Marie’s Crisis Broadway Sing-along comes straight from New York to Sydney’s Parlour Lane Roasters for the Spectrum Now Festival

Sydney CBD does not have a piano bar, nor does it have a sing-along bar. You would not think there would be a demand for such a thing but, on Tuesday 1 March 2016, I found out how popular it could be at the launch of the Marie Crisis Spectrum Now Festival Bar at QT’s Parlour Lane Roasters.

Marie Crisis Cafe is a world-famous piano dive bar located in West Village, New York. It attracts a crowd of mostly local gays and musical theatre enthusiasts, who go to this dimly lit below-ground bar to stand around a piano and sing Broadway musical hits. The bar serves no food, the alcohol is just house wine and two types of beers, and the trip to the bathroom is an ordeal. However, no one seems to mind. Put a dollar in the fishbowl and the pianist will play just about anything and the waiters will sing-along as well.

This piece of New York has been transplanted to Sydney for the Spectrum Now Festival. Sydneysiders can sing-along at the Marie’s Crisis Festival Bar from 1-10 March at Parlour Lane Roasters, QT Sydney from 5pm until late each evening.

Further, on 7 March 2016, there will be a huge outdoor Broadway sing-along, called the Marie’s Crisis Broadway Sing-along, in the Domain. Partnering with Hayes Theatre Co., audiences are invited to sing alongside some of Australia’s best musical theatre talent and the four singers from the Marie Crisis Cafe.

The four singers are Adam Michael Tilford, Jennifer Pace, Kenney M. Green, and Marc Castelli. They have all had extensive singing and acting careers in musicals.

All four singers were here for the pop up last year and have travelled back again this year. Last year they told the manager of the bar that they had such a good time, they would like to return. He told them to rest assured, they would be back. He usually goes home at 9pm. but while the four singers were here he was going home at 2pm. It was that simple. Business was really good. They were paid to perform till 10pm but they continued till 12 midnight and the bar was always full.

In New York the four singers work for mostly tips and they work very hard.

Well, it looks like they will be back again next year, and the year after that, and for many more years to come.

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Art Month Launches in Sydney

Art Month Sydney 2016, running from 1 – 20 March 2016 in locations all around the city, has began. Headed this year by Artistic Director Barry Keldoulis, the vast program of events, exhibitions, talks and tours has some key highlights that are not to be missed. Explore unseen areas of Sydney as artists open their galleries and studios, see the city at night with exciting precinct nights, hear from artists about their practice, and see the city through the artists’ eyes with tours of inner and outer Sydney.
Sydney will come alive with the Art At Night: Precinct Nights, exploring the city’s best art precincts. Cake Wines is running the official art bar at all of these events. The art at night events will have drinks, music, art and performance:
  • East Sydney opens up over fifteen galleries to the public to explore this exciting precinct on Thursday 3 March from 6pm – 8pm. The Cake Wine Art Bar then kicks off at 7.30pm at National Art School hosting an array of activities including NAS Alumni and student projections across the walls, Alumni performances, an interactive drawing workshop as well as a series of performances including Liam Benson, Justin Shoulder and Wisteria Hysteria with Sweetie from FBi Radio DJing.
  • The neighbourhoods of Paddington & Woollahra form one of Sydney’s original art precincts. Follow the Art at Night trail from 6pm-8pm before heading to the official Art Bar by Cake Wines at Bonython courtyard, a lush secret garden on Underwood Street, for drinks, music and performances from 7:30pm – 10:30pm. Performances from Noula Diamantopoulos, Caroline Garcia and Sweetie Djing.
  • Explore the different galleries, Artist Run Spaces (ARIs) and creative spaces that make the Chippendale & Redfern neighbourhoods one of Sydney’s most dynamic art precincts. Uncover all the area has to offer before heading to the official Art Bar by Cake Wines at the Eveleigh Creative Precinct for drinks, music, installation, projection and performances from 7:30pm – 10:30pm. The exhibition throughout this building includes work from Elaine Campaner, Sarah Contos, Lucas Davidson, Michael Krebber, Rosemary Laing Lara Merrett, Eddie Peake and Gemma Smith. With performance work by Lian Loke, Wade Marynowsky and Sweetie from FBi Radio Djing.
Art Month talks give insight into the artistic practice and the art world:
  • Who Gets To Call It Art Anyway? Is a film, which explores the life of Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Henry Geldzahler as he reflects on the 1960s pop art scene in New York. Following the screening on 6 March, Artistic Director Barry Keldoulis discusses art, life and work in New York with Henry in the 1980s.
  • Spend An Evening with Caroline Rothwellone of Australia’s foremost artists, as she discusses her practice within her studio on 17 March.
  • What the Kids Think explores what it is like to be brought up in the art world. The children of prominent arts figures reveal how it has affected the way they see and experience both art and the world. The talk will be moderated by ABC personality James Valentine and speakers include: Celia Bradshaw, Evan Hughes, Anna Shapiro, Maddie Love and Tim Olsen on Saturday 12 March, 3pm – 4pm at Collectors Space (secret address to be announced, see website).
A number of tours explore Sydney and show it through the artists’ eyes:
  • Curated Bus Tours go further afield to uncover art hubs on the outskirts of Sydney, going to Parramatta to visit I.C.E (Information & Cultural Exchange) and Parramatta Artists Studios, (5 March); North with Artistic Director Barry Keldoulis (12 March); East visiting galleries in Paddington & Woollahra lead by artist and curator artist and curator Consuelo Cavaniglia (12 March); to Penrith with a tour led by artist Gary Carsley (12 March); or to Campbelltown & Casula with a tour led by artist Rosie Deacon on 20 March stopping first at Campbelltown Arts Centre to enjoy the closing festivities of Video oediV, an immersive installation of newly commissioned and existing video artworks by fifteen artists from Australia, USA, Germany, London, Thailand and Brazil, and which will also include the premiere of Emily O’Connor’s new video work that documents a discussion between Julie Ewington, Vicki Van Hout, Anna Davis, Josephine Starrs, Cigdem Aydemir, Karen Therese, Paula Abood & Salote Tawale, and then to Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre to view  The 64th Blake Prize exhibition.
  • Be led through Sydney by resident artists with Artist Tours. On 18 March Sebastian Goldspink of ALASKA Projects leads a personal tour of the diverse and vibrant area of Kings Cross, and on 19 March join artist Joan Ross who uses wit and the absurd to re-examine Australia’s colonial past to discover her Sydney.
  • Go on a Photography Walk of Marrickville with The Aperture Club for a photographic tour of hidden places and artist’s spaces as you journey through a slice of Marrickville’s urban landscape and art community. Capture some very energetic and creative artists in their varied environments on 6 March.
In 2016, Art Month introduces an additional curated exhibition and annual private art collectors exhibition:
  • Green Eyed Monster Eating its Own Tail, an exhibition curated by Art Month Sydney Artistic Director Barry Keldoulis at The Paramount Building and Golden Age Cinema & Bar, will showcase artists that make art about art and the art world. Artists include Tracey Moffatt, Tom Polo, Christine Dean, Grant Stevens, Elvis Richardson, John Citizen (aka Gordon Bennett) and PJ Hickman.
  • The Collectors’ Space celebrates private art collections and partners with long term sponsors, AON, and, for the first time in 2016, BresicWhitney, to present an exhibition at an unoccupied inner city house. The space, located on Australia Street in Camperdown, will exhibit works from the collections of Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Courtney Gibson, Danny Goldberg, and Jasper Knight.
The full Art Month Sydney program can be explored here:

The 2016 Autumn Carnival Launches at Randwick Racecourse

The Australian Turf Club celebrated 150 years of  Australian racing at the launch of the 2016 Autumn Carnival on Tuesday 1 March 2016. The launch honoured Australia’s leading racing heroes, while introducing a diverse group of new ambassadors to the Australian Turf Club family.

