Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Helpmann Awards 2012: Sydney, Australia

Australia's top female dramatic actors, Robyn Nevin and Cate Blanchett, won their categories in the national Helpmann Awards presented in Sydney last night, but unusually no single production dominated the ceremony.

While Nevin won for Belvoir St Theatre's Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and Blanchett for Sydney Theatre Company's Gross und Klein, the award for best play went to Ganesh Versus the Third Reich by the Geelong company for intellectually impaired performers, Back to Back Theatre.

This was the pattern for the night with glamour productions picking up individual awards but rarely clinching the top gong in their categories.

The most successful production was Opera Australia's first Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, La Traviata, which won four awards, including best female singer for Emma Matthews.

Best special event - Perth Festival's Place des Anges

Meow Meow's Little Match Girl at the Malthouse Theatre won three awards, including best cabaret performer.

Paul Capsis was best actor in a play for Angela's Kitchen. Also snatched the award for best new Australian work.

Melbourne's Production Company won three musical awards for Grey Gardens, with Pamela Rabe winning for best female actor in a musical, Nancye Hayes for her supporting role and Roger Hodgman for direction.

But the overall best musical award went to A Chorus Line.

Stephen Page won best dance choreography for ID from Bangarra's Belong, which also earned the award for best score for his brother, David, and Steve Francis.

English company DV8 won for best ballet or dance work for its verbatim theatre piece, Can We Talk About This? at the Opera House.

Opera Australia won seven awards, with Anthony Dean Griffey best male performer in Of Mice and Men and Mitchell Butel best actor in a musical for The Mikado.

But the best opera award went to the State Opera of South Australia's Moby Dick, which won three awards.


The Helpmann Awards recognize distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in Australia's live performing arts sectors. The recognized disciplines include musical and physical theatre, contemporary and classical music, opera, and dance, with a comedy category introduced in 2006. The Helpmann Awards also incorporates the JC Williamson award (formerly the James Cassius Award) for outstanding contribution to the Australian entertainment industry.

The award, named after Sir Robert Helpmann, was established by the Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA). It is similar to Broadway's Tony Awards and London's Laurence Olivier Awards. The awards inaugurated in 2001 and are presented annually in Sydney Australia.

The official website lists the objectives of the awards 'to nationally and internationally serve and promote Australian live performing arts industry by recognising distinguished artistic achievement and excellence, ensuring the Awards are administered and made with integrity, ensuring the Awards are celebrated by the industry and the Australian community; and ensuring the Awards are the most prestigious awards in the industry and the highlight of each Season'.

The full name of the Awards is the Helpmann Awards for Performing Arts in Australia. The trophy was designed by silversmith Hendrik Forster.

The Helpmann Awards were hosted by Simon Burke from 2001-2006.

Since 2010, the awards have been broadcast live on arts channel STVDIO.

News Update...

Hours before the Australian theatre industry celebrates its success with the Helpmann Awards at the Opera House tonight, 100 top actors and directors have launched a campaign against the use of more foreign performers on Australian stages.

A long list of Helpmann award winners, including actors Richard Roxburgh, Rachel Griffiths and Geoffrey Rush, playwright David Williamson and director Neil Armfield, have signed an open letter to theatre and musical producers, calling on them to renegotiate a 20-year agreement on the use of foreign performers.

For two decades, the number of foreign performers hired for Australian productions has been controlled via the agreement between the producers' association, Live Performance Australia, and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, in a bid to protect local jobs.

Signatory against foreign performers ... actor Geoffrey Rush. 

LPA, which represents subsidised and commercial producers and organises the Helpmanns, abandoned the agreement in April and since then has, according to the union, refused to discuss the issue. (Fairfax Media)

Arts Minister Simon Crean, who was not at the awards ceremony last night but sent an adviser, has said the NCP will appear by the end of the year.

