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Theatre, Art, Exhibitions etc

Wicked Celebrates 1m Tickets sold in Oz

Last night a swarm of celebrities, media and special guests were treated to a one off performance of the smash hit musical WICKED at Sydney's Capitol Theatre.

This was to celebrate the Australian productions 1 millionth ticket sold - and over 790 performances of the massive show.

Wicked continues to wow audiences in Sydney, and as Producer, John Frost said last night, will continue for a while in Sydney - but all good things must eventually come to an end.

Rob Mills who plays Viero, will be stepping down at the end of this month to peruse other opportunities, where he will be replaced by our good mate Tim Campbell.

Tim will be joining a "family tradition" of sorts, as he will be joining the same production his partner, Anthony Callea was in.

Anthony was the original Boq, until leaving the show after its Melbourne run.

Wicked tickets are still selling fast, and can be purchased online or at the Capitol Theatre box office.

Kahlil Ashanti's Basic Training

BASIC TRAINING: One man, so many personalities
Kahlil Ashanti

How can you not love a show that says ‘pussy’, ‘nigger’ and ‘arse’ at least ten times in the first few minutes? I guess if you struggle with political correctness and don’t subscribe to the ‘if you can’t laugh at your self who can you laugh at school’ then you may find this one man tour de force a bit too in your face. Oh yeah, and he flips the bird twice just for good measure.

Kahlil Ashanti delivers a rapid fire semi autobiographical journey through the mine fields of a military career and wacky family relationships. His four years in the US Air Force entertaining the troops is the framework for this brilliant comedic tale. As a black man growing up in Iowa, who cut his teeth teenage in stand up, he sure knows know how to use comedy to pin point the absurd and incongruous to perfection.

Man. This guy can bring it. He’s all singing, dancing, acting and sweating. Yes, Sweat. He puts push ups and old school rap into the one show and they are not out of place. This is physical comedy at its finest with pectoral ripples and face twitching that would scare a Tourette’s sufferer.

This man is talented. He is a linguistic genius and you are going to leave with a new kit bag of snappy one liner to out bitch your “worm sperm” friends.

His twists and turns through the black pop vernacular will leave you with pains in your sides. The weaving of Negro historical and cultural references into the absurdity of ill defined wars shows the greater madness of the ‘big picture’ of world whilst highlighting the personal conflicts we face. When he tells you his Southern Baptist pastor “had a stage name” you know Kahlil has been splitting his sides all his life about the funny in the every day experience.

Kahlil jabs at racial supremacy movements and black conspiracy theory as he works his way through over a dozen characters, each a rich stereotype played to perfection. The man is full on energy for 1 hour and 10 minutes and leaves you wanting more. Lucky for us he is working on a big screen project that will see his crazy characters become as well know as the nutters that morph from the schizophrenic brains of Sasha Baron Cohen and Mike Myers.

If you miss this show “My arse bleeds for you!”

Seymour Centre 23 June – 4 July
Riverside Theatre Parramatta 6 – 8 July
Bathurst Memorial arts Centre 10 –11 July


Review: Fuerza Bruta / NYC

Imagine yourself being whisked inside a New York City theatre, where the only knowledge of what you’re about to see was the mere whispers of it being the current “it” show. The buzz was that ‘Fuerza Bruta’ (Brute Force) was indescribable, and that you had to witness it to fully understand what all the fuss was about.

Walking into the theatre I was greeted with the first surprise of the evening. Expecting chairs? Forget it. Expecting a stage? Forget it… Just a large group of theatregoers standing shoulder to shoulder in a massive, empty, warehouse-style room. Oh shit, is this one of those audience participation things? I never do well at those. I am the typical person – although extroverted, I don’t “interact”. As the puzzled crowd stands together, it doesn’t take long for people to loosen up and shake off any inhibitions. Suddenly a silent group of stagehands emerge from nowhere & usher us to either side of the room. The curious crowd splits like a parting of the seas.

Over the course of the evening, we are ushered in, on, around and under the “stage” – which in itself is the entire gutted out venue. The space constantly transforms and evolves, making the show a 360 degree experience. Moving with the elements makes things even more unpredictable and places the audience right in the middle of the action at all times (without danger of embarrassing yourself – like I always fear!)

