The Jewish International Film Festival hits town this October and November, showcasing more than 60 films from 23 countries. This year’s festival will include 31 feature films and 28 documentaries, including Love, Gilda, a film dedicated to comedy legend and original Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner. JIFF's opening night film will be comedy-tragedy The Interpreter, which tells the tale of a Holocaust survivor who wishes to seek revenge on the former SS officer who killed his parents but instead ends up on a road trip with the officer’s son. Other highlights of the program include Russian historical movie Sobibor and Seder Masochism, an animated musical comedy film featuring animation by American artist Nina Paley. The Jewish International Film Festival will screen at Event Cinemas in Bondi Juction and Roseville Cinemas. Check out the full program here.
Sydney Opera House is bringing back its popular morning yoga classes on the outside steps of the landmark building. The 60-minute classes take place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with views of the Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour. And, for the first time, they're offering multiple session times so you can have a sleep in on weekends. The ten-week program, which is sponsored by Samsung, is led by Barefoot Yoga founder Crawf Weir. They’re suitable for people of all fitness levels so long as you’re over 18 and prepared to sign a waiver. Book online and turn up at the Upper Podium of the Monumental Steps ten minutes before the class start time. Driving? There’s parking from $10 at Sydney Opera House Wilson Car Park.
This huge exhibition exploring the Rolling Stones’ rise to stardom and their subsequent impact on pop culture, rock’n’roll, fashion and art is an exclusive Sydney event. It’s setting up at its only Australian destination, the International Convention Centre, from November 17 until February 3, 2019. It will feature more than 500 items from throughout the band’s career, including vintage guitars, lyric books, