Category Archives: Melbourne Reviews

FULTON STREET band

Australian Blues

An A+ Melbourne band, Fulton Street is Smooth, Smart and Sophisticated. The purple Vinyl spins throughout the day, filling the lazy Sunday with a rich ambience. This band is beyond an emerging band of young musicians, as the finished quality of their sound begs disbelief. 

FULTON STREET interview with Shannen Wick; Lead Singer. 

 The Start

I started Fulton Street in 2012 with our drummer, Daniel. We studied Indonesian language together at Monash Univeristy, and it wasn’t until we were forced to work together on a group assignment that we both discovered we had a passion for music. After smashing an oral exam, we decided to start a band. We placed ads up all around campus, asking for anyone to join our soul/funk outfit. It was another 6 months before we had found a crew that was committed to our idea of writing and performing originals. Soon, we were being booked for gigs but we didn’t have a band name. Our then saxophonist, Hanna suggested that we name ourselves Fulton Street – the name of the street we rehearsed on every Monday night for about 4 years.

Australian Influences

We’ve been influenced for many years now by the sounds of Daptone Records – Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band, Budos Band, etc.  Recently, we’ve discovered the amazing artists coming out of Colemine Records too. Locally, our musical heroes include: The Bamboos, Cookin’ On 3 Burners, The Putbacks and The Meltdown. We’re very lucky to have worked with and even been taught by some of these local legends!

Family

Both sides of my family are claiming I get my voice from them, haha. My whole family loves to sing. We have a couple of guitarists in the family too. Music has always been apart of my life ever since I can remember, but apart from my great-uncle, no one has pursued a career in music – except for me.

Check Yourself!

‘Check Yourself’ was written during the US elections, 2016.  At the time, I was seeing and hearing a lot about migrant family separation, and the disturbing impact of displacement and alienation faced by those affected children. Jamie and I wanted to write a song, urging future generations to take complete ownership of their race, skin colour, religious beliefs, etc. We wanted to challenge everyone to let go of their judgments for a better future.

Our Generation

I feel that young people are not often listened to and are often underrepresented. If you think about the current political climate, how many young voices do you see or hear? It’s a shame – I think young people have a lot to offer in terms of fresh new ideas, and helping us move forward in this ever-changing world.

Are you happy with the Album? MP

We’re super happy with the release! We’ve learnt a lot from our first ‘soul baby’ and Ivan Khatchoyan (Cookin’ On 3 Burners, The Traffic) was an amazing mentor and producer throughout the whole process. Our next single has already been tracked, but that won’t be released for a little while yet. We’re still enjoying the ride that ‘Problems & Pain’ is taking us on.  

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? MP
It’s crazy how fast the last 6 years have gone! I’m hoping that in 5 years time, Fulton Street will still be playing, continuing to develop our sound and stage performance, writing and releasing music, and touring!

What are some of the challenges that you have faced? MP
I manage Fulton Street. I book our gigs. I write our songs. I’m also the front lady. I never studied Business, Events or Music. So, there are always new challenges I’m faced with in the running of the band! But it’s all a big learning curve, and I am a huge believer in that you ‘learn by doing.’ The guys are always supportive. Thankfully, we also have a lot of musician friends and mentors who have guided us and given us advice when we’ve needed it!
Fulton Street is quite a large group. There can be anywhere between 7 to 12 people involved in our live shows. We all juggle study, work, rehearsal and other gig commitments. But at the end of the day, we all make the band our priority, and I think that’s why we work so well. We’re in a niche little market in terms of the soul/funk scene. There’s not a huge demand for it. But at the end of the day, if we write music with a positive social message and give our 110% onstage, people will take notice.

Are you planning a tour, local or o/seas?MP
We’d love to do a regional and interstate tour, so hopefully we can get that happening in the next few months. I think our long-term goal would be to head overseas for recording and touring.

You played Fed Square on New Years, how did that come about and what was the night like? MP
Multicultural Arts Victoria contacted us about playing Federation Square for New Years Eve, 2017. The atmosphere on that night was incredible. We’d finish playing a song and the cheers from the audience would just wash over the stage in waves. It is definitely a show and NYE we’ll never forget.

 

by April Forward.

New Album Problems & Pain

Heart, Brains & bit of Courage

Going on an road-trip with a creative mix of travellers always spells adventure but for a girl in red shoes, there’s no place like home.

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The motley crew are seeking self-improvement and what they find are friends. Each is willing to strive and protect the other against an evil force that looms and a Wizard with no wiz. A child’s tale of resilience against formidable stress, twisters, witches, poppies and a dictator. The charming personalities and the innocence of the vulnerable four, warm and lighten the load.

If you loved the Classic, starring Judy Garland you won’t be disappointed with Andrew Lloyd Webbers stage play that surpasses the film, with the enchanting performance and voice of Samantha Dodemaide.

The dramatic effect of the twister at the commencement of the play, packs a powerful punch that keeps the audience attentive. The witches monkeys are superbly frightening and the Wizard is a disturbing ‘Big Brother’ Pscho. It’s the delightful quartet seeking the best of themselves that overcomes the worse of others.

The smallest Star of the Show TOTO played by Trouble &  Flick and trained by Luke Hura added an element of delight that balanced unknown with the safety of home.

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A budding Dorothy with the stars of the show

It’s a brilliant piece of drama, in performance and effects. If your a Wizard of Oz fan that catches  the odd Astor matinee and you don’t have children, take a niece, nephew or  a friend and enjoy.

Wizard of OZ written by L.Frank Baum & published in 1900.

 

REGENT THEATRE

review: A.Forward

Nightsongs

Life looking back is a vista, a remarkable journey, encumbered,encrusted and inspired; the good,the bad ,the ugly and the beautiful, the footprints the young look upon with indifference, unless it weeps from the tree of integrity.That nectar that inspires trust.

Natasha Moszenin has over 25 years of musical experience that mixes the palette of life and art and delivers a performance at the quaint Butterfly Club that made Friday night fatigue, a soothing recharge.

Moszenin stares unflinching at the drama and terrors of life that hide in the shadows, she has faced them all and knows them by name. With maturity, resilience and defiance, she acknowledges and creates a wonderful score about her life. Ironically the Butterfly Club’s eclectic pictures on the wall illustrate the transformative passage of hope,  love,trauma and …triumph.

The Artists Lara Vocisano, Claie Nicholis and Jai Luke present a narrative through song that washes over the audience. The beautiful voice of Nicholas is of a song-bird but not to take away from the solid vocal presence of Vocisano and Luke, as Moszenin plays the beautiful score on an old piano.

Moszenin dives into the depths and finishes off on a light comment on todays less emotional world.

Nightsongs is performing at the Butterfly Club this weekend

 

 

Thursday 16th  August  6.30pm

LA MAMA : Trades Hall, Meeting Room 1 Cnr. Victoria & Lygon Streets, Carlton

Captain Australia

Melbourne Fringe 2016

Matt Stewart is ‘DRY’ at the Courthouse.

In the small ‘Attic’ of the Courthouse Hotel, Stewart warms up the crowd with off-beat humour and cultural observations.

He quickly builds a strong rapport with the audience. The jokes are uniquely Australian and as the room laughed loudly throughout the performance; a couple of overseas visitors looked on perplexed. His humour  is based on shared experiences that create a ‘party’ experience, as everybody ‘is in’ on the joke.

Stewart’s ‘lay-back’ demeanour and monotone delivery puts the crowd at ease, as his eyes search out his next sidekick. He opens the floor and allows a degree of improv, exacting sharp timing as he tosses a clever slip of irony back into the fold.

No Aussie performance can ignore the ‘heart of darkness’ of our vast continent and he does touch of some uncomfortable satire which is inserted between playful wit. He is a genuine comic, the type that other comedians would go to watch.

You will laugh so hard that your face will ache.

 

“I like him in general; his tone, the dryness, the way he comes across…his delivery” Mike Barnes Comedian*

 

Matt Stewart ; 2014 Raw Comedy Winner            At the Courthouse Hotel, Nth Melb

Sept 26 -Oct 2

Review by A Forward

*Mike Barnes; Comedian and Manager of The Tickle Pit (Melbourne Fringe) @ Fancy Hank’s  

Paperless Office

“The whole of life is an artwork, we are just going through the stages of it.”  Coleman  

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Xan Coleman is the Director of a Durational Action Artwork that is currently being held at the Meat Market in North Melbourne.

“We are digitizing and destroying the entire company archives of A is for Atlas, as it turns 10 at the end of this week. We are reflecting..” Coleman

When MP arrived Coleman was shredding the play ‘No Exit’ that was staged in 2012.It is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. It consists of three characters that bring out the worse in each other and are doomed to spend eternity together, this is their hell. Ironically, the play was held in an underground space, next to the Vic Market that has since been entombed under concrete, hindering it without an exit.

Theatre chairs are in place, if you want to grab a coffee and view the work of Yuhui Ng-Rodriguez as she scans, or Coleman as he shreds. Toni Main’s sewing machine creates a ‘musical’ background as Julie Renton creates soft furniture on the floor. The public are invited to participate in the making of soft office toys that will be given away at the end of the week.

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The mundane in this Happening, becomes the intersection of destruction and transformation,  public are generally invited to such rites of passage. For ‘A is for Atlas’ the cultural past has been kept in storage for a decade. In this installation the past is physically destroyed and sent into a cloud.

Ritual, regardless of its simplicity, marks change and unity. A marriage is more than a couple ‘hooking up’; eating fish on Good Friday or kissing strangers on New Years Eve, marks a profound event or change. The shredding of the emotional and creative achievement’s of this company, is significant.

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Childs drawing saved from the shredder

Each of the players have rewarding discoveries in the sorting; Coleman saved some children’s drawings and mounted them on the wall, Ng-Rodriguez connected with some architectural drawings of the Powerhouse; Main found it exhilarating to cut into an old animal print costume and Renton, left only with the shreds, creates soft furniture.

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On Friday night the bar is open, the musicians arrive and the ‘post-it’ party begins to cap off the week.

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Ends July 29

Article by A Forward

We cross over Smith Street to the end of the Line

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

One doesn’t need an excuse to head to Fitzroy. Melbourne’s old bohemia and the new swank of money have morphed the district into the cutting edge of style and art. Even Charcoal Lane has had a makeover and looks like a cool Club.

I’m heading up Smith Street to the Gertrude Street Projection Festival. The cafes, restaurants, barbers and bars are a light show, each establishment competing to win ‘the most ambient award’. It’s a feast of visual splendour and I haven’t yet arrived at ‘Gertrude’.

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Gertrude Hotel

 

The Builders Arms hotel, on the corner, is awash with Kate Geck’s gay colours and crisp designs of her composition Apeiron, exploring decay’s victory over the force of materialism.It’s the gateway into the creative heartland, flanked over the road is the Gertrude Hotel also vividly lit, with the design Imaginary Atlas by Sean Capone. Within the festival there are a diverse display of styles; the bright, subtle,intriguing and the sublime.

 

Luzon Adams sensual work Reverie, was utterly captivating, in a liquid dance by underwater videographer Peter Bucknell, she explores the mystery and epic power of the red-haired character. For the viewer it appears as though a woman is emerging, like new life out of the building exterior.

The most charming display was the neon light on the Housing Commission building that read ‘HOME’. In its simplicity it encourages a non threatening view of the estate and reminds us of the sacred spaces where we all live. Its is no longer a block.

 

Banner Photo: Gloss by Petrina Hicks

Title from the Lyric’s of Charcoal Lane by Archie Roach

Photographs and article by A Forward

https://www.instagram.com/melbourne_press/

Psychosis, the lonely poet

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Sarah Kane wrote the play 4:48 Psychosis as she plummeted deeper into her despair. This is her final curtain fall, the finale of her creative life. Ironically she digs her lonely days of dirt with words that are crafted with epic beauty.

‘Love keeps me a slave in a cage of tears’

Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar or Shakespeare’s Othello are fitting comparisons to a raw but majestic construction of words. Kane is a natural poet capable of building a visual palace out off the darkest recesses of her mind.  Director Kendall-Jane Rundle chose a naked space to adorn the language.

Kane is terrified of banality.

‘Don’t shut off my mind’

‘Theres not a drug on Earth that can make this life meaningful’

The drug that Kane aches for is Hope.

‘I am charging toward my death.’

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Despite the dark subject matter, it is a strong script, tailored direction and an absorbing performance.

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Kendall-Jane Rundle

The Director and principle Actor Kendall-Jane Rundle responded to the tiredness of Kane by using furniture that was muted rather than white to create the worn-out feel that the writer expresses. She toned down the delivery to create a realistic feel to the drama. On Thursday night an audience that suffered the affliction viewed the performance and claimed that it was an accurate portrayal of the condition.

Jeff Wortman played the Doctor and love interest of Kane’s character. In the performance his professional position kept him aloof from the desperation of his patient, she tries to pull him in and he tries to pull away. As an actor it was just as difficult to ‘turn off’ to the confronting content.

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Jeff Wortman

Without wanting to take her pain

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Shane Grant

Shane Grant created the lighting for the episodic depiction of Kane; rather than being a light that shines from above his lights chase her through the darkness and allows the audience to fold into the deeper layers of the script.

Overall it was perfectly complete.

“At the end she was calm” Rundle

 

 

Review & Photography by A Forward

A Suspicious Mind

Class Act theatre updates an ancient play, The Winters Tale, by dressing the actors within a modern context. The audience are informed of the rank and occupation of the players through chiffon gowns,well cut suits and the Louis Vuitton luggage of the privileged class. The Mariner and shepherds are more roughly attired.

Katherine Innes role as Hermoine morphs her lines into this century with an Aussie twang and everyday gestures, which translates the material with natural ease. The strong cast dig into the tragedy, of a leader who has fallen victim to his own mind. The repercussions of his suspicions, spiels  the leading class into the task of damage control.It takes fate to heal the wounds and bring back order.

MP spoke to The Designer, Jaz Wickson and The Director , Stephen Lee before the show.

Jaz Wickson     

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Jaz Wickson Designer

“The show has wonderful feminist undertones. The three main women are Paulina (Angelique Malcom) the wise woman; Hermione (Katharinne Innes) who is the mother figure and goes through a terrible time,losing her daughter, her son,and then her own life; and there is Perdita (Ivy Latimer). There are many men but the women are stars.”

“With this production we’ve tried to keep it timeless. Think fairytale today, an Australian Fairytale. We have a very Australian Bohemia when we go there, with all of the accents.Design wise,its very ‘man from snowy river’ and the Court are dressed like they’re at a wedding, as this doesn’t change much.

With the set; Northcote Town Hall is an interesting space, its not a black box theatre, it has a hardwood floor so we integrated it.  We used chiffon drapes, that the actors walk in and out of, we’re not hiding the space but rather enhancing it.For the centre piece, it’s a tree, with changes of season.”

How did you get involved with the program? MP

“I’ve been a designer for a few years now, I work with Class Act theatre, they have just moved their base from Perth to Melbourne, I do the costumes and set.”

Is it a traditional Shakespeare script?

“Yes, Our Director Steven Lee has directed over 30 Shakespeare plays.”

Stephen Lee

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Stephen Lee Director

“This is probably my 35th Shakespeare play”

Where does that passion come from? MP

“When I was 18, I saw my first Shakespeare play and I was so captivated, it was nothing like I had done at school.”

What play was that? MP

“That was King Lear, it was with Donald Sinden, an actor people don’t know anymore. It was such a magical experience and I was transported. That was 40 odd years ago. I’ve probably directed a couple of hundred productions.”

What’s the shape of theatre in Australia? MP

“Theatre around the world is thin, it’s been overtaken by so many other forms of entertainment. Cinema is still hanging in there but television, video and the internet ….”

Why should people go to theatre? MP

“All these other forms of entertainment may be fine, but there is no immediacy like a direct performance for you. …That night is performed just for you and it will never be the same on any other night.

It’s a special one-off thing just for that audience. It’s incredible, you’re  joining with the actors , sharing in a unique experience.”

Tell me about Winters Tale. MP

” It’s about two Kings and one King starts to suspect the other  of having an affair with his wife. It’s totally ungrounded as they have grown up together, since they were kids. Suddenly he believes he is being cheated on.

He tries to bring down the other King, that fails, then he tries to put his wife on trial for adultery… It gets blacker and blacker and blacker and in the second half, the time and place switches into a mood of redemption and reconciliation. It becomes funny, heart-warming and it has one of the most moving endings, of any Shakespeare play.”

How does this relate to modern times? MP

” We wear different clothes and talk slightly differently but we are still driven by the same things and ideas, feeling jealous or insecure, not trusting other people is the same now as it was four Centuries ago.”

 

 

Until June 11

at Northcote Town Hall (a Licensed Venue)

 

 

Photography & review by A Forward

Flesh Eating Tiger

Flesh Eating Tiger by Amy Tofte

with brilliant performances by Amy Gubana and Marcus Molneux.

“I hate this f-king play”the actor roars; chaotic in self hate and desire. Its a vicious cycle, a play within a play.

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“I love you” she pleads, imagining her only reflection is through his eyes.

The stench of sweat and loves final battle breaks out in front of the audience that stare like children, watching the horror of substance fueled passion. Despite the abstract fury of the torn lovers, the play is built on a tight structure and examines the cult of alcoholism.

It is a brutal contemporary play, with a brilliant script and prize acting, the direction has an expanding boundary, webbed together with invisible threads.

Its not serious.

Its just physical.

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I can end it whenever I want.

WRONG!

“I want out!”

He is addicted to alcohol, and she is addicted to rejection.They want to be abused. They don’t want surface beauty, they want to wrestle the beast beneath.

“I heard about stupid people like this I didn’t know, I would be one.”

Love without a boundary, is life without rest.

This drama explores complex emotional themes that are part of the contemporary fabric of human life. It explores desire and it’s not pretty.

 

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The Owl and the Pussycat is the go to place for  serious artistic exploration.

imageThe Director Gabrielle Savrone, explains her involvement with the production.

“Flesh eating tiger is a bit of a beast, it’s an abstract art piece. I’m an Abstract painter so I see the play like that. There’s the words,the actors and the design…the concept is how things bleed between life and art. You create what you live and its a part of who you are.

She’s addicted to him and he’s addicted to alcohol.Its a tangled mess. What we are watching is their relationship, the play that they are creating about their relationship within a play. It’s quite fun.Essentially it’s a love story, a tragedy.”

How did you get involved in the project? MP 

“I met Amy (Tofte)at a conference in Alaska three years ago,we were room buddies. I went to watch her play reading, it was this and I fell in love with it. When I took over the theatre, nearly two years ago,  this was the first play we put on.”Savrone

Actor Braydon Lewtas extends himself to assist in the Direction of the production.

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Assistant Director Braydon Lewtas

“The Artistic Director, Thomas Doyle cast me in the two previous plays that were shown at the theatre; Paper and Boys Club. I always wanted to be a Director, so I expressed that to the owner of the theatre, Gabrielle”Lewtas

“I’d like to write and direct and put on my own play in the future.”

The small bohemian venue is a hub of creativity, the friendly barman is Doyle, the Artistic Director and struggling play writer. He wrote the script for Paper which took a stab at modern media and corrupt journalists. His play Riot went to The Last Frontier Conference in Alaska.

“I like provocative material, work that provokes people and is also entertaining. I wrote my first play when I was eight. I thought I wanted to be an actor but then I realised that playwriter’s have all the power. ” Doyle

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Artistic Director Braydon Lewtas

 Amy Tofte Playwriter of Flesh Eating Tiger

Amy was recently recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting. Her plays have been semi-finalists for the nuVoices Festival (Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte), Kitchen Dog Theatre’s New Works Festival, The Source Festival and The Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship. Flesh Eating Tiger premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Melbourne in 2015. Tiger was remounted at the Hollywood Fringe where it was named “Best of Fringe” and nominated for Best Play. Tofte is a founding member of the play development company Fierce Backbone in LA and is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild.

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Until June 4 at

The Owl and the Pussycat

Swan St.  Richmond

 

Review & photography by April Forward

 

 

 

 

I (honestly) love you.

I (honestly) Love You at The National 

REVIEW

Have you ever been on a date from Hell and loved it?

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There are three members in this relationship, him her and the ‘vicious truth’. The great accident of love has a few battles to get through, before the home run. The first awkward encounter is to meet the parents and then the friends. 

The show digs into the trenches, of love for the long-term, despite its personal cost. 

“She plays netball …I have to go to every F******* game”

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The play explores the sharp cut of truth in a dishonest world. How can we hold down a relationship or job, if the real shatters our delusions? It’s a clever script that breaks down the comfort zones, with large slaps of humour.

“It was very entertaining, the humour was quite witty and unpredictable….I laughed most of the way through it” John (audience)

“I loved the energy that the actors had, the sound effects, audience involvement and the six part bit.” Gilly (audience)  

“An interesting insight into relationships and how hard we try to make everyone around us happy when in doing so it actually makes everyone, including ourselves unhappy ……interesting.” Alannah (audience)


Interview with Damon Lockwood.

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“I wondered if being able to tell the truth to your partner at all times would be the answer to the perfect relationship, and this play is the result.”

What keeps you honest (honestly)? MP

‘The new app that allows my partner to know where I am at all times, by where my phone is at. Once again, thank you technology.’

Why did you choose this show? What’s the story behind it?

‘I didn’t go to the best of schools as a child, so when I ran into an old school friend and he reminded me of a truly filthy joke we used to tell each other in Grade 4, something about Pinocchio being honest in the toy box, the idea for the play sprang into my head and the script flowed out of me. Crappy education has given me so much…’

What is your main talent? MP

‘I keep striving to make my main talent writing …you can’t polish a turd’… delightful, but so apt when it comes to creating great theatre. So I am saying I would like writing to be my main talent but it really is a life-long path.

Also, I make a seriously good omelette.

What are the ingredients to a great show?

A good script helps a lot, like, a lot. For me, a show that deeply considers the audience’s enjoyment and not just their ‘luck’ at witnessing some supposed brilliance on stage I feel is also important. Great actors don’t hurt either, and did I say a great script I think is really important?’

What impressed you about the Edinburgh Festival?

‘The sheer scale of the thing was redonkulous, but the Perth Fringe Guide is beginning to have eerily similar weight and look to it as the Edinburgh one.

The energy on the back streets is electrifying. The main press event was hilarious, where you line up for an hour and a half to speak to a journalist for three minutes who already has tickets to La Soiree on the one night they might have been able to come to your show.

It’s true, Scottish people truly are waterproof – they can stand in the rain and simply not get wet! Survival mutation born from centuries of damp weather, I guess.

What do you imagine your future to be? MP

Man, that is a heck of a question! Seeing as there are no jobs in the theatre in Perth … then I’m pretty excited about a long career in bus driving. And I’ll always write, I think, I do love the endless bloody tangle with the blank page and those concrete words that sometimes glow.

What keeps you motivated? MP

‘I think the joy I receive creating work that allows audiences to witness other great actors ply their trade is very rewarding. There are so many talented actors out there who through bad timing or sheer dire fate don’t get the opportunities they deserve. At least this way I am able to give them an impressive 11% cut of the door takings’

What are the ingredients for a great relationship?

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‘… in all extreme  likelihood I will never be a relationships counsellor, I would say… who knows?

Maybe a couple that complement each other perhaps, so that between the two of you there’s a fighting chance you may have all the aspects of this life thing somewhat covered (like I do all the cooking and cleaning and gardening and my partner can answer the door when there’s some delivery guy there that I can’t handle making small talk with)?

And great sex. Oh, and honesty! Of course, yes, honesty, on all things… some things… on some most things… … … sometimes…’

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I (honestly) Love You has played at Edinburgh Fringe and New York Fringe achieving great reviews. The show has Melbourne actors, Jimmy James Eaton and George Gayler in the lead roles with Damon Lockwood is the playwright and director (his show HorseHead was on at La Mama in 2014).

Venue: The National Theatre

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13 – 16 April 2016
7.30pm
Tickets: $25
Bookings: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.au

 

 

 

 

 

A Night with the Magician

The Mystica

David Stewart is the gentle observer looking into the mystic, the place outside of us. It’s a blend of science and intuition. He tunes into the mind waves of the audience and has a high success rate of accuracy.

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The highlight of the show was when he asked three people to sit down if his was able to decipher the words they held and projected with their minds. They all sat down.

Before the show at the Butterfly Club, Melbourne Press talked to Stewart next to an ornamental bar in a corridor. As we chatted a line started to form and people were handing over tickets. As a joke we collected the tickets, and then handed them back. It was an uncanny display of perception.

It was the death of a family member that sparked his interest in the unknown. Many can move on, but others linger and wonder. Stewart attends many festivals, once for some alone time,  he ventured up a hill and was confronted with the spirit of the person he was missing. This reassured him that his life was on the right path.

“Do you trust me?” he asks an audience member.

Why should we trust you? MP
‘Knowing what makes other people tick, you probably shouldn’t… But hopefully my honesty is trustworthy’. Stewart.

Trust is not easily won but when authenticity is involved, the guard does drop. Stewart is on tour from England, he is interested in the ground work of Ancient Mediums and adds Psychology and Hypnosis into the mix.

“Dreams are extremely significant it’s where we spend eight hours of our waking life, we’re still conscious in our dream state and they tell us valuable lessons, where we are supposed to go in the future and even predict our future and give us guidance….Its more than writing them down, it’s taking an active role, being part of themStewart

Stewart emphasises the need to be an active participant in your creation of life. Each of us is given a blank canvas and its up to us what we create. It begins in our subconscious, it requires all our roaring energy (don’t subdued it with alcohol or drugs), think it, believe it, push your energy forward and ‘hickory dock’ “POW! Here comes your manifestation, your future!

What are your dreams? MP
‘I want to see the world; creating, making, everywhere I go’ Stewart

Life is an important place to explore; get on with it.

 

For those born in the 80’s, Annie’s time warp.

PEE STICK, performed at the Butterfly Club

REVIEW

Annie is 50% pregnant, she is in the marginal world of maybe and maybe not. There is nothing to do but wait the 45 minutes for the Pee Stick verdict. The audience waits with her.

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It is the human drama that most women have had to consider. Am I pregnant?

For a single girl in the 80’s, it’s a scandal; a proactive modern girls entitlement; a workplace misfit or life on the park bench. Annie chooses to rise above the difficulties and doubts. There is no going home. This timid soul  is about to embark on a life journey.

Carly Milroy handles the subject matter in a comic but gracious performance. The little girl attitude of the young woman she plays, fits the 80’s mould of women, that have gained meagre progress, and ‘bit off more than they can chew’.

The Artist tackles a historic piece and succeeds in capturing a time before she was born. The working woman, that time juggles children in the our modern climate, and takes up kick boxing; is a far cry away from the 80’s girl, that protested for basic rights.

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“There is nothing I wont get right as a parent ….. I have no idea what I am doing …. but we’ll work it out.”

It was a fun journey, and she has a beautiful singing voice.

3 Course Comedy

Three Comics, Michael Shafar,  Sam Taunton and Tim Hewitt fought it out for top laughs, from the high-spirited audience at the Butterfly Club. Their latest serving, 3 Course Comedy, was a solid bill of entertainment.

Sam

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Gave a stoic monologue of rich comic content that evoked waves of laughter. Like a conjurer with a steady glance, he drew soul out of his poor experiences. With an unshakable confidence, he held the crowd and watched the sets come in.

Michael

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Poked the audience with the long arm of justice, pointing out the absurd and ridiculous. The crowd shared the intimacy of humanity and laughed in unison. The night was  hotting up.

Tim

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Hewitt burst forth with frenzied energy, as he bore through the tatters of his desperate existence. He takes the full crowd on an emotional journey and binds tragedy with hysterical farce.

Shoot from the Hip

‘The concept was so fascinating and unexpected.’

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Set up like an ‘old school’ radio show, Shoot from the Hip is an original work with actors playing multiple characters and reading directly from scripts. It was like sitting in a radio station and watching the show as it goes to air. It even included a band and advertisements from sponsors, sung like jingles.

‘The voice is an actor’s greatest tool and these three definitely used theirs to the best of their ability! Very impressive to witness!’

The actors did a fabulous job, playing multiple characters and using a range of voices. These weren’t subtle alterations, there were sex changes, smooth accents and rich tonal textures. The talent and work required to manipulate the voice in such a way is highly impressive.

‘They reached a large and varied audience with great success’

An age range from 13 to 40+enjoyed the show, it was great to see teenagers laughing at sophisticated jokes .

‘It just goes to show how great the writing and performances were.’ 

Starring: Ivy Latimer, Charlie Sturgeon and Cassie Vagliviello
Written by Justin Cheek
Designed by Sarah Tulloch
Songs composed by Ashleigh Southam
Directed by Jeremy Rice

REVIEW BY Alannah Woods

A Snippet of the Fringe

Three Artists, three stages, 3 fabulous hours

‘Existentialism the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts.’

THE PERFORMANCE

SAUCE

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Simon Godfrey’s Dadaistic comedy is a complex ,high energy, minimalist work, marked by the absurd.

“Let us take the rest of Ukraine”

There are over a dozen characters in Simon Godfrey’s ‘Sauce’, each distinctive and brilliantly performed, in his one-man show. He needs nothing more than his imagination to bewitch. Godfrey turns a condiment into a high stakes adventure. He is a force.

 GENDER SPANNER

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If you can fix a pipe are you an old man or a little girl? Jessica McKerlie ‘throws a spanner’ into gender prejudice. What defines our sexuality, is it our body or our mind? Can a woman who believes she is a man become a transsexual? McKerlie challenges the status quo of being, in a solo show. It’s an exploration into our humanity, told with tricks and slips.

“Don’t confuse my sex with my gender”

Her eyes flash into the souls of the audience as she keeps them tittering on the edge.

“Thank you for letting me label you.”

DEAR DIARY

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Andi Snelling got a standing applause for her solo performance, as a girl growing through the banal experiences that ‘rocked her world’. The witty script compounded a couple of decades with multi-media and song, whist exploring the philosophy of time and self. Snelling mocked the self-indulgence of the autobiography, that the audience related to, with bursts of laughter.

“Guess what? I found four dollars at Timezone!”

It was a beautifully crafted work, packed with clever charm and brilliant timing.

Jake Webb’s incredible vocal range

“A great vibe from everyone present.”

Melbourne Press sent musically (classical) trained, Alannah Woods to review Methyl Ethel at their sold out, album launch of OH INHUMAN SPECTACLE, at Shebeen. Woods will cringe and give poor ratings to bad tones and flat notes, in this instance she was enthralled.

‘The band made everyone feel so at ease, they chatted to the crowd and made jokes about sleeping on couches and befriending fans. They connected with their audience and made them part of the show, which kept it personal.

Lead singer, Jake Webb’s unique voice, has a great high register, that not many men can boast of. The tone was so clear and strong, I could have listened to it all night!

Each song varied, it was great to hear something new being played, rather than the same style over and over again, which tends to happen with some bands. Each song had its own style and mood.’

Standing Ovations

In The Upper Room

Miranda Caney & Tim Harbour, Photograph by Jeff Busby
Miranda Caney & Tim Harbour, Photograph by Jeff Busby

The Australian Ballet’s 20:21 wowed audiences with a Triple Bill of modern and contemporary dance, that moved the audience to their feet. The costumes and the sets were minimal so the production relied heavily on the skill of the dancers and the talent of the choreographers.

If the dancers felt exposed by their limited artifice, they did not show it, in fact, they embraced it.The dancers were un-caged flying freely though the score and exploring modern motifs. The zeal of the dancers slapped the audience awake as they were witnessing their living time and their Art. It was beyond fable, it was flesh and blood, it embraced our moment.

The third and final ballet of the triple bill was Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room, it was reminiscent of ‘The Red Shoes’ but with a twist. Those that dance beyond a dalliance, are not outcasts, doomed to roam alone, but rather the front-runners of fashion. The audience may have been on the bench but they had gone to the party.

Costume designer Norma Kamall has to be congratulated for telling it all, by disclosing less.

Do you fear the Dark?

Do You Fear The Dark begins with the poignant short play Perhaps, in which a despairing mother envisages increasingly unnerving and outlandish scenarios for her runaway daughters.

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Following a vibrant musical number that links the two plays, we are thrust into the dark heart of fantasy with the chilling and modern ‘fairy tale’ Tom Tat

Award winning Dramatic Pause was initiated by writer Hayley Lawson-Smith and her husband David Lawson-Smith, a director. Together, they have entered various one act play festivals and Short & Sweet competitions. ‘Do You Fear the Dark?’ is their new and exciting venture comprising of two plays, ‘Perhaps’ and ‘Tom Tat’, both of which incorporate music and movement.

‘Perhaps’ was created at Sherbrooke Theatre Company’s Play in a Day event. Written in one night, this fantasy received excellent audience, response after only a day’s rehearsal.

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‘Tom Tat’, the story of a modern-day Rumpelstiltskin and Pandora was first performed at the annual PlaySix Festival in 2014 as a 20-minute play. Director Natasha Broadstock who had met Hayley earlier that year, when they both acted in the Midsummer Festival. She loved its quirky darkness so much that she requested Hayley explore the script further, with the goal of producing it for a longer season.’Perhaps’ and ‘Tom Tat’, now a far more substantial play of 40 minutes, they complement each other beautifully.

The director and all the performers were part of the ensemble cast of Mockingbird Theatres 2014 production of ‘Quills’. Each brings with them personal talents which highlight the fairy-tale qualities of the production.

The cast includes, Shae O’Reilly who has a singing, dance theatre background, and uses her striking skills beautifully in several scenes; Zak Zavod’s powerful stage presence has created a compelling Tom Tat. His talent with accents has helped created multiple, colourful characters in ‘Perhaps’. Victoria Haslam’s training in dance brings unique physicality (and beautiful costume design) to the production whist Ariel Simone’s experience in live theatre gives her characters remarkable realism. Playing the bassoon and percussion, Natasha has crafted a vivid, live soundscape.

‘Natasha and Hayley share a mystical, slightly dark vision for the production that will spark your imagination.’

REVIEW

Hayley and David Lawson-Smith live up to their claims.

imageBoth plays were rich with dramatic overlaying of primal concepts,with captivating performances. Passion and security are at war with each other in Perhaps, they are co-dependent enemies. Experience and innocence are pulling in opposing directions and are becoming mutually exclusive, much to the delight of the predator. This theme is also explored in Tom Tat.

Universal themes, with historic metaphors, dash across the stage with muted rage. There are always desperate moments in one’s life, when impulsive deals are made and later regretted. The intensity of Tom Tat, bewitched the audience. The narrow theatre of The Butterfly Club, became a lens into a microscopic tragedy, that drew in the inquiring mind and turned it into a world.

Hope is the only thing left, and one has to battle off the demons of doubt. It was a large story, destined for a large stage, with Actors fit for the journey.

Tim Harbours ‘Filigree and Shadow’ is a Turbulent Shrill

Curtains parted for the opening of 20:21, Melbourne Press attended the dress rehearsal of Filigree and Shadow.

To triumph over fear, when mere mortals run and hide.

A wild festival of sound and performance, ignited by Tim Harbours vision and the troops intuitive expression, creates a dramatic dance, executed with precision whist appearing to be passionate and spontaneous.IMG_4516

The artists burst through the turbulent score with a shrill that showcases their skill. They are in their natural habitat and the forces that challenge them, invigorate them. Harbour’s choreography has lit a fire in the dancers and they are intoxicated in a cult of Art.

Kelvin Ho, the Set Architect, has created a theatre within a theatre.The clean minimal design effortlessly divides the space, allowing shafts of light and a wall for the shadows. It seems as though the audience is spying an event, like a natural phenomena ; birds in a hurricane, steering into its calm eye or dolphins in a storm that are performing tricks on crashing waves.

“I’ve gone to that vicious, angry,frustrated place – what better place to exorcise yourself” Harbour explains.

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There are no dull moments, it is absorbing and riveting, from beginning to end.

Filigree and Shadow are one of the three performances of 20:21 which also include Symphony In Three Movements (1946) by Choreographer George Balanchine and In The Upper Room (1986) by Twyla Tharp

Article by A Forward

The journey to recovery

The Heroes Journey

Artwork by Tamar Delov. Struggle , Depth, Empowerment
Artwork by Tamar Delov.
Struggle , Depth, Empowerment

Review 

Directors Natalie Rozen and Paz Loyola-Blanco are strong and inspiring women.

Rozen has worked through undermining conditions and become a captivating person that charges your soul as you speak to her.

It’s a paradox that them that did not destroy you, made you, the powerful one.

As we look at the alarming rise of slavery, worse than it ever was, we hope that those that survive will become internal warriors, returning home, an asset to themselves and those around them. Not destroyed, although deeply harmed.

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Speakeasy in South Yarra rolled out the red carpet for a glamour night of Art and Theatre by those that have suffered with dignity and pride.

The lovely nibbles and organic wine did not distract one from the important issues. Information about Slavery was projected onto the wall.

The Performers and Artworks were examples of people who have suffered from various issues and made friends with their pain through Art therapy. The money raised goes to helping,educating and empowering very vulnerable people in Nepal that are victims of human trafficking.

You are not a loser, you are not a victim, you are a human being that has met fear and anxiety and recruited it into ones life as a friend, as something that made you strong.

Melbourne Press spoke to the performers Cathrine Pourreau and Svetlana Bykovec, they have been through their own personal journeys and see the cause as universal.

“Something comes from within, that just rises from it” Pourreau claims.

Paz and Natalie with cast
Paz and Natalie with cast

“It’s about where you come from and where you are now and appreciating what you have turned into, if it wasn’t for those hardships .. the world has opened .” Bykovek explains

“When you dare to go there, you are tapping into what it means to be human.”Pourreau adds.

They embrace the dark days, those lonely times and appreciate where they are today.

Its was a performance that the eye and heart enjoyed. It was genuine.

An interview with Natalie Rozen.

Art2Healing Project

Natalie Rozen believes in the healing power of Art Therapy and directs survivors as they empower their spirit and transform the ugly into a quest within ones self.

Atira Tan the founder of Art2Healing and Carla Van Laar the Senior Advisor, have done some incredible work. To me they are Masters of Art Therapy.

In my own experience Art Therapy has been a powerful modality to not only heal psychological wounds, but help me deal with physical ailments as well. The funds we make at the exhibition are going directly to victims (of human trafficking) in Nepal.

Our artists have been taken through an in-depth processes within the last couple of months, prior to the event. They aren’t characters or actors, they are people sharing their diverse real life experiences with the audience. Asking our Artists to step back into a difficult time of their lives is certainly going to be an emotional experience.

The Hero’s Journey is a concept used by many therapists. It is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell , it appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype, known as The Hero, who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the tribe.

Our artists are sharing their journey through Art and Moving Sculpture (like a performance). There are three parts of their journey ; the Call, the Initiation and the Return. “The inner strength of the individual serves the greater good of the community on their return.

Paintings by N.Rozen
Paintings by N.Rozen

By raising awareness what do you hope to achieve? MP

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” Joseph Campbell 

“If we really explore the underlying causes of our issues, we get a greater understanding of ourselves and don’t need to suffer anymore. We become the hero of our own story.

This is what the Art2Healing Project is about. They are dedicated to assisting and empowering individuals at risk. They provide psychological support , education and growth through  Art Therapy.

After suffering chronic anxiety and some agoraphobia for 20 years I found that the field of Art Therapy is a powerful means of personal transformation for emotional and spiritual healing.

Raising funds is one thing but where it goes is another. Giving people the opportunity to build personal power and prevent future traumas is a blessing.”

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What support (any type) has the production received? MP
“We have had endless support throughout this project. From University lecturers to co – workers who have come on board. We have over 20 sponsors and many volunteers. We couldn’t be more grateful for the help we’ve received in making this production expand to what it’s is now.

It just shows how many heart centred people there are. It has been a Hero’s Journey in itself and next week we will be celebrating The Return, at the exhibition.”

What brought you together? MP
Paz approached me at the start of the year with her vision and asked whether we could Co-Direct for The Hero’s Journey Collective and Exhibition. We both studied counselling together and are qualified psychotherapists, which is originally why I became involved.

We  realised that we had a love for the creative arts and wanted to organise a production by correlating this with psychotherapy. We then interviewed artists that had some connection with the therapeutic field.

We were very clear on safety when bringing in people; we chose those that were able to hold themselves together through the deep internal work. These artists have been incredible and I  look forward to working with each of them in the future, whatever form it may take.

 

Banner and Event Photos by A Forward

Review by A Forward

refer to: http://www.theherosjourneycollective.com

Artwork and Slave-Trade Photos supplied by N Rozen

 

Insomnia, A play by Natasha Moszenin

The Insomnia Project

The Insomnia Project by composer, writer and director, Natasha Moszenin, is a dramatic piece on the troublesome disorder of insomnia brought to life on the stage.

1 in 3 Australians suffer mild to extreme sleep deprivation and in our 24/7 lives we are increasingly becoming a ‘sleep-sick’ society. Insomnia and up to 70 other diagnosable sleep disorders underlie up to 70% of visits to GPs in Australia.

Natasha has been living with insomnia since she was a teenager. Having tried psychotherapy, herbs, restrictive diets, and meditation, she decided to create a music-theatre work about sleeplessness and the related conditions that surround it; anxiety and depression.

“ When a night can feel like a lifetime”

Review

The play can be best understood by night stalkers that wait for day with both anxiety and relief. Anxiety because sleep deprivation undermines ones ability to function and relief because the long lonely hours are over. 

“However vast the darkness we must supply our own light” Stanley Kubrick

Four actors shared the stage but remained in isolation. In a Kubrick style, the crowd were dragged through the condition and if they didn’t understand what insomniacs go through, they were not paying attention.

The Director and the Writer Natasha Moszenin provided the score, she played the piano as she watched the actors lumber, sleepless through the night. For insomniacs in the full audience it was a bonding into a community, when they thought they were alone.

Ballet Dreaming

Alexei Ratmansky’s

Cinderella

When clothes do matter! Cinderella is the ‘It girl’ of the season. Even without a mother, there is the godmother to provide a night out on the town. The wicked sisters may lack the talent, taste and kindness of their rival sister but their comic timing is perfect.

Halaina Hills & Ingrid Gow. Photography by Jeff Busby
Halaina Hills & Ingrid Gow. Photography by Jeff Busby

The costumes are a remarkable stroke of insight. They communicate a large hunk of the tale. Ballet has no voice; the palette is made up of dance, drama, costume, score and set. The show is catchy with a surrealistic bite, re-told with a modern edge.

No one has moves like the Prince (Ty King Wall). The magnetic duo are drawn together when Cinderella (Lana Jones) ‘steals the show’ and sets the tone at the ball. The twisted sisters are deliciously offbeat.

There is nothing like a dance story told by a dance company, frock them up and send them to a Ball. This is why you should go! The dancing and Alexei Ratmansky’s choreography  is a visual delight.

Cinderella is an interesting fairytale to re-visit; it carries life lessons in a purse of simple context. Jealousy is unable to suppress the hopeful soul. When humans fail, the stars align to aid her journey and her destiny.

The Dream

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As the full moon hangs heavy over Melbourne skies, another moon and another season, the ‘Midsummer Night’, takes flight in the deep chambers of the Art Centre, on the opening night of The Dream.

Enter into the enchanted forest where mischief casts spells on the unaware and leads them into late night folly, only to awake with a hangover of regret. Does it sound familiar? Of course it does. One can always rely on Shakespeare to understand the human heart.

“How can these things come to pass? O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!”

One does not need to read the play, to love The Dream. The magical blend of music and ballet lead the audience through the drama. The audience chuckled spontaneously through the performance, it’s bewitching and it’s funny. They cheered and applauded.

The visual beauty of the set and performance is unworldly; it’s easy for us to be tripped into its spell. The music and the dance are fused into one. The poetry of our slumber awakens to newer world, an alternative, and a deviation from the probable path into a fantastic alternative that leads us safely back, to our destination.

Ballet of this calibre is a sublime experience.

Puck, (Chengwu Guo) the mischievous fairy, is a tad liberal with his love potions, which leads to squabbles and confrontations. His dance is super-imposed with thrill and adventure whereas the ‘labourers’ trod a heavy step. It’s the unique combination of dance that binds multiple styles and creates a visual texture to the play that is echoed by the score. Kevin Jackson is mesmerising as Oberon.

Chief Conductor Nicolette Fraillon leads the orchestra gently into the play with the strings and piano opening the drama, she builds the momentum with the wind instruments that tantalise the audience into a heightened state of expectation.

David Walkers set is magnificent, enriched by the lighting techniques of John B Read. It’s a sensory feast. The evening begins with the abstract dance of Symphonic Variations and Monotones 11, which showcases the talent of Frederick Ashton and the skill and grace of the dancers. This clears the pallet to make way for the rich, full-bodied production of the Dream.

Perfection!