Posts Tagged ‘kookai

05
Aug
15

Opening Night Style at The Greenhouse: Grounded

 

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Opening night style at The Greenhouse Diane Cilento Studio: Grounded

 

A comparatively casual opening night affair (we’d dressed up for La Boite’s 90th birthday ball the night before), for some Grounded meant jeans and sweaters and jackets. Still in party mode, I took out the “Noosa Festival Red” stretchy Kookai number and Sachi sandals for the theatre, and later – it got cold at Greystone – my little Red Riding Hood cloak cum coat dress, which I picked up at Woodford Folk Festival a couple of years ago.

 

Grounded has been extended until August 22 so there’s really no excuse to miss the sensational Libby Munro in a stunning, game-changing role. Read my review here.

 

Wearing

 

Dress: Kookai

 

Cloak: Shovava

 

Shoes: Sachi Melissa Black Boot (be quick to get them at sale price!)

 

Jewels: Blue Illusion

 

 

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04
Aug
15

La Boite’s 90th Birthday Ball!

 

La Boite’s 90th Birthday Ball

Roundhouse Theatre

Friday July 31 2015

 

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La Boite is a story of people, passion, purpose and place.

 

People like Barbara Sisley, who in 1916 found herself stranded in Brisbane when her theatrical touring company unexpectedly disbanded. She along with literature academic J. J. Stable formed the Brisbane Repertory Theatre Society in 1925 in response to the public’s growing appetite for high quality, locally-produced theatre. For twenty years, Sisley and Stable reigned supreme in Brisbane’s theatrical community.

 

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After decades of moving between large venues such as the Theatre Royal and Albert Hall, in 1967 the company finally found a home of its own.

 

Company members (including Muriel Watson, pictured left) converted an old Queenslander in Hale St, Milton into a theatre-in-the-round. Hollowed out, the house had the appearance of a box and the name ‘La Boite’ was born. In 1972, the company moved next door to the Blair Wilson designed theatre, which so many remember with such fondness. This remained home for three decades, before the move to our current Roundhouse Theatre in Kelvin Grove.

 

90 years of existence takes resilience and ingenuity.

 

La Boite has survived two World Wars, censorship, public outrage, politically-charged programming, changing tastes, floods and the constant flirting with failure that comes with walking the tightrope between risk and certainty.

 

To celebrate their 90th birthday, La Boite gathered hundreds of programs, posters and paraphernalia in a special online archive. Play your part by donating past programs, images, articles and uploading your personal anecdotes from La Boite’s eventful history. As the archive evolves, everyone will be able to search for their favourite production or fondest memory. Go to 90years.laboite.com.au to make your contribution.

 

Thanks to La Boite and the company’s Artistic Director, Todd MacDonald, we celebrated on Friday night in the space outside the theatre, under a spacious marquee, ninety years to the day after La Boite’s story was brought to life. Incredibly, I didn’t manage to actually get into the theatre or behind the green door and into the speakeasy, where there were cocktails to be had! At some point, early in the night, all the champagne was gone and for a little while the one goal was to get to the cocktail bar behind the green door! But there were too many friends to stop and talk to along the way so you will have to ask others about the vibe and the drinks offered in the speakeasy space. #missionfail

 

A combination of official formal proceedings, quirky performances from some of our faves, and the perfect set up for chance encounters and casual conversations made it a fantastic evening, fitting of the special occasion. We joined the masses using Uber and could have come from The Valley or Tenneriffe on our special occasion new member credit, however, I’d booked Rydges Southbank for the weekend, making our first Uber experience short and very sweetly priced! We love Rydges, they always look after us, and we enjoyed a stunning full-moon-over-the-river view, buffet breakfasts and a lazy Sunday morning after another late night, soaking up some sunshine in Soleil Pool Bar. With the added joys of a late check-out, and Southbank and its night noodle markets (part of good food month) right across the road, it was very hard to leave. #noodlemarkets

 

Thanks La Boite, UberRydges Southbank for helping us make a weekend of it!

 

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La Boite 90th Birthday Ball images by Paul Sickling. See more on Facebook

 

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Insta images by XS Entertainment

 

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30
Jul
15

Anything Goes

 

Anything Goes

Opera Australia & John Frost

QPAC Lyric Theatre

July 25 – August 16 2015

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

ANYTHING GOES has captivated millions with its delightful story of madcap antics aboard the S.S. American. When the ocean liner sets sail from New York to London, etiquette and convention get tossed out the portholes as two unlikely couples set off to find true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. 

 

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With three Helpmann Awards announced the previous night, opening night of Anything Goes in Brisbane was always going to be an exciting affair. I wore sparkles, creating a major dress dilemma for the week because LA BOITE’S BIRTHDAY BASH! That’s right. Two of the shiniest occasions in Queensland’s theatrical calendar occur in one week and I’ve already been seen in my (more-twenties-than-thirties, let’s face it) sparkles. I’m not above being seen in the same frock twice but…

 

It’s times like these I have to ask myself

WHAT WOULD OUR CATE DO?

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actress Cate Blanchett arrives at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 02: Actress Cate Blanchett arrives at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

 

Well, there’s no Armani here yet, but it’s okay, don’t panic, I have more white in the wardrobe now, thanks to a fortune fortnight spent on Hastings Street during Noosa Long Weekend Festival and the smiling, sophisticated ladies at KOOKAI. Admittedly, all they had to do was to bag a couple of cute frocks, which I’d spotted on the rack and decided to purchase without even trying on (because KOOKAI), but still; they are lovely there. Go visit them if ever you find yourself in similar strife.

 

This dazzling production of Cole Porter’s classic musical comedy is indeed almost too de-lightful, too de-licious and too, too de-lovely for words. It’s not my favourite clever, convoluted, old-fashioned, funny because it’s so unlikely excuse for a plot – misadventure and mistaken identities on the high seas with enough theatrical evangelical shenanigans to create another show entirely – but the music is timeless and the comedy is pitched at a broad audience of loyal Porter fans and musical theatre newbies. Everyone will enjoy this one.

 

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Musical theatre queen, Caroline O’Connor, is superb as Reno Sweeney, as we knew she would be. In this demanding role, O’Connor earned the Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. She barely pauses for breath – unless there’s a laugh to be had (and there are plenty, with her knack for physical comedy most obvious in Friendship with Wayne Scott Kermond) – and with her suitably Ethel Merman styled powerhouse vocals, polished dance and comedic finesse, O’Connor steals the show. But only just because this is the strongest company we’ve seen in Frosty’s trilogy with Opera Australia.

 

Reno’s girls are standouts – hot, glam goddesses who get to strut and shimmy their stuff in a red-lit and racy Blow, Gabriel, Blow (Annie Aitkin, Bridgette Hancock, Hayley Martin & Samantha Leigh Dodemaide).

 

And the ensemble are all gorgeous, great, true triple-threats, with an abundance of very young-looking sailors on board… didn’t Fleet Street happen already?! The title number, reprised for the Finale, is the highlight of the show – precision tap at its best to leave you, unlike the company of #fitspo performers, gasping for breath! Helpmann Award winning choreography by Andrew Hallsworth is simply spectacular, brilliantly executed.

 

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Todd McKenney, perfect in the role of English fop, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, reminds me of Eric Idle in The English National Opera’s The Mikado (1997), which was watched and re-watched for years in our house, thanks to the miracle of VHS. We see this sort of silliness in a role attempted so often but it’s very rarely achieved. Todd McKenney nails it. And of course, he can dance! Act Two’s The Gypsy In Me showcases McKenney’s triple-threat skill set and has us in stitches. (N.B. McKenney doesn’t do the Sunday show). Wouldn’t you just love to sign up for a Todd’s Tour with Evelyn?!

 

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Alex Rathgeber’s Billy Crocker won him the Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical. A legit leading man, Rathgeber brings warmth, charm and natural comedy to Crocker, making the character seem more present than ever in the ludicrous plot, and giving Hope Harcourt (Claire Lyon) much to consider in her will-I-or-won’t-I-marry-him throes. In Act One, You’re The Top (with O’Connor) and Easy To Love (with Lyon) carry old-world, swoon-worthy charm. Lyon is lovely, elegant and perfectly matched.

 

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Wayne Scott Kermond and Deborah Krizak – Moonface Martin and the sexy, haughty Erma – bring hilarity to new heights; Krizak’s mercury-like moves in the constrictive cabin space and her Madonna attitude in Buddie Beware make her my new fave what-else-have-ya-got-for-us female. (She has in fact, got CABBARET, an ABBA biopic).

 

MD/Conductor, Peter Casey, leads a slick outfit – there are no disappointing horns here – and Dale Ferguson’s simple set adaptation (lit by Matt Scott) and sublime costumes (to make up for the simple set?) complete the look and feel of what is really a magnificent production, astutely directed by Dean Bryant.

 

Credited with the New Book Co-Author credit is Timothy Crouse, son of one of the original authors, Russell Crouse, but it seems there hasn’t been much of a re-write, which is a shame because contemporary audiences are looking for more than a name change for the Chinese. Aren’t we? Bryant’s production for Opera Australia and John Frost is glamorous, gorgeous and hilarious, and it won’t make a difference to box office sales to find fault with a slightly outdated book, but it’s worth noting that once this one is done there might be more to consider than star vehicles boasting terrific song and dance numbers that gloss over obvious racist undercurrents, which so many of the older, much-loved shows perpetuate within their stories. Of course, each reflects the popular themes and attitudes of its time. But does that deem them untouchable? South Pacific somehow seemed more relevant and The King and I not so much. The London Palladium Production of The Sound of Music certainly seems a stronger choice (and you can book for that now. Amy Lehpamer is going to be amazing).

 

Anything Goes is a lavish production with a stellar cast. It would be a crime to miss Caroline O’Connor in this iconic role, in a riotous show that doesn’t claim to be anything it’s not. It’s pure entertainment and it’s honestly the most fun you’ll have at the theatre before you have your mind blown at Brisbane Festival.

 

Anything Goes must finish August 16 so be quick and book tix and dress nicely, and go and have some fun on board the S.S. American!

 

 

Production pics by Jeff Busby