Put simply, Fuerza Bruta is a visual feast. The show boasts high flying theatrics, as the cast literally crash through walls and swim overhead, as the entire roof is transformed into a pool which lowers above the audience. With its pulsing soundtrack reminiscent of a circuit party, Fuerza Bruta feels like the best Mardi Gras show you could imagine. Its performance art, meets circus act. Its sensory deprivation meets sensory overload. Fuerza Bruta is an experience so unique; you can’t help getting goosebumps every time you think about it.

Check it out here yourself, in this exclusive sneak peak!

Fuerza Bruta is not only a fantastic performance piece; it’s a thrilling night out. Fast becoming New York City’s must-see attraction, Fuerza Bruta is as essential as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State building.

As a unique point of difference, the production also hosts a ‘Boys Night’ performance twice a month, where certain scenes and choreography are “remixed” to place the sexy male cast members in the water and at the fore. The result is a more manly experience that every gay lad will simply die for.

Fuerza Bruta plays at the Daryl Roth Theatre, 20 Union Square East at 15th Street in New York City. For more info log onto

The Real Refuses :: T.A.P. Gallery

Having a craving for some culture one lazy Sunday afternoon , and having been invited by Gustave Cauhepe (from Hernandez Cafe on Burton street), I wandered down the street with friends and next door neighbour in tow; and beheld the spectacle of Tap Gallery (corner of Palmer and Burton st) in full exhibition mode.

Not only were they holding the Launch of "The Real Refuses" (running for a week only & now closed for 2009) but were in the last 2 days of the Australia Tibet Council's Photographic Exhibition "Tibet: Never Give up. 50 years of Hope and courage" in the Upstairs theatre space. This runs in Brisbane until April 5th then to Melbourne from April 14th for 2 weeks.

If you listen to the doom mongers you'd think the good old days of artists living & painting in Darlinghurst, Paddington, East Sydney, etc were over - but Tap Gallery and many other local Galleries are still there serving the community . I can count a good half dozen within 5 mins walk, from large commercial to small bohemian ; Tap is a Large , Artist run Gallery - with exhibitions ranging from well known artists including Andrew Logan, Carlos Barrios, Mark Hanham and James Powditch , to local unknowns just starting out.

This was the 13th year of the Real Refuses, now considered a fixture in the "Archibald Season". It’s an exhibition of Artists not selected for the Archibald or other large competitions nationally ....& showcasing a range of artists including many locals. This is the ‘alternative Fringe’ version of the “Salon de Refuses” currently on exhibition till the end of April at S.H. Ervin Gallery in the National Trust Centre on Observatory Hill.

A massive crowd was in attendance, including the guest of honour the Hon Virginia Judge MP (Minister for Fair Trading; Citizenship, and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts) and of course the delightful host, the Gallery manager Lesley Dimmick. Meredith Griffiths from ABC JJJ breakfast news was even one of the artists on show.

The Winner of the Peoples Choice Award , voted on the night and winning $2000 worth of prizes, was Christine O’Hagan. You can see the winner in front of her painting “Illusion: a portrait of Phil Jamieson” with Lesley and Virginia.

This was a great show to see and a fun event to go to – don’t miss it next year.

Their next large project is “Small is Beautiful: 3rd Annual Pyrmont art prize” with over $5000 in prize value, held at Union Square Pyrmont Union Square, (Cnr Harris and Union Streets , Ultimo) on 2nd May 2009 10am -4pm. There will be entertainment, food, wine and of course Art aplenty!

You still have time to enter, so grab the canvas ans drop works into Tap Gallery by 6pm , 17th April. Entry is only $20 ( $15 for students/cons) (+$5 post) which includes the 12”x12” (31cmx31cm) canvas you have to use...although any art can be entered as long as it fits within the canvas.

Art will be on sale also so even if you miss the prize you may still walk away with money in your pocket, See for more info & conditions.


Tap Gallery:
winner :
Australia Tibet Council: