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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Canadian-American director Des McAnuff’s (Jersey Boys) gave the audience a little fright before the beginning of Doctor Zhivago last Tuesday. He made a special appearance on stage welcoming everyone and mentioned that lead cast member Anthony Warlow was injured at rehearsals and his understudy had been doing a fabulous job filling in for him. The ladies held their breath in anticipation and when he finally said Warlow is back, they erupted into applause and wrinkled smiles fill the room once again.

After reminding the audience that if anyone wanted to twist open candy and lozenges wrappers, now would be a good time, he made way for the media preview of the epic musical love story.  Now, if you are unaware of the 20th century novel (1957) by Nobel Prize winner Boris Pasternak or the film that came after (1965) starring Omar Sharif (can you hear the sighs from bingo halls across the nation?), here’s the gist of it. Yuri Zhivago is a doctor slash poet going through a tough time. His life is all messed up because of the Russian Revolution followed by the Russian Civil War and he’s totally in love with Lara but is married to Tonya. The story is packed full of events, information, characters and pretty random fluke occurrences so my advice is to just sit back and allow the tidal wave music, dazzling set design and vocal prowess  of the lead performers take over.

Besides a distracting major prop piece that the performers had to keep adjusting, an uncoordinated marching scene and a fiery dialogue between Yuri and Pasha where the actors kept downing vodka without taking the cap off, Doctor Zhivago was a stunning musical/operatic production. Even if you didn’t grow up with posters of Warlow or Sharif on your wall, give Zhivago a go. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the doctor.

Until Apr 2, Lyric Theatre, Star City, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, $39.90-130.90, 9657 9657


There was once a man who overthrew John Howard only to be kicked to the curb by a red-haired heroine, well at that time she was. And then he said nine words and won the country over again. “Having said all that folks, we’ve got to zip”. With that, he was immortalised a fallen hero (who spoke Mandarin), a Shakespearean tragedy to be told at the Imperial Hotel where lots of men will dress up as women and women dressing up as men. Introducing the world (well at least Sydney) to Kamlet, here is writer and producer Gab Mcintosh.

Why Kevin Rudd as lead? Kevin Rudd is such a shy creature, someone needed to tell his story. Also there is something quite tragic in his fall from the euphoria voters felt in  2007 to his tearful  final speech on the steps of Parliament House so soon after.

When did inspiration hit for Kamlet? I was sitting in the bath reading Hamlet and doing an assignment for Uni and it seemed to me that Hamlet’s thwarted idealism was reminiscent of Kevin Rudd’s. When I tell people I’ve cast Kevin Rudd as Hamlet they say “Oh yeah, that fits.”

What would Shakespeare have said about Kevin Rudd? Alas, poor Kevin I knew him well.  Where be your gibes now Kev 07. Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that won’t to set the table on a roar? There are more things in Kevin’s ear wax than in your philosophy Queen Julia.

What can the audience expect from Kamlet? Lots of women dressing up as men and men dressing up as women, death, mayhem, laughs and it’s mercifully short being a one-act play.

Can you tell us a little something about the venue, Imperial Hotel? Its stage is exquisitely beautiful, having just been recently renovated. As beautiful in fact as the drag Queens themselves who appear in the Abba and Priscilla shows right after Kamlet. The Imperial has been very supportive of this play and I have been treated royally. A big shout out to Billy.

We hear you had to replace your lead actor halfway through production? What happened? Our old Kamlet was a closet John Howard supporter and he met with a dreadful accident in which he was decapitated. Of course, I’m not bitter about it.

What do you want to say to the old Kamlet? Fair is foul and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Feb 24 – Mar 12, 8pm, Imperial Hotel, 35 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville, $10, 9519 9899, theimperialhotel.com.au

South African saxophonist Mark Ginsburg has just finished his thesis on the influence of Jewish prayer modes on jazz musicians. So not only does the man play the sax like a musical wizard, he’s done his research too. We like. “Growing up in Cape Town I had three primary musical influences – ethnic African music, my role as a chorister at the synagogue and my older brothers, who played jazz morning, noon and night,” says the multi-faceted musician. Join Mark and his bandmates Greg Coffin (piano), Karl Dunnicliff (bass) and Tim Firth (drums) as they jazz up venue 505. If you are a jazz aficionado, this is a must-see and if you are not, there’s no better time to get yourself acquainted with this passionate and sexy musical genre.

Mar 2, 505, 280 Cleveland St, Surry Hills, $10, venue505.com

This is a call out to all Sydney sci-fi and fantasy film fans and especially filmmakers. If you’ve had a brilliant idea you’ve been honing and are ready to unleash your inner sci-fi, get your entries for screenplays, music videos, short and feature films in now! So, be it a film about them “fuckin’ prawns” or a music video circa Britney Spears before madness set, get your creative, fantastical juices flowing. See website below for further details.

Deadline Apr 29, fantasticplanetfilmfestival.com


They are the mafia of film. They are feared and revered. They have, after all, won awards or been featured at various film festivals like Sundance, One Take Film Festival, Zagreb, International Film Festival of India, Vancouver International Film Festival, Sao Paulo Short Film Festival as well as St Kilda, Revelation Perth and Dungog. They work in secrecy, shooting one film a month over a 10-month period. But now they are ready. Ready to show their collection of original stories and individual styles to Sydney. The secret is out, so go see the mafia in action. Maybe even join them for a drink after the screening. Whatever you do, just don’t be late. Doors open at 6.30pm and they expect you to be seated by 7pm, or else…

Mar 3, Chauvel Cinema, Paddington Town Hall, cnr Oxford St & Oatley Rd, Paddington, $10, 9361 5398, secretfilmsociety.net, chauvelcinema.net.au

We speak to festival director Barry Watterson about a local film fiesta that’s about to take over the eastern suburbs.

How is the Australian Film Festival different from other film festivals in Sydney? Australian film is defined by where the investment funds came from (usually Screen Australia). Often though, a lot of our best work is done in overseas productions (e.g. The King’s Speech). The AFF is committed to recognising great Australian film and filmmakers, wherever they are working in the world. Instead of where the money came from to make the film, we focus on whether the major creative talent involved in the production is Australian. Australian films have almost no marketing budget and can’t compete against big American releases, so we will screen a mixture of upcoming first releases and great independent films.

What can festival goers expect at AFF 2011? Films will be a great mix of soon to be released features, fabulous independents and a fringe category, as well as the best of Australian short films. But there’s more – we will be presenting an outdoor beach screening, the Spot Food & Film Festival and The Australian Film Walk of Fame. We will also present the Next Wave Film Centre providing workshops and seminars for filmmakers and the FutureFilm Scriptwriting Competition where the finalists will have their scripts moved on stage for a first prize of $1,000.00.

Can you give The Bondi View / City News readers a sneak peak into the feature films category? Festival Highlights this year include opening night film The Wedding Party starring Isabel Lucas, Josh Lawson, Steve Bisley, Rhonda Burchmore and Adam Zwar, highly anticipated Australian release, Griff, the Invisible with True Blood star Ryan Kwanten and a shark thriller The Reef starring Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor and Gyton Grantley amongst many others.

What are your top 5 Australian films of all time? Only 5? Here’s a selection from across the decades. Wake In Fright, Jeddah, The Castle, The Sum of Us and Romper Stomper.

Mar 2-13, Randwick Ritz Cinema, 45 St. Pauls St, Randwick, Clovelly Beach, Coogee Legion Club & Fox Studios, $8-13, 9399 5722, australianfilmfestival.com

Lolly P. Jones is, “a delectable Dickless Tracey” in a detective tale mimicking the film noir and pulp fiction genres. One Dickless Tracey will tackle three murder mysteries in this fast-talking, over-the-top performance that’s bound to make you slap your knees in laughter. Evidence of this lies in the fact that the show is created by the masterminds behind Six Quick Chicks. Writer and performer Liesel Knievel is accompanied by composer and jazz pianist Leonie Cohen as they uncover secrets in Shanghai, Nashville and, “the cutthroat kitchens of competitive baking”. It’s a little bit cabaret, a little bit hard boiled crime fiction and whole lotta LOL-ly. There’s really no excuse to miss this Mardi Gras femme fatale, especially in the relaxed atmosphere at The Oxford Hotel. Gather a group and make your mid-week drink a memorable one.

Feb 16 & Mar 2, The Supper Club, The Oxford Hotel,134 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, $20-25, 9331 3467, mardigras.org.au

Get ready for the tiny hairs on your neck to stand. The Phillip experiment took place in the 70s where a group of Canadian parapsychologists made up a ghost (Phillip) to see if the human mind (participants) can bring to life what was essentially non existent. The results involved unexplained moving furniture amongst other spooky things. Sounds bizarre? You’ve got to watch it to believe it and take part in a life “table turning” after the screening.

Feb 21, Mu-Meson Archives, cnr Parramatta Rd & Trafalgar St, Annandale, $10, 95172010, mumeson.org

The great Black Eyed Peas once said, “What you gonna do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk? I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk. Get you love drunk off my hump.” And the rest was history. This year, American host Johnny Porkie is not shy to announce that he wants you to grab his junk to win some cool prizes in this burlesque gameshow. Joining him is author of The Burlesque Handbook and honorable Headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, Miss Jo Boobs along with a slew of Australian performers. This multi-tiered trivia gameshow promises titillation, teasing and most importantly crap prizes that will lead to awesome prizes for those who preserve. What are you waiting for? Johnny and Jo are ready to “Get you love drunk off my hump. My hump (repeated many times), my lovely little lumps. Check it out.”

Feb 22, The Arthouse Hotel, 275 Pitt St, Sydney, $18, 9284 1200, grabmyjunk.net

Some say this is the best festival in Australia. The biggest fancy dress costume party, gorgeous views of the Hawkesbury River, superb music all with the gathering of people who love to have fun and care about the environment. Those some people may just be right. This year, the festival organisers are adding shower stalls (“please use vegetable base soaps” says the website) to the other usual facilities like free water, pass outs throughout the festival and an international food spread like no other. 2011’s artist line-up goes a little something like this: Lamb, Tricky, Cut Copy, Kool & the Gang, De La Soul, Kate Nash, The Beautiful Girls, Roy Ayers, Architecture in Helsinski, Midnight Juggernauts and Norman Jay MBE amongst many others. Come out come out wherever you are. It is time to play this weekend away.

Feb 17-20, Del Rio Riverside Resort, Wisemans Ferry, playgroundweekender.com.au