‘Hairspray’ is about to hit Wollongong, but only briefly.

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Moon Glow Production’s ‘Hairspray’ at Win Entertainment Centre (source: MoonGlow Productions)

MoonGlow Productions‘ ‘Hairspray’is coming to Wollongong for three performances tonight over the weekend. The musical is being held at the WIN Entertainment Centre.

Wollongong will be treated to MoonGlow Productions’ ‘Hairspray’, performed by Wollongong locals. The cast is expected to push out three performances before wrapping up tomorrow night. The musical is the latest produced by MoonGlow Productions, who are winners of seven Canberra Area Theatre (CAT) awards.

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Amber Bubb (left) as Tammy and Anastasia Bubb (right) as Monica. (Source: Anastasia Bubb)

The cast are very dedicated, putting in lots of time and effort. “It’s sad there is only three performances”, Anastasia said, who plays the character Monica. “We’ve all put in so much effort, but it’ll definitely be worth it. It’s my first performance in front of such a large audience”. The musical is being held at Wollongong’s WIN Entertainment Centre, boasting over 1000 seats.

The cast stirred Shellharbour Stockland shoppers a month ago with a flash mob performance of Good Morning Baltimore, a Hairspray number. The performance was aiming to advertise the show for those on the outside of the Wollongong city. Drummer Mark Akele began beating a seat whilst several other actors joined in singing one by one. Despite the terrible acoustics in the Shellharbour Stockland food court, the cast wowed their impromptu audience.  You can catch the performance here.

MoonGlow Productions, founded in 2010 by Wendy and Michael Glover, has previously produced successful musicals including ‘Hot Shoe Shuffle’, ‘Crazy for You’ and ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’.

Tickets to Hairspray are available at Ticketek. Performances are tonight at 7:30pm, and tomorrow at 2pm and 7:30pm. Be quick before they sell out!

Sen’s Mystery Road Finally Delivers

Ivan Sen's 'Mystery Road' finally makes its release in Australian cinemas

Ivan Sen’s ‘Mystery Road’ finally makes its release in Australian cinemas (source: Huhonuts)

Ivan Sen’s ‘Mystery Road’ finally makes it’s awaited, yet limited, release in Australian cinemas.

Mystery Road has finally been released in Australian cinemas this week after it’s debut at the Sydney Film Festival in early June this year. The film has since performed well, featuring at the Toronto International Film Festival, the London Film Festival and many othersMystery Road is Sen’s fourth feature film following his very successful 2002 film, Beneath the Clouds.

Mystery Road stars Aaron Pedersen as Jay Swan, a lone aboriginal detective investigating the murder of a young girl on the side of a road, however, the investigation reveals the corrupt underbelly of the small community whilst exploring ideas of racism, drugs, violence and poverty. Starring along Pedersen are Australian favourites, Hugo Weaving, Tony Barry and David Field, with their performances described as superlative and enigmatic. Below is the trailer for Mystery Road.

The film is also very unique as Ivan Sen, the director, was also writer, editor, cinematographer and even composer. However, Sen’s ‘one man band’ has been criticised as the movie lacks a plot that David Stratton describes as unable to “always join all the dots, that important questions remain unanswered”. Nevertheless the film boasts artistic brilliance, being shot in outback Winton, Queensland. With such a gritty and sinister story line, Mystery Road contrasts this with eloquent cinematography depicting the beautiful Australian landscape.

Despite all the features of a Australian cult drama, the film has only secured a limited release in 16 theatres nationwide, expecting to hit a further 30 regional theatres. Mystery Road has thus far pulled in $60, 000, which Producer David Jowley commented as “a good result”. Jowley distributed the film through Dark Matter, which is co-owned by Sen and Michael Wrenn. The film’s US distributing rights were sold to Well Go USA at the Cannes film festival earlier this year, however, an US release date hasn’t been determined yet.

Despite such a small release, you can catch Mystery Road at the Hoyts Cinema Paris, Fox Studios and the Dendy Cinema in Newtown. For more information, you can listen to an interview with Mystery Road‘s Aaron Pedersen on Triple J at http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/s3874579.htm. There’s also an interview with director Ivan Sen at  http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s3864749.htm.

Nothing is Stopping Illawarra’s Dlinkwnt

Dlinkwnt (Louis, Jack, Paul, Stuart, Aimee, Nicholas, Er-Chih, missing: Des & Jake)

Dlinkwnt (Louis, Jack, Paul, Stuart, Aimee, Nicholas, Er-Chih, missing: Des & Jake)

The 9-piece, Jazz/Hip-Hop band Dlinkwnt have picked up a wild card entry into tomorrow’s Hard Rock Cafe ‘Breaking Ground’ competition after pacing 3rd at the National Campus Band Comp in Canberra this month.