In LPA's submission to the discussion paper, Richardson spelled out the sector's need for policies that not only assist production of cultural events but also encourage demand. It also argued for funds to help develop new Australian work and for measures to promote private investment.

A note of discord surrounding this year's Helpmanns concerns the vexed issue of foreign performers working in this country. Earlier this year LPA unilaterally broke its agreement with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, ending an arrangement to consult the union when producers want to engage foreign artists.

The MEAA yesterday published an open letter to LPA members -- among the signatories are Neil Armfield, Steven Heathcote, Emma Matthews and Rush -- warning that harmony between performers and producers is at risk over the issue.


Helpmann Awards official website

Sydney Opera House

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Music News Australia

MGM Publicity and Promotions

Friday, September 21, 2012

Good Charlotte performs at The Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney

Good Charlotte performed strongly at The Big Top at Sydney's Luna Park earlier this evening.

It was jam packed and Joel Madden looked and sounded as good as ever.

News media was rushed on this busy Friday night but we will have more follow up information published soon.

Thanks to everyone who made the event possible.

Bio (short)

Good Charlotte is an American pop punk band from Waldorf, Maryland, that formed in 1996. Since 1998, the band's constant members have been lead vocalist Joel Madden, lead guitarist and back-up vocalist Benji Madden, bass guitarist Paul Thomas, and rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Billy Martin. Their latest drummer and percussionist is Dean Butterworth, who has been a member of the band since 2005. The band has released five studio albums: Good Charlotte (2000), The Young and the Hopeless (2002), The Chronicles of Life and Death (2004), Good Morning Revival (2007), and Cardiology (2010) as well as two compilations: Greatest Remixes (2008) and Greatest Hits (2010). (Wikipedia)


Good Charlotte

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Music News Australia

Zeta Bar bodypainting

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Zeta Bar bodypainting, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kardashian in Sydney, Australia for E! News: Red carpet and dinner at Nield Ave

Kardashian mania has once again hit Sydney, Australia, for better or worse.

One has to ponder the question... what are they flogging this time?

We understand Kim and clan are promoting their new diet program (which has garnered less than stellar reviews on American soil).  Maybe the strategy is to spread the seed far and wide and hope that some fertilise. If you believe the detractors, 'The Devil Wears Prada', and whispers about a "wolf in sheep's clothing".

Cosy Rushcutters Bay restaurant, Neild Avenue, was the venue to the red carpet, as media melodrama played out on the footpath as it was a battle between media with those who had media accreditation VS those without (which were the vast majority). A PR agency who will remain nameless for now handled the media relations (which we have been told by many was not well handled).

Leaving new boyfriend Kanye West at home and keeping most of the juicy details of their romance off limits, Kardashian advised she had set new boundaries in a bid to protect the relationship and herself from the close scrutiny which followed her divorce from basketballer Kris Humphries.

While West has appeared in the latest season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, his girlfriend has promised to keep private their intimate moments.

In Australia for Foxtel's E! Channel and diet supplement QuikTrim, the 32-year-old said her painful and public split had taught her to "hold back (sharing) a little bit with my new relationship."

"I don't share everything. Yes, Kanye has been in a few episodes, but that's only natural when he's in my life. He's around when I'm filming, but I don't think I'd really share our intimate dinner dates (on the show) which I would have so willingly done before."

Her latest 48-hour Australian publicity blitz reflects her rushed visit about 12 months ago, when she came under the gun for flying back to Los Angeles early amid international criticism and media accusations she had married Humphries for a huge TV pay day.

The fallout was filmed as part of the popular reality series, which has also documented - in brief - her romance with West, who had already been a friend for eight years.

A relaxed Kardashian said that "it was definitely a very difficult time".

"But I feel like I'm just in a better space now. I feel content with everything and where my life is. I feel happy and I have no regrets," she said.

"I'm a different person because of it. I've grown up, I've really grown up... that situation made me grow up. I just feel at a good place in my life right now."

Press Release...(U.S news release)...

E! News Welcomes Celebrity Guests and Guest Hosts.

E! News To Get Special Guest Hosts: Pop Star Carly Rae Jepsen And WWE Wrestler John Cena As Guests Plus E!’s Bruce Jenner, Singer/Songwriter Christina Milian and TV Host & Personality Melissa Rycroft As Celebrity Guest-Hosts...

E! News Welcomes Pop Star Carly Rae Jepsen And WWE Wrestler John Cena As Guests Plus E!’s Bruce Jenner, Singer/Songwriter Christina Milian and TV Host & Personality Melissa Rycroft As Celebrity Guest-Hosts 

E! News, the destination for pop culture news and information, welcomes a slew of celebs to the set over the next few weeks. Bruce Jenner, Christina Milian and Melissa Rycroft will guest host while E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic is on leave with baby Duke. Plus, Carly Rae Jepsen stops by to discuss her new album and John Cena swings by to chat about his new initiative with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Mark your calendars: 

September 18– Carly Rae Jepsen visits E! News to discuss her new album and upcoming duet with Justin Bieber, “Beautiful.” 

September 19 – TV host and personality Melissa Rycroft guest hosts with Jason Kennedy. 

September 21– Pop star Christina Milian guest hosts with Jason Kennedy. 

October 8– Former E! News Correspondent for the Olympic Games and E! fan-favorite, Bruce Jenner, guest hosts with Catt Sadler. 

October 9 - WWE Superstar John Cena visits E! to talk about his new initiative launching with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


Keeping Up With The Kardashians

E! News

Nield Ave Restaurant

Kim Kardashian official website

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mental movie premiere at Event Cinemas, Sydney, Australia

This evening 'Mental' enjoyed its Australian movie premiere at Event Cinemas, George St, Sydney.

The weather was wet outside, but the atmosphere was warmish inside, as Sydney enjoyed yet another red carpet event.

Australian filmmaker PJ Hogan reunites with his "Muriel’s Wedding" star Toni Collette with Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia and Rebecca Gibney.


A charismatic, crazy hothead transforms a family's life when she becomes the nanny of five girls.

Director: P.J. Hogan
Writer: P.J. Hogan
Stars: Liev Schreiber, Toni Collette and Caroline Goodall


Mental official website

Universal Pictures Australia

Event Cinemas

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Music News Australia

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hanson performs Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia

Tonight Hanson performed to a packed house at the famous Enmore Theatre.

The boys are performing down under live for the their first tour in seven years.

Hanson started writing Shout It Out while touring their 2007 disc, The Walk, and lead vocalist Taylor says it’s the most “holistic” and the least interfered-with of their seven releases. 

“There’s no co-writing with other collaborators as writers, no other producers, we produced the record [ourselves].”

“It feels great to know that you’re able to have some connection that is lasting,” he says. “There is something that goes on with music and with audiences that is so special. With us, a lot of the fans that have stuck around [we] really respect it and admire that dedication, especially Australian fans. They’ve always been amongst the most active and the most engaged.”

Australian fans can look forward to additional tour dates based on how quickly shows sell out in selective cities. “Every show is different,” Taylor says. “We change it up, it’s going to feature some new music and it’s going to also highlight some songs from albums past.”

Tonight all the fans got value for money and by the look of things the band will continue to enjoy strong touring and CD sales in Australia.

Set List:

Where’s The Love

Thinking Bout Something

A Minuet Without You

And I Waited

Crazy Beautiful

Strong Enough to Break


Wish That I Was There

With You In Your Dreams

Oh Darling – Beatles Cover

Cant Stop

Thinking of You

Penny and Me

Give a Little



Lost Without Each Other


If Only


Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson are household names in Australia and it’s no surprise – in 1997 one in ten Australian households owned a copy of the band’s smash album Middle Of Nowhere and the nation’s airwaves, hearts and minds resonated to the infectious sound of the band’s smash hit MMMBop. Now, after a 7-year absence, HANSON are back with a brand new album and tour that is sure to capture the attention and imagination of a nation that has always embraced the band as their own.

HANSON have been making music together for two decades. Fifteen years ago, their out-of-the-blue, soul-inspired brand of American pop-rock‘n’roll was introduced to the world. Unaffected by charts or fads, they’ve spent more than a decade building a community of fans connected to one another and fuelled by the energy and craftsmanship of three brothers and their music, earning praise for their songwriting, musicianship and dynamic live performances, with New York‘s Village Voice calling them the “Finest Straight-Up Rock Band In America.”


Native sons of Tulsa, Oklahoma, HANSON has been making music together for nearly two decades. Thirteen years ago, their out-of-the-blue, soul-inspired brand of American pop-rock‘n’roll was introduced to the world. Unaffected by charts or fads, they’ve spent more than a decade building a community of fans connected to one another and fueled by the energy and craftsmanship of three brothers and their music. Their fifth studio album, Shout It Out, was released on June 8th 2010 on their label 3CG Records. They deliver a powerful group of soulful, melodic tunes that will leave you with a contagious sense of optimism for the future and welcomed reminiscence for American rock ‘n’ roll.

Shout It Out is a collection of finely crafted, R&B-flavored pop-rock, a homage to the music that inspired HANSON when they started out. The album produced and written exclusively by the band is augmented with special guests: Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt, who played on some of Motown’s greatest hits, and horn arranger Jerry Hey, who worked with Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Earth, Wind and Fire and many more.

“The anatomy of our band is similar to a ‘70s rock band – white guys from the Midwest who grew up listening to ‘50s and ‘60s soul, who are mixing guitars, with vintage keys and melodic songs,” Taylor Hanson says. Adds Isaac, “We’ll always be a bit rootsy ‘cause it’s in the Oklahoma soil (the state is also home to artists like Bob Wills, Woody Guthrie and the versatile Leon Russell), but what we’ve never stopped aspiring to is the great songwriters and performers who struck a chord with us first, that early rock ‘n’ rock roll and soul music from Chuck Berry to Otis Redding. We’ve rediscovered that aspiration on this record. There’s a little more swing and a little more air.”

While Shout It Out looks back in time musically, it also represents forward movement for HANSON. “We love playing classic songs,” says Zac Hanson. “But we never sat down and wrote our version of what that sounds like until now.”

HANSON emotes such fresh energy on the new album that it’s easy to forget that this band has been around the block a few times. Multiple Grammy nominations (drummer Zac is the youngest nominated songwriter in history), years of headline shows everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl and world-records for the loudest concert audience in history.

They’ve sold millions of records and reached a level of adoration that few bands experience, and have also faced career obstacles that would have broken many artist’s resolve. They waded through four years of struggle with a new corporate label made up of inherited executives in discord with the band, which eventually lead the band to leave the label (chronicled in the documentary film Strong Enough To Break) and launch their own independent record company, 3CG Records, in 2003. Amidst a crumbling industry, they built their own infrastructure around a DIY attitude and their commitment to their music and their fans. Their independent moves paid off, building a brand that has grown with successful independent albums, singles and tours, during a decade when music sales plummeted. In addition, launching alongside their 2007 album The Walk, they championed calls for action on humanitarian efforts, galvanizing tens of thousands of people around the world to participate in barefoot one-mile walks to fight HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

Talking to the band about their forthcoming offering sheds light on how they find balance between these different elements and how they have emerged with this current direction. “The feeling I had when we were writing was that – as a band – you should be able to talk about serious subjects and share your passions [like fighting AIDS in Africa], but especially on this album, it was important to be able to share joy,” Taylor says. While The Walk carried a weighty message, in contrast the songs on Shout It Out, written mostly in hotel rooms and during soundchecks while touring The Walk were, according to Taylor, “A breath of fresh air during our hectic schedule”.