Australian actresses, Isabelle Cornish and Grace Huang media personality, Sylvia Jeffreys, Australian model Elyse Knowles and power couple Ronan and Storm Keating were announced as Australian Turf Club ambassadors, alongside Rachel Griffiths, the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival ambassador and L D R U who is set to perform on Schweppes Stakes Day, the last day of the Sydney Autumn Carnival. Leading racing personalities Chris Waller, James & Monica Cummings, Edward Cummings, Gabrielle Englebrecht, Hugh Bowman, Sam Clipperton and Winona Costin joined the celebrations, which finished with a spectacular lunch hosted by Australian Turf Club CEO Darren Pearce and COO Tony Partridge at The Stables, on level four of the Queen Elizabeth II Grandstand.

Friends of the ATC including Myer ambassador Jodi Anasta, Ksenija Lukich, Carissa Walford, Erin Holland, Nerida Winter, Laura Csortan, Tim Mannah and Little Sydney ambassador Matt Moran also joined the celebrations to officially kick off the six week bumper Carnival, which promises an impressive program of world-class racing and social activities.

Talking to the forthcoming Sydney Autumn Carnival, Australian Turf Club CEO, Darren Pearce said:

“This year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival offers Sydney’s racegoers and social set a world-class festival of thoroughbred racing, stunning fashion, entertainment and premium hospitality.

“Over six weeks, the world’s best horses, jockeys and trainers will compete across Sydney’s best racecourses for more than $34 million in prize money across 45 Group races – a $2.4 million increase from last year.”

The 2016 Sydney Autumn Carnival from 12 March – 16 April features two of Australia’s biggest and most respected racing events, the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival and The Championships. The Carnival kicks off with three weeks at Rosehill Gardens including Cellarbrations Ladies Day, 12 March, Longines Golden Slipper Day, 19 March followed by Western Sydney Legends Day, 26 March over the Easter weekend. The Carnival then shifts to Royal Randwick for the third running of The Championships, the Grand Finals of Australian Racing, 2 and 9 April before concluding with Schweppes Stakes Day on 16 April.

Racegoers will witness history with the 60th running of the Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper, the world’s richest race for two year olds, as well as five other Group 1 races, on a day which is arguably one of the most celebrated sporting events of the year. The day will also feature the new ‘Fashion at the Races’ presented by Vogue and GQ Australia, judged by Vogue Australia’s Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann, as well as the Longines Award for Elegance, NOVA 96.9 Garden Party, pamper lounges and live music, making it a not-to-be-missed event this autumn.

The Championships, the Grand Finals of Australian Racing at Royal Randwick on 2 April and 9 April, in 2016 will offer prize money totalling $20 million – making them the richest two days in Australian Racing. The Championships Day 1 featuring the BMW Australian Derby on Saturday 2 April, set against a backdrop of traditional black and white fashion, will see world-class racing combined with premium hospitality and entertainment. The day features some of Australia’s most iconic races including the $2.5 million Darley TJ Smith Stakes, the $3 million The Star Doncaster Mile and the $2 million BMW Australian Derby. Myer

Fashions on the Field will take centre stage with both men and women’s categories, as well as a host of on course activations including the Clinique pamper lounge and pop up bars by Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Schweppes.

The Championships Day 2 at Royal Randwick on Saturday 9 April features the world’s richest 2000m turf race, the Group 1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes worth $4 million, the Group 1 Cellarbrations Queen of the Turf Stakes, the Group 1 Australian Oaks and Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup over 3200m, now worth $2 million, a $400,000 increase from previous years. Myer Fashions on the Field will once again attract the fashion elite including the second Longines Award of Elegance for the Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Little Sydney will again entice food lovers and Sydney’s gastronomical social set to Royal Randwick. Bringing back Sydney’s iconic restaurants Icebergs, Chiswick and China Doll this year, Little Sydney promises to be the hottest ticket to the track this Sydney Autumn Carnival. New to racegoers for 2016, Little Bondi will feature as a pop up on the Leger Lawn featuring dishes by Icebergs, The Bucket List and Da Orazio.

The bumper six weeks of Group 1 racing will culminate with a Royal Randwick finale on Schweppes Stakes Day 16 April, including a live performance by Australian artist L D R U for all racegoers to enjoy. For all ticketing, information and hospitality options, including exclusive dining and reserved seating options, visit

Photos by Fiora Sacco

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