Posts Tagged ‘gold coast


HOTA – Home of the Arts Officially Opens with Tim Minchin

HOTA – Home of the Arts officially opens with Tim Minchin in free open-air concert


Tim Minchin 2018 HOTA: Lexi Spooner LEXIMAGERY.


Australia’s brilliant showman and provocateur, the internationally acclaimed Tim Minchin performed a history-making first concert on HOTA’s spectacular outdoor stage on Saturday evening, to a capacity audience. Saturday’s special free concert – Minchin’s first in Australia for two years – officially launched the HOTA outdoor program for 2018.



HOTA, Home of the Arts officially came to life on the Gold Coast last month, with the announcement of the new name, introduction of the spectacular new outdoor stage and release of the Outdoor Program featuring big names, collaborations and local talent. Saturday’s concert marked the beginning of an exciting new era for the Gold Coast.



Tim Minchin 2018 HOTA: Tyronne Fitzgerald LEXIMAGERY.


Other standouts in the 2018 program include the Concert for the Planet on Saturday, March 24, and then concerts by Australian music legend Neil Finn, the mighty Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and in a major coup for the region, multi-award winner and pioneer, musician and film director, Laurie Anderson will leave her home in New York to take up residency at HOTA.


Tim Minchin 2018 HOTA: Lexi Spooner LEXIMAGERY.


Tim Minchin 2018 HOTA: Lexi Spooner LEXIMAGERY.


“A new name, a spectacular new venue, and a wonderfully energised new program comes as the result of many years of planning and hard work by multiple teams and a huge commitment from the City of Gold Coast,” said HOTA Chair Robyn Archer AO.



“The Tim Minchin concert this weekend is the inspirational beginning of a new era for the Gold Coast, for both its residents and its millions of visitors. At last, the sixth largest city in Australia has created a brilliant state-of-the-art platform for the commissioning, producing and presenting of the most exciting artists from the region, the nation and the world,” she said.


Tim Minchin 2018 HOTA: Tyronne Fitzgerald LEXIMAGERY.



Wrecking Ball


wreckingball_GC artscentre


Wrecking Ball

Brisbane Powerhouse

Visy Theatre

May 28 – 31 2014


Hannah Montana is dead.


The postmortem is inconclusive. Natural causes? Or hot-mess murder gone platinum?
Childhood friend Miley returns home to Nashville for the wake. Forget the funeral, it’s the party she’s come for.
In this open letter to you – her pouters and doubters – Miley takes a sledge hammer to Disney dreams, teen idols and tabloid fantasies.


This is one eulogy you’ll kill to see.


Wrecking Ball hails from the creators of the critically acclaimed Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele and is the ultimate coming of age party, starring Naomi Price.


We saw Wrecking Ball at Brisbane Powerhouse in May. This is the new show from brazen creative team, Adam Brunes and Naomi Price; the perfect precursor that night to Rhonda Burchmore’s Vinyl Viagra.


Wrecking Ball came at us hard and fast…gently, and left me feeling like I knew Miley – and Naomi – a little better.




Look, I’m no Smiler but I’m a big fan of our super talented friends, so when Adam Brunes and Naomi Price told us after the final Adele show last year that the subject of their next creative process was to be Miley Cyrus I tried to be optimistic. In truth, I was skeptical, and more than a little scared for them. Miley? Really? Was Brisbane ready to twerk? Was there even an hour’s worth of material to Miley’s story? Well of course there was, and there’s more – much more – to this show than the token twerk. It’s quite an unexpected result.


In the hands of less intelligent, less compassionate creatives we might suffer through a cheap, crass parody. Instead, we’re treated to deeper insight into the imagined world of Miley, and what we can only imagine might be a very real part of Price’s world.


Wrecking Ball somehow avoids delivering an over simplified slut and strut success story, opting instead for a sensitive exploration of what makes Miley tick. And twerk. A rather unorthodox premise establishes that Hannah Montana is dead and we’re all in attendance at her wake in a barn with a band dressed in denim and cowboy boots. Brilliant! And we love the band! (Mik Easterman, Andrew Johnson, Michael Manikus, Jason McGregor and Rachel Everett-Jones. In Rachel’s absence this weekend, Georgie Prestipino will be appearing).




But what actually is it about Naomi Price? Her voice is perfection, her booty is hot, and her allure is electric to say the least, letting us in on a whole new level of energy and sophistication, regardless of the role. And she’s a master of mimicry without losing anything of herself. I’m not sure how she does it. And I don’t think it can be taught. However, what Price offers is a masterclass in what I’ve been hashtagging #neocabaret. No, it’s not the dark, gypsy, gothic Diabolical Streaks style (it doesn’t need to be); it’s a brand new and bold cabaret, which sets its own ground rules and then sets out to break them.




So many moments are suggestive of this intuitive new approach to “cabaret”, its traditional shape, form and feeling, but let’s use just one. Achy Breaky Heart, rather than being the pinnacle comical moment, is presented as the moment of Miley’s father’s heartbreak. We know the opening to the song and I feel the full house collectively cringe, but we feel compassion rather than pity, and we’re struck with sympathy rather than hilarity. It’s a magical moment, a mood changer, and Brunes and Price do it every time. (In Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele it was most noticeable in Daydreamer).


This show is an unusual expression of celebrity, challenging us to accept and forgive the quirks rather than judging and condemning them.


Wrecking Ball will return, it will tour, and already, in its debut, this show has reinforced Naomi Price’s place at the top of the Australian cabaret tree. At the same time, we’ve found new respect for Miley Cyrus along the way. Hannah Montana not so much.


For one night only, catch Naomi Price as Miley Cyrus inWrecking Ball at The Basement, The Arts Centre Gold Coast 8pm TONIGHT!




See Hayden Tee on the Gold Coast!



Well, this is awesome! Hayden Tee, who will share the stage with our good friends, Patrice Tipoki (Fantine) and Simon Gleeson (Valjean), when he steps into Javert’s shoes for the new Cameron Mackintosh 25th Anniversary Les Miserables, comes to the Gold Coast first!





Born in New Zealand and trained at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), Hayden Tee is acclaimed for his work as Performer, Director and Recording Artist in Theatre, Concert and Cabaret throughout New Zealand, Australia, the U.K and the U.S. 

Since locating to the USA in 2010 Hayden has appeared in a number of productions including originating the role of Jack Worthing in the new Gordon/Gruska musical Being Earnest, playing Edward Rutledge in 1776, Cinderellas Prince/ Wolf inInto the Woods (Director Susan V. Booth, Alliance Theater co), King Arthur in Camelot (dir. Ted Pappas, Pittsburgh Public Theatre), Freddy Einsford Hill In My Fair Lady (dir. Charles Repole, North Shore Music Theatre) and Captain Hook / Mr Darling in Peter Pan (dir. Michael Lichtefeld). Hayden recently played the role of Jack in the new musical version of The Importance of Being Earnets titled Being Earnest written by Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska at the New Works festival in CA under the direction of Robert Kelly.

Hayden appeared as Marius in the 20th anniversary West-end production of Les Miserables (dir. John Caird / Trevor Nunn, London UK), Thomas Andrews in Titanic: The Musical (dir. John Diedrich, Sydney AUS) (A.T Award nom.), Professor Bhaer in Little Women The Musical, (dir; Stuart Maunder, York Theatre, Kookaburra, AUS) (Glugg Award), Lt. Joe Cable inSouth Pacific (dir. Joanne Robinson, Adelaide AUS)(A.T.G Award nom), the tours of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (dir. Darren Yap, AUS), Songs for a New World (dir. Peter Cousens, AUS), The Wizard of Oz (dir. Nancye Hayes, AUS) and created the role of Cuddlepie in the workshop of The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (dir. Neil Armfield, Sydney AUS).

Hayden will appear at Tyalgum Hall on Friday May 2 and Saturday May 3 under the musical direction of Nigel Ubrihien, whom we know from his appearances at the Noosa Long Weekend Festival!


Enjoy a pre-show dinner at Flutterbies Cafe, and stroll down to Tyalgum Hall for an 8pm show.


Dinner and show packages available for just $75 (show only $55)


BUT WAIT! There’s more…

You can also catch Hayden when he appears as the Celebrity Guest Artist for The Greenroom Project, which returns to The Arts Centre Gold Coast on Monday May 5. The Greenroom Project is Australia’s first live cabaret talk show, with host, Matt Ward. Jam packed with on the couch interviews, celebrity guest artists, industry news and gossip, musical performances an open mic segment and showcasing 5 of the hottest up and coming musical theatre and cabaret artists around! All accompanied by musical director Brad Rush.



The Ultimate Vegas Show


The Ultimate Vegas Show

M2 Productions

Jupiters Casino

April 11 2014


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward 


Ok. Lemme’ just copy and paste for a bit. Trust me. It’s the best way.


Showgirls. Legends. Feathers. Sequins. Highkicks. Juggling that astounds. Magic…


From April 11, all the sizzle and spectacle of a true Las Vegas show will be celebrated at Jupiters Hotel & Casino as entertainment maestro Michael Boyd stages The Ultimate Vegas Show!


The Ultimate Vegas Show mixes world class magic and illusions with one of Las Vegas’ top jugglers and performance artists, and pays tribute to Dean Martin and other legendary greats through Australia’s best impersonators, all framed by a bevy of gorgeous Vegas Showgirls and boys and supported by a live band!


The Ultimate Vegas Show pays homage to the showgirl and all of her feathers, sequins, high kicks and heels; mixed with breathtaking magic and illusions and incredible juggling by Vegas sensation Romano Frediani who is flying in from Nevada for the season. 


The show is choreographed by Todd Patrick, one of Australia’s dance leaders who began his formidable career with Disney and then Versace, Dior, Issey Miyaki, Gucci and Chanel across Europe and Asia. As a dancer he worked internationally, one of the highlights being as the principal in The Lido in Paris. He has worked with Australian music’s best including Guy Sebastian, Vanessa Amorosi, Zoe Badwi, Hi-5, Kate Ceberano and Dannii Minogue as well as international DJ’s and pop artists including Inaya Day (New York), Barbara Tucker (New York), Peyton (London), DJ Frankie Knuckles (New York) and Tune in Tokyo (Melbourne). 


There. I think that’s all they would like me to tell you. That’s what you’re supposed to see. Well. If this is the ultimate Vegas show, Vegas can have it.


There’s something going on between the point of M2’s conceptualisation of these shows and the result. The last one, Cabaret de Paris didn’t enamour me to Michael Boyd’s style of production and I recall being very kind. (This is me being very kind). I’m beginning to wonder whether Jupiters themselves believe their hype. Brett Annable took to the stage first – the management seem to do this at Jupiters – and introduced the show, presumably for the sake of the punters who’d already had so much to drink in The Vegas Lounge AKA The Atrium Bar that they’d promptly forgotten what it was they were seeing. Following the opening number, we met David Cotter who has, apparently, “perfected the ultimate Dean Martin”. Whatever that looks and sounds like. If Cotter’s act had been approved for inclusion in any show I’d put money into, I’d be asking for it back. (NEVER PUT YOUR OWN MONEY IN THE SHOW!). I don’t think that’s too harsh. His lack of command over vocal pitch, pace and comic timing, his complete lack of charisma and confidence with the lyrics, not to mention the script, ultimately reveals him as a con, and by con I mean contender for the most laughable up-late karaoke you can imagine. I’M BEING KIND.


Ultimate Showgirl Show Collage


Poor Elvis doesn’t fare much better here. Dean Vegas is an internationally renowned entertainer with the Key to the city of Tupelo, where Elvis was born. HE IS THE ONLY ELVIS TRIBUTE ARTIST TO EVER RECEIVE THIS HONOUR. So naturally, I was looking forward to being suitably impressed. Here’s what I was impressed with:


Todd Patrick’s choreography is just fine; in fact, it’s really the most consistently entertaining aspect of the show. The dancers execute their high kicks, lifts, and lots of feather-touting strutting and sexy salsa, and in a strange jungle sequence that opens with a dance remix of Knock on Wood (Ha! I know!), and The Lion Sleeps Tonight, we witness for the first time in at least a decade, many, many canons and double pumps. But it works. Although, it has to be said; it did make me think of Showgirls, that dreadful, dreadful film Sam made us watch again for Diabolique research. Don’t ask. Whatever, Sam.


The dancers are terrific (I CAN DO TERRIFIC FAN KICKS!), albeit missing from the final moments of a routine halfway through the show when a mid-curtain descended in front of them, separating them from Elvis, who noticed nothing, so committed was he in finishing the number. There were other technical glitches, which by rights should have happened during previews, but then, WHAT EVEN ARE PREVIEWS IN THIS COUNTRY? I know. Don’t answer that. The dancers really are fine, and the girls are gorgeous and leggy and possibly all size 4 AND beautifully fit not hospitalised so I’m actually in awe of them. The boys come across at first as underfed and boyish, that is until they appear in their Copacabana costumes, revealing, importantly, very well worked upon ABS.


VEGAS SHOW_kickline


Romano Frediani is hopefully the only genuine LA talent (because IMAGINE the frustration in paying everybody to actually come from Vegas and ending up with only one genuine personality and bona fide born entertainer on stage). He is the real deal, and the only real hit, gauging by the vibe on opening night. (Compared to the toilet/bar break during Dean Martin’s big romantic number, this guy turns out to be a showstopper). We take a little while to warm to him but then, after simply juggling (no, it’s not simple, is it?), Frediani embarks on a ring tossing and catching act that has the house in stitches…and involved! Obviously, the success of this act is that he continues to fail…until he wins, and what a win it is! He is rewarded with the only genuine standing ovation of the night, from just a few, but this is as opposed to just a few standing up to make their escape, as people do, well before the end of the final curtain call. YOUR CAR WILL STILL BE THERE IN FIVE MORE MINUTES. CAN YOU STAY AND APPLAUD PLEASE? IT’S RESPECTFUL TO THE ARTISTS, WHO ARE NOT NECESSARILY TO BLAME FOR A SHOW THAT DOESN’T MATCH ITS PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL OR THE ORIGINAL VISION.


Michael Boyd does some pretty neat tricks, and brings out some pretty assistants. I do enjoy keeping up with the latest illusionist assistants’ look, which appears to be Black Milk Clothing meets custom made Roman Gladiator dominatrix style. It will catch on, you wait. And look, I don’t want to know the secrets behind the illusions, but I don’t want to be able to hazard a guess at how they’re done either so perhaps a bit more care with a couple of these acts will make them even more thrilling.




The band, led by MD Mal Wood, is fantastic, and it’s fantastic to see them on stage.


To be completely honest, I don’t understand Jupiters’ audiences and I don’t accept that there are no better ideas or creators out there. M2 Productions are not doing our Performing Arts industry any favours at the moment, except of course for consistently employing dancers, choreographers and costumiers, and for this I applaud Boyd and Jupiters. But can we up the anti already? I’ve given it two goes. Three strikes and you’re out!



Remember The Greenroom Project? The Greenroom Project Junior launches tonight!


I haven’t made the trip to the Gold Coast for a while, not even for a day out at IKEA, but The Greenroom Project is an event I’m keen to check out! Tonight, for one night only, you can catch the junior version of the Project!


In the fine tradition of Jim Caruso’s Cast Party, The Greenroom Project is committed to putting industry names and aspiring stars side by side, and surprisingly, it’s the first in Australia to do so.


Lara Mulcahy - The Greenroom Project

Lara Mulcahy (Les Miserables, Mama Mia) mentor for The Greenroom Project


It’s Australia’s first live cabaret talk show, jam packed with on the couch interviews, celebrity guest artists, special music performances and an open mic segment showcasing each month five of the hottest new, up and coming musical theatre performers accompanied by The Greenroom Project Musical Director Brad Rush.


Presented by Matt Ward Entertainment, The Greenroom Project returns for a 2014 season, bigger and better than before, kicking off tonight in the Paradise Showroom at The Arts Centre Gold Coast with The Greenroom Project Junior!


Following the incredible success of Season 1 of The Greenroom Project, comes the much anticipated release of The Greenroom Project Junior, which will feature 15 up and coming musical theatre performers from the ages of 12 – 17. They’ll have the chance to be mentored by celebrity guest Lara Mulcahy (Les Miserables, Mama Mia) and perform tonight from 6pm at The Greenroom Project Junior, Live Show.


Join the master of ceremonies, host of The Greenroom Project live shows, Matt Ward, bringing a slice of the Big Apple glitz, glamour and wit down under for The Greenroom Project 2014 season. It’s guaranteed to impress!




Sea World Resort’s Mystique – magic and illusion spectacular



Sea World Resort Ocean Theatre

2 – 31 January 2014


Reviewed by Craig Gallagher


Internationally acclaimed illusionist and Australia’s Got Talent Finalist Michael Boyd brings magic to life right before your eyes in his incredible show, Mystique




Featuring jaw-dropping illusions, escapes, special effects and mind-boggling performances, this show will have the whole family entertained, and completely mystified.


Attending the opening night of Mystique at Sea World Resort’s Ocean Theatre was both a relaxing and entertaining event. Being welcomed with a variety of drinks for all ages and tastes, as well as many tempting canapés and finger food, and watching the sun set over the Broadwater and hinterland were all the elements necessary to set the scene for a truly magical night.


Guests were ushered into the show by cast members wandering through the crowd dressed in themed mystical costumes.  The venue was small enough to be intimate, which worked well for Michael Boyd and the show’s content; however, the show would easily lend itself to larger and more elaborate stages. The accompanying lighting, sound, lasers and special effects ensured the atmosphere was reflective of Mystique’s repertoire of illusions and dance.


Boyd displayed a great connection with the audience, involving participation from members on several occasions. The show consisted of a dozen or so illusions, from the most basic to the complex and baffling. The 90-minute program included a number of themed dance routines that reflected the acts of illusion around which they were performed. A solid cast of two male and two female dancers supported Boyd, assisting with the illusions themselves.  The light show and soundtrack were well suited to the mystical theme, and catered for tastes young and old.


The pace of the show hit the mark;  the entire hour and a half passed before you knew it.  The grander illusions were performed very convincingly, supported with sound effects and lighting, however; one of the simpler illusions proved the more difficult to keep mysterious!


Merchandise for sale at interval and after the show enabled the more curious audience members to get in touch with the magician within.


Boyd and his supporting cast worked well together, each performing their roles convincingly, and the audience ranging from 6 to 80 were thoroughly entertained. Experience Mystique at Sea World Resort until January 31 2014.



Cabaret de Paris: A Burlesque Extravaganza


Cabaret de Paris: A Burlesque Extravaganza

Michael Boyd

Jupiters Gold Coast

5 September – 11 October 2013


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward 


Be transported by the atmosphere and excitement of a Parisian-themed revue with a parade of first-class entertainers and the daring beauty of exquisitely bejewelled exotic dancers. This spectacular production, Cabaret De Paris, will open at Jupiters Hotel & Casino on Thursday September 5 for a strictly limited season.


Cabaret De Paris is a stage spectacular celebrating old-fashioned showgirl glamour combined with the skill of adagio dancers, aerial pole artistry, comedy circus performers, quick change performers, illusionists and of course the famous French Cancan Dancers!


Don’t miss your chance to fall under the charm of former Moulin Rouge star, Marissa Burgess, the legendary showgirl and the toast of Paris. Marissa starred in three multi-million dollar revues; “Femmes, Femmes, Femmes”, “Formidable” and “Feerie”, earning the title of ‘Longest Serving Star’ in the Moulin Rouge’s 120-year history.


cabaret de paris_red


What a delight! The thought of Paris on the Gold Coast!


Managing Director of Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Aaron Gomes, had a dream. Producer, Michael Boyd, must have imagined he could see the same vision, because in Cabaret de Paris we get a mini Vegas version of the famous Moulin Rouge.


In a burlesque-hip hop-circus mash-up, we get a glamorous package of exotic dancers, illusionists, adagio performers and a razor-sharp resident clown, Justin Case, the highlight of the show. It’s a very conservative version of the lost art of titillation and tease. It’s not the extravaganza I was hoping for. (There is not even the partial nudity of the evening performances at matinees so that means you can take the kids!). But does this show live up to the original vision? Clearly, the establishment thinks so. They seem pleased. And yet, I don’t feel like I can wrap this one up by saying GO! GO SEE SOME BURLESQUE!


There are so many levels of burlesque in this country, and this is a good show for beginners who are happy to splurge on the pre-show dinner, drinks and the VIP cabaret table deal; it’s a first for Jupiters and lets you get up close to the action. Without making a night of it, if you’re a dedicated dance, cabaret or burlesque fan, you may come away wondering what all the fuss is about.




It’s certainly not the movie, Burlesque, and nor should it be, but I’d love to hear a singer take us through the night Cher style. The stunning looking Marissa Burgess, the Longest Serving Star of the Moulin Rouge and now a Gold Coast resident, is given this role and relishing it, she plays the star part beautifully.


The pace of the show though is a little slow for my liking, the music seems as if it’s been selected somewhat randomly (the naff 1980s aspect being consistent with most of the Moulin Rouge and Lido clips on YouTube), and the girls, though they may be comfortable on stage in Paris, don’t appear to be here. They are so beautiful but it’s as if they don’t quite believe it! Maybe it was first night jitters, but Kelly Byrne and Morgan Kenny seemed to be the only dancers oozing with the uber confidence we expect from such glamazons.


While there is some spectacular choreography by Todd Patrick to be enjoyed, including the strangest incarnation of the traditional can-can I’ve ever seen, the dance element is pretty minimal because the nature of burlesque is to strut elegantly and pose beautifully, in order to draw attention to spectacularly long limbs, flat stomachs, firm breasts, tight buttocks and old-fashioned good posture. Not to mention the fabulous costumes, of which there are many. Designer Cathie Boyd, has created a superb collection, with feathers, sequins, gems and rhinestones. Without an epic set, Michael Buenen’s incredible lighting design is also appreciated.


Perhaps Cabaret de Paris is an authentic burlesque show – if you’ve been to Moulin Rouge or le Lido and then you’ve seen Cabaret de Paris you can let me know how it compares – and if that’s the case, let’s look at creating and staging a few new burlesque productions in Australia that honour the art form as much as they do the female form.