Shout It Out showcases not only the music of HANSON, but the many aspects that have allowed the band to survive and stay relevant. “The album is about being alive, and the contrasts we are faced with,” Taylor says. “We’ve come from a generation leaving the analog world and moving into an interconnected culture at risk of forgetting where it came from. This album tries to put together those pieces, but with a bit of melody to back it up.”

While the new album draws inspiration from the past, HANSON is looking to an exciting new era for the band. Their insatiable desire to innovate with technology - seen in their plans to incorporate mobile live streaming video both onstage and off - is building an even stronger fan connection. They’re committed to their live concert experience, with special events like their sold out five-night stand in NYC featuring each of their albums performed in their entirety, culminating with the debut of Shout It Out live. HANSON has established a reputation as successful independent artists who are comfortable at charting their own path, standing at the crossroads of the analog and digital worlds, and offering fans the best of both.


Hanson official website

Enmore Theatre

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Music News Australia

Friday, September 14, 2012

Zeta Bar Hilton Hotel presents Ms America Bodypaint

The Hilton marquee Hilton reads: "Zeta`s "CONEY ISLAND" is our exciting new Friday Nights concept. Experience evenings of the unexpected, perfectly paradoxical and the weird and wonderful, with extravagant entertainment and a creative mix of classic cocktails with progressive and fun elements."

The Hilton Hotel franchise and our friends at the Zeta Bar were deadly serious and they were back to the Coney Island theme again tonight, with an 'Ms America Bodypaint Girl' (Anastasia) for the evening's entertainment.

The action was all mixed with a specially concocted range of classic cocktails with a twist, like Cosmopolitan Candy Floss, Toffee Apple Martinis and Long Island Iced Tea snow cones and much, much more, with with the 'Ms America Bodypaint' adding addition excitement.

The team at Human Statue Bodyart created the 'Ms America Girl', led by creative artist Eva Rinaldi, and assisted again by bodyart and bodypaint veteran, Vince Cantali, who also shares a fetish for dressing models up and painting on human bodies.

The Coney Island theme was once again a huge hit and Human Statue talent will be continuing to entertain patrons at the Zeta on most Friday nights for at least another month.

Very well done to everyone involved in the success of the Coney Island promotion and we're certain the titillating entertainment will keep patrons coming back for more.

It's all there for the taking at Hilton's little slice of paradise in Sydney's CBD and its you're big chance to see why 'Coney Island' is so popular the world over.


Zeta Bar pushed the boundaries of cabaret, bringing the sexy mystique of 19th century underground back to life in Extreme Cabaret.

Extreme Cabaret was a delicious smorgasbord of fantasy and magic, wit and whimsy served with sides of lunacy and luxe, and very well lubricated with prohibition-style cocktails, mystifying molecular cocktails and delectable morsels.

About Zeta Bar..

As a progressive cocktail bar and exclusive escape in the Sydney CBD, Zeta changed the face of Sydney’s bar culture when it launched as part of Hilton Sydney in 2005. Today, Zeta has won multiple awards year on year for its bartenders, playful drinks, cocktail classics and seasonal, trend setting concepts; the latest of which being ‘Extreme Cabaret’.

Access to Zeta is via glass elevator at the Hilton Sydney entrance on George Street. Zeta boasts a chic, outdoor terrace overlooking the iconic Queen Victoria Building. A VIP lounge and selection of private booths and breakout areas in luxe purple and dark wood interiors underline Zeta as the CBD cocktail bar to be seen in and part of.

An exclusive escape for visiting international celebrities too, Jessica Simpson, Kimberley Stewart, James Blunt, Snoop Dogg and Nicole Ritchie have all partied at Zeta and regular Aussie A-listers include Jennifer Hawkins, Hugh Jackman, Ian Thorpe and Megan Gale.


Hilton Hotel Sydney

Zeta Bar

Human Statue Bodyart

Human Statue Bodyart Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography