatre till February 9
our Sydney media crew was lucky enough to attend the OPENING NIGHT GREEN CARPET ARRIVALS and dress rehearsals of the musical on Sunday 5 January 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star with the opening night performance started at 6pm
please enjoy Neil Chand photo we publish today and we are so keen to see Hakam Soufan's film coverage of the event shortly more images: http://bohemianrhapsodyclub.weebly.com/travelling.html
Guests include: Kelley Abbey Natalie Abbott Trevor Ashley Simon Baker David Berry Bronwyn Bishop Tina Bursill David Campbell and family Jono Castano Charlie Clausen Harry Cook Cameron Daddo Chloe Dallimore Tim Draxl Barry DuBois Isabel Durant Jamie Durie Michael Falzon Nicholas Hammond Nancye Hayes Joe Hildebrand Melissa Hoyer Kat Hoyos Mark Humphries Joel Jackson Stefanie Jones Debora Krizak and family Benjamin Law Matt Lee Lincoln Lewis Tony Llewellyn-Jones Suzie Mathers Penny McNamee and family Kestie Morassi Mia Morrissey Steve Pennells Kyle Pryor Lukas Radovich Kate Ritchie Johnny Ruffo Jake Ryan Jaynie Seal Zac and Jordan Stenmark Prinnie Stevens and family Melissa Tkautz and family Geraldine Turner Jacinta Tynan and family Melina Vidler Christian Wilkins Gus Worland
Room on the Broom A beautiful performance masterfully delivered by a superbly talented quartet of actors to the complete delight of the young and old audience.
Parents and young children thoroughly enjoyed the singing fun puppet characters, the dragon, the witch, the frog and the cat.
It’s a gentle story of friendship, about loving old friends and finding the new ones. The play is simpluy sparkled with magic, laughs, silly falls that spoke to the hearts of all involved.
It is a kind-hearted, nicely crafted hour in the theatre, although it doesn’t match the original book, it's rather more than just a walking and talking show.
It is highly recommend for those over 3 years old and unlimited age above who attend with their families.
At times I thought that the adult audience magically remembered their childhood and enjoyed the performance even more than the young audience.
A must see family entertainment at this school holiday!
PENINSULA FESTIVAL 2020 website reviews by Erki Klayci, Tugba Kaglayan, Vellu Khanna, Jeanette Russell and Gerard Kirk
Saturday, 4 January– Recital Series, St John’s Anglican Church, Flinders ($65 or $55 Conc + b/fee, or package of four concerts for $200 + b/fee) 10.00am - Great Romantics Winner – Carol Wang 1.00pm - Strauss, Wagner & Schubert – Lee Abrahmsen and Caroline Almonte 4.00pm - Water has No Equal – Duo Eclettico Justin Kenealy (saxophone) and Coady Green (piano) 7.00pm - Hear the Music She Makes – Solstice Trio Georgina Lewis (piano), Natasha Conrau (violin), Stephanie Arnold (cello)
by Tugba Caglayan The fourth day of the Peninsula Summer Music Festival took place at St John is Church in Flinders on Saturday, Jan 4th. 4 different bands, with different styles and instruments, performed throughout the day at the venue, offering a delightful day full of music, engaging instruments from piano to saxophone, from bassoon to chello and violin, along withwine offerings in the beautiful gardens of the venue in between acts.
Ben Opie, the Artistic Director of the festival, opened every act with a lovely speech introducing himself along with the artists to perform as well as the motive behind the performance at the festival.
Overall, the effects in selecting emerging artists to perform and letting them. express themselves with their own select styles and wine is an extraordinary and necessary step taken towards recognising and supposing Australian artists as well as mesic.
Although many patrons seemed a little exhausted by the end of the final act, they all highly appreciated the effects, the opportunity, and the time they got to spend chatting with the artists.
GREAT ROMANTICS Carol at the bassoon) and Peter (at the piano) performed romantic pieces in a very passionate and loving way. She also was fantastic at delivering information about each piece, spicing it up with clever and delicate jokes as well as abig beautiful smile. She is a very talented and romantic young lady who feels the music, takes what she does very seriously and enjoy all at the same time..
The duo hand-picked the pieces from the romantic-period composers forming an-hour- long recital and skillfully performed to an audience who were very engaging and supportive.
St John's Church proved to be a quite cozy and welcoming venue for acoustic music.. Moreover, the diversity the Peninsula Sumer Festival hosts and embraces is mind- blowing.
LEE & CAROLINE A sensitive piano and a stunning voice performing to a full-house, Lee & Caroline had the audience enjoy pieces from Shubert, Strauss and wage. Multi-amend whining performers put on a magical t- hour show that captivated the entire venue.
Getting long applauses from the audience for their stunning act, theinternationally recognised duo finalized the program by telling the story behind the Wagner Wesendonck Leider, singing and playing this amazing piece, following a loud and cheerful praise from the audience.
DUO ECLETTI CO Justin & Coady began the program with a moving piece from Melbourne- based composer Katy Abbott. Following that, they continued with a calm and entertaining summer-like tunes from CPE Bach. The duo, with saxophone and piano, made the audience feel the music in their bones.
They continued with a CPE Bach piece that is both calming and entertaining at the same time.
The third piece by the talented duowas called "water has no equal" , which was composed by the Melbourne-based Tim Dargaville. During the program, we had the chance to listen to the composer and understand his motives behind this wonderful harmony of notes, coming straight from the heart of the nature, celebrating, as he puts it, the random as well as the unifying impact of water; the reflections presenting the reversed effect of a view. His piece was quite clear and succinct, just as he aimed it to be.
Duo completed the program with pieces from the French composer Paule Maurice, explaining how productive she was through her life, although there isn't much information available about her in most of the resources, including the internet. Her pieces were very simple plain, yet very deep and effective. Special thanks to Duo Eclettico, who were kind enough to come back to the stage and play an additional piece after the huge applause, for introducing both local and international hidden talents.
The prime group of theday stated at 7pm for a t-hour journey among the pieces from all-female composers, naming their show "Hear the music she makes". As they attracted a big crowd, the venue provided additional seating to accommodate the patrons for the recital. The trio performed several pieces from 8 different female composers in total.
The pieces they picked were mostly written between 2015-2019, showcasing the modern challenges of today's women along with a couple of classical picks from between 1140- 1914.
Multi-nationalism in music influenced the 3-piece band in both their regular acts as well as their music festival playlist.
Sunday, 5 January 2.00pm - Violin & Yoga – Veronique Serret – Peninsula Hot Springs, Fingal
review by Jeanette Russell
On Sunday I experienced a yoga session with my friend at The Peninsula hot springs spa house in Fingal. Our violin player was Veronique Serret . I sensed and observed , creativity and mastery as she played her instrument. The sweet sounds of the violin were relaxing stirring and invigorating all in the time, as we were there, participating. It was a wonderful ambience. I could feel the music resonating and almost vibrating through me. The expert playing created with the movement and parts of the symposium I found personally were exhilarating, enlivening, and enriching. The yoga teacher ran the forum so well. The yoga was stimulating, refreshing and relaxing. It was a terrific group. I believe, it was very beautiful, beneficial and significant. Really appreciated both the yoga and violin accompaniment.
My companion has stated " The yoga in the Amphitheatre area started with relaxing music and a violinist, then a led meditation, then we went into the yoga positions, with the 30-minute session ending with a meditation exercise. Participants were able to be on the grass area, or in one of the hot spring pools around the Amphitheatre.
After receiving our robes, towels and locker bracelets, we proceeded to the Amphitheatre change rooms, which were stunning, made up of 3 buildings: a large room with lockers on the walls and seats in the middle, a building with shower rooms and seats in the middle, and a building with toilet rooms with hand basins in the middle, and hand dryers on the wall. The facilities were always clean every time we entered. Off the 3 connecting buildings was a lovely women’s only garden with seats looking onto the bush land. " Thank you so much for the wonderful experience and lovely opportunity. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and are very grateful.
Monday, 6 January 2.00pm - Unknown Mirrors – Ryan Williams, Mayama McQueen-Tokita – Peninsula Hot Springs, Fingal (FREE with Bathhouse bathing)
Monday, 6 January 7.00pm - Twilight Jazz - Alinta & the Jazz Emperors – Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, Red Hill South ($60 – Lawn only +b/fee. BYO chair or blanket. Estate wines available for purchase. Piazza cafe open for meals on the lawn.)
reviews by Erkin Kalayci and Tugba Kaglayan
UNKNOWN MIRRORS at Peninsula Hot Springs The group of two dedicated their show to everyone and all the animals affected by the bush fires recently being endured.
Their music reflects on nature and was a blast to listen to combined with the natural environment at the Peninsula Hot Springs along side the sounds of nature; flowing waters, singing birds...
Thanks to the artistic structure of the Hot Springs, the stage, names as Amphiteather, was placed right across the hot spring pools, where patrons had the chance to enjoy the beautiful, mystic sounds played by the duo. You could either pick the chairs with the warmth of your robe or the water pools where you can feel the bass under your skin and listen to the music even under the water by virtue of underwater speaker system Hot Springs has in place.
The duo Unknown Mirrors blends in with the nature so perfectly that it makes the patrons feel like they are in a magical land or an eastern movie where the world is so peaceful in a sakura garden and people understand each other without saying a word... Well, the architects of this magic are Ryan, playing a “ recorder”, and Miyama, playing a “ Koto”. They studied these ancient and traditional instruments and now they are travelling around the world to engage with other genres and explore more music for their instruments.
As the music was only available to the bathing patrons, once you buy your bathing tickets and get in, you may go ahead and enjoy several other pools at varying temperatures and varying heights; they even have a hilltop pool that has looks over the whole valley. Springs also has a variety of bathing structures, like Turkish Hamam, sauna, fire and ice rooms. The facility itself has everything you ’d ever need available; food, drinks, towels, lockers... so all you need is yourself and your bathing suit to give a treat to your body and soul at the same time.
The one thing that was missing is that we did not feel the presence of the Peninsula Summer Music Festival... There was no program delivered, there was no signs, neither most of the guests nor reception people had any idea about what to do when a music-festival related question was asked. It seemed like to the facility and the patrons, the concerts happening due to the music festival were just a couple of the music events regularly being organised by the Peninsula Hot Springs. Maybe some more involvement from the Peninsula Summer Music Festival staff as well as a couple of visual and/or printed material at the venue to tell the patrons that there was such a music festival being held in the vicinity and that there was a collaboration between two organisations to provide the best for the guests at the venue.
TWILIGHT JAZZ - Alinta and the Jazz Emperors at Montalto
One of the most exciting evenings ever! Internationally recognised musicians, artists coming together on a lawn at Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove in the evening, making us feel the music along with some wonderful wine and cheese with a view of the perfect vineyard rising just across the hill patrons was located... The night was cold, musicians were struggling for their fingers were about the freeze, Alinta was trying her best to dance and wear the cold weather off... well, against all odds, they came up with an extraordinary performance leaving our hearts warm and content.
Both the owners of Montalto and Alinta were so kind and generous that they announced all the income from Alinta’s album as well as Rose Wines sell on the night would go straight to the people and the animals affected by the recent bushfires.
Despite the cold weather, performance of the band and Alinta lasted for around 1-hour, playing tunes from various movies and artists. For guests, the venue had three options where they could enjoy the music show with or without dining opportunities.
I would like to personally thank to the Jazz Emperors who masterfully played the instruments, the skilful Alinta with an amazing voice, the owners of Montalto and the great visionary Ben Opie, the Artictic Director of the Peninsula Summer Music Festival, for cooking an astonishing night for us.
Wednesday, 8 January 6.00pm - Affinity Quartet – Port Phillip Estate, Red Hill South ($140 – 2 course dinner & show +b/fee)
review by Vellu Khanna
The Affinity Quartet At Port Phillip Estate, Mornington
The weaving of symphonic masterpieces, which the Affinity Quartet executes with the elegance depicted in those of the most sophisticated orchestras, is almost always the brainchild of a composer of erudite-like stature, and we are delighted to having witnessed the works of Ludwig van Beethoven from the Victorian-era, and that of a contemporary Caroline Shaw.
The elements construed into the musical output of the string quartet (being two violins, a viola and a cello) do indeed pique many an emotional chord, and as these four magnificent musicians fashion their craft, the audience is, in turn, led through a journey of awe and discovery. Beethoven's opus 59 Quartets, which is a set of three works, is performed by the Affinity Quartet in the same manner and vigour of, undoubtedly, in the concert halls where Beethoven himself was principal conductor.
The backdrop of the Port Phillip Estate at Mornington, with its beautiful pastures and cool evening breeze, is a wonderful catalyst to that effect. We wish the members of the Affinity Quartet the best of success, and hope to experience more of their work in the near future.
Regards / Vellu
Friday, 10 January7.00pm Opera at the Springs with Adrian Tamburini & Inventi Ensemble – Peninsula Hot Springs($75 General admission amphitheatre – performance only; $110 Amphitheatre entry and bathing; $130 Premium bathing – amphitheatre entry and whole of bath house bathing)sday16th home on the Tuesday 21st day16th home on the Tuesday 21st
review by Gerard Kirk
Peninsula summer music festival Opera at the springs with Adrian Tamburini
This performance was in a very well-known place where you can experience thermal mineral pools, cold plunge pools (jump there and you will feel as new born), massaging bamboo showers, Turkish hammam, saunas, and poolside lounges.
I could never imagine treating myself to the splendor of classical music with a showcase of operatic favorites all while sitting in the beautiful natural pools of a Bath House Amphitheatre. The performance by the gorgeous baritone, Adrian Tamburini with the Inventi Ensemble, was mind and soul touching with beautiful music by some of the greatest composers. This was a splendid experience to feel warm in geothermal mineral waters while relaxing my body and mind.
The evening coincided a few hours before a penumbral lunar eclipse during the full Moon. I didn’t watch it but could imagine it in my mind as it was pretty easy in such atmosphere!
So, if you want to get rid of any bad feelings, anxious or unsalted memories and be healed by the stunning sounds of this world-class opera performance surrounding you- then this is the perfect event for you!
CIRQUE STRATOSPHERE website review: Anthony Wayne photography: Andrew J Liu From the creators of The Illusionists (Simon Painter and Tim Lawson), the spectacular new circus show Cirque Stratosphere is finding its new audience in Melbourne at the Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, after having already toured through Canberra and Sydney – but you will need to get in quick as it’s only here for a very limited season from 3-11 January 2020. Perfectly timed for the end of the school holidays, there were plenty of families coming out for the opening night. After having a quick scan of previous reviews prior to attending, I found little mentioned on the suitably of the show for children, and took along my 5 year old nephew for his expert verdict. Featuring gravity-defying, jaw dropping and dangerous stunts, leaving both my nephew and I captivated for the lengthy 120 minute running time with 20 minute intermission. My nephew was especially thrilled seeing the marching spacemen who set the tone for this journey into space. With thumping loud music, and strobing lighting effects - I wouldn’t suggest bringing along children any younger than 5. There are one or two jokes aimed more so for the adults in the audience, one with two men standing at an imaginary urinal and comparing the size of their ‘lightsabers’ – but this all seemed to go way over my nephew’s head. The inspiration for the space-themed production is a nod to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Our first glimpse of this space age stratosphere is the DJ high up above the stage, manning the decks dressed in white overalls, and white helmet and glasses. The opening number sees the clown (Salvador Salangsang) appear. Dressed as an astronaut, he randomly picks out two audience members to play drums up on the stage, recreating the drum beats of the iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey theme – a fun and interactive way to start the show. The consistent theme becomes the framework for the production, linking together each of the individual acts. The theme is carried throughout in the costumes, soundtrack, and also included in the sequence with a parade of giant inflated balls resembling planets. Be prepared for some serious heart thumping moments as you look on in awe at the phenomenal feats. Audiences will witness thrilling performances inside The Wheel of Death (Roy Miller and Luis Romero), high intensity stunts on rollers skates by Duo Velocity (Evgenii Isaev and Natalia Korzhukova) who seem to blur as one as they rapidly spin in unison, the Russian trio Transcendent (Oleksii Balakhchy, Tymofii Chemko and Mykola Mykytchyn) dangerously catapulting each other up to incredible heights, and many more acts. The biggest cheers from the audience seemed to be for the hoop diving duo Submergence (Nicolas-Yang Wang and Shengpeng Nie) who were both easy on the eye and performed with perfect precision. The talent pulled together for this production is world class and all performed with a high level of skill. A contemporary and exciting production loved by my nephew and me. TICKETS: On sale now 1300 182 183 or www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
THE CHOIR OF MAN website review: Olga Kitk photography: Andrew J Liu at Pride Productions
The Choir of Man Pub Bore: Matthew Hobbs Tapper: Guy Salim Piano-Man: Tom Reade Bar-Man: Tom Gadie Hard-Man: Mikey Shearer Casanova: Johnny Sheehy Joker: James Hudson Narrator: George Bray Beast: Ben Langridge
Do not know where to get new stricking emotions and inspiration at the beginning of 2020?
Would you like to have fun and surprise your friends with an extraordinary show?
Are you a FREE beer lover and would like to drink it on stage before the concert?
I you answered YES to one of these questios than this is the best option for yo:
YOU will love the Choir of Man!
The nine talented young and good looking guys just blew the audience away with an array of positivity, great humour, superb dancing, good class singing, interesting chat, a live pint percussion and playing numerous instruments. Yes this is the Choir Of Man!
The production is jam packed with favorite classics, rock ballads and pop hits from Adele, Avicii, Sia to Queen, Guns ‘n’ Roses and many more to list here.
The grateful audience was frozen hile listening to the performance of the a’capella compositions all sung with perfect harmony! Other compositions made the warm audience sing together with the choir on stage and even perform and drink Pina Collada – luckiest ladies!
You, guys simply rock!
I think that this is the show that you’ll never forget and will want to go back and watch them again and again for sure!
They love singing, talking and dancing, they love to make all of us in the audience feel exremely happy.
They love fun, they enjoy their live journey and their endless trips around the world.
What a great way to combine your passion, your hobby and your job all in one.