No, that’s not a typo, they’re called Dlinkwnt and boast an extremely well experienced and large group of musicians ranging from brass, bass and drums to keys, a lead singer, and frontman Nicholas Johnson as MC. The band’s obscure, yet catchy mixture of Jazz and Hip-hop are unstoppable, claiming 1st at both Regional and State finals and 3rd at Nationals in October. The band has also been busy having released their first EP, Make It So, in late September. Amongst their hectic schedule, I was lucky enough to score a quick interview with Dlinkwnt during one of their practice sessions.

Having placed 1st at the State finals, the band began the road trip to Canberra in hopes of first place and claiming the National Championships. Not new to the pressure, Dlinkwnt‘s MC Nicholas Johnson states, “we were in a good chance as much as everybody, we gave it a really good go and came in third out of 400 which was great”.

Despite only just missing out on the top spot at Nationals, Dlinkwnt have received a wildcard entry into tomorrow’s Breaking Ground competition at Hard Rock Cafe. The band appears a bit more confident with this competition, having performed at so many in such a short period. When I asked if they had any new songs to show off at the competition, all I got from the band was “Well James, are you feeling good?”, a hint from the bands keyboardist, Er-Chih Li. Nevertheless I was lucky enough to film a teaser for the band’s latest and currently favourite song, Last Night.

Dlinkwnt's first EP Make It So

Dlinkwnt’s first EP Make It So

With nine band members, preparation and organising practice time would seem difficult.

“Honestly you think it would, and lot of people are like ‘ahh! How do you manage that?'”, Nicholas said, “But we’re all seasoned musicians who have worked in bands since little kids so we know not to muck around. Too much”.

The band is planning for a new EP release sometime within the first quarter next year, or as drummer Pauly Pozzacchio put it, “by first quarter we mean third quarter”. Their first and latest EP as a band, Make It So (pictured to the right), was launched late September. The band admitted that the release for their EP has caused a major surge in popularity and following on social media.

Frontman Nicholas admits that such a large following on social media was a contributing factor in leaving KP Records only this week, “I don’t think with this day and age, with access to social media, that we really need a label at this point”.

The EP is named after one of the band’s hit songs “Make It”, which Nicholas remarks as a turning point for him and the band.

When I left the last hip-hop crew, there was a bit of bad blood between me and a few members. A lot of them were like ‘You’re not going to get anywhere’. So it kinda just came from that, you know? It was saying to them ‘Yeah, you said we couldn’t do it and here we are, going strong’

You can listen to the song, as well as others on the EP below on Sound Cloud.

Dlinkwnt are also headlining at the UniBar End of Session Halloween party. Tickets are available at the UOW Unishop. Dlinkwnt’s EP Make it So is available on iTunes now. Don’t forget to like Dlinkwnt on Facebook to keep up to date about any future gigs.

For more information, you can check out Dlinkwnt at the following links:

http://dlinkwnt.bigcartel.com/
http://soundcloud.com/dlinkwnt
http://www.reverbnation.com/Dlinkwnt
https://new.myspace.com/dlinkwnt

 

‘Grand Designs Live’ comes to an end for Sydney

(Photo credit: Grand Designs Live)

(Source: Grand Designs Live)

Today marks the final day of Grand Designs Live at Sydney’s Exhibition Centre as UK’s Kevin McCloud finally makes his anticipated appearance.

The exhibition, which began on Friday, showcases the latest innovations and architectural designs split up into Outdoors, Interior, Building,  and Kitchen & Bathroom. Today also featured a live conversation on the downgrading of pollution in major cities between Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud, Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, and Wendy Moore, editor of Home Beautiful. The exhibition also included many other TV celebrity experts such as Peter Maddison.

I’ll leave you with some pictures that stood out amongst the show with links in the captions.

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Design Stage #1 (Source: James Keogh)

'Big Ass Fans' by Haiku

Haiku ‘Big Ass Fans’  (Source: James Keogh)

Design Stage #2

Design Stage #2 (Source: James Keogh)

Lorraine enjoying the 3D Remedial Deluxe Massage Chair by Masseuse

Lorraine enjoying the 3D Remedial Deluxe Massage Chair by Masseuse Luxury Recliners (Source: James Keogh)

Bonsai Design Studio #1 (Source: James Keogh)

Bonsai Design Studio #2

Bonsai Design Studio #2 (Source: James Keogh)

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Kevin McCloud, Clover Moore and Wendy Moore discuss ‘What Makes a Green Hero?’ (Source: James Keogh)

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Kevin McCloud (left), Clover Moore (centre) and Wendy Moore (right). (Source: James Keogh)

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Artpark & Soho #1 (Source: James Keogh)

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Artpark & Soho #2 (Source: James Keogh)

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Artpark & Soho #3 (Source: James Keogh)

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Artpark & Soho #4 (Source: James Keogh)

For more information on Grand Designs Live check out their website http://www.granddesignslive.com.au/ or go to their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GrandDesignsAusLIVE.

Although Sydney’s exhibition is over, the show continues in Melbourne 25-27 of October.

Avenue Q: Think Sesame Street, But Much More Naughty.

Avenue Q - Wollongong (source: Avenue Q Facebook)

Avenue Q – Wollongong (source: Avenue Q Facebook)

The hilarious Avenue Q had it’s last performance tonight following a successful season at the IPAC theatre in Wollongong.

Avenue Q returned to Wollongong due to popular demand after it’s very successful and highly praised performance earlier this year in January. Directed by Amy Copeland, this is her third installment of the musical puppet show for Wollongong-based production company So Popera! The show, which hit Broadway in 2003 has since become a musical classic performed by theatres around the world and winner of three Tony awards, including Best Musical.

Avenue Q is a musical production similar to Sesame Street, however, it is definitely not for the kids. The show is set on a little avenue in New York for puppets and their puppeteers where scenes of simulated puppet sex, songs about porn, racism, unemployment and “What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” know no boundaries.

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“Loud as the Hell you want” (Source: Avenue Q Facebook)

Wollongong local Harry Brizga saw the show on its opening night. “It’s a humorous and raunchy reimagining of a children’s puppet show”.

 

Avenue Q set, created by Mal and Donna Copeland. (source: Avenue Q facebook)

Avenue Q set, created by Mal and Donna Copeland. (source: Avenue Q facebook)

The Wollongong rendition of Avenue Q stars many of Wollongong’s stellar musical regulars, including Ron Seymour, Jess Wilkinson and Jack Arnold whose performances have been described as magnificent.

What has evidently stole the show was the set (pictured left), created by director Amy Copeland’s parents, Mal and Donna. It maintains the reminiscence of Sesame Street whilst giving off an Avenue Q-esque slum-like vibe.

The last two shows to Avenue Q are on tonight at the IPAC theatre, Wollongong. If you’ve missed out, make sure you like Avenue Q Wollongong on Facebook for more details about future shows. 

 

Melbourne flooded by AFL fans for the Annual Grand Final Parade

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View of the Parade taken from Bourke Street. (Source: James Keogh)

Melbourne CBD was inundated with thousands of AFL fans come to watch tomorrow’s Grandfinal

From La Trobe to Flinders Street Railway Station and all the way along Swanston, the streets were covered in a sea of purple and gold as parading AFL fans marched their colours. The parade is an annual event celebrated by Grand Final competitors, this year the Fremantle ‘Freo’ Dockers and the Hawthorn Hawks. Despite have the home-ground advantage, the Docker’s purple most definitely outweighed the Hawk’s gold amongst the crowd.

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Trevor, the loyal ‘Freo’ fan waving a Dockers flag. (Source: James Keogh).

Demonstrating his passionate loyalty, Trevor Phelan stood on the corner of Bourke and Swanston heroically waving his Dockers flag. Trevor flew in with his three buddies on a routed flight from Perth to Sydney to Melbourne late last night and this morning.

“In Sydney it’s like any other day”, Trevor said, “We all got odd looks coming through the airport wearing our dockers [apparel].”

“But here, now in Melbourne, I look normal, I can walk up to anyone and have a laugh and a drink”.

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The Capitol Theatre on Swanston Street celebrating the Grand Final. (Source: James Keogh).

The Capitol Theatre, located in the heart of the parade, showcased beautiful gardens dedicated to the team’s colours, whilst many shops welcomed Docker fans by selling Fremantle jerseys, flags, scarfs and more.

The whole CBD was in lockdown, with all the trams running through the city on hold as the parade ensued through to the afternoon. The game which kicks off tomorrow at 2:30 is expected to reach a record high in attendance, with many more enjoying the game from the comfort of their pubs.

Michelle Carli, behind the bar at the New Quay Hotel during game tomorrow awaits what she called “The busiest day of the year”.

“It’ll be crazy!” she claimed, “with such a turn out at the parade today there will be many drinks for fans celebrating and in sorrow after the game.”

JOUR101: Interview Commentary on Sir David Frost

Sir David Frost, who passed away last week at 74, is most well-known for his original and daring interview style. His infamy catalysed following his interview with US President Nixon in 1977 where Frost pressured Nixon into a confession on the Watergate Scandal. The interview, which was televised to over 45 million people made David Frost a household name.

However, Frost is heavily criticised for skipping over a very controversial point in his 2007 interview with former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

 

 

Bhutto claimed that Osama Bin Laden had been dead since 2001, and was killed by Omar Sheikh. The revelation, as clearly depicted in the interview, went unchallenged by the legendary interviewer. Was it that he just wasn’t paying attention? Perhaps a senior moment? Or maybe Frost decided not to open the ‘Pandora Box’ that Bhutto presented.

Unfortunately Bhutto was assassinated two months later and further follow-up is impossible. Many assume that Bhutto simply mis-spoke. Nevertheless Sir David Frost missed out on what could have been one of the most pivotal interview revelations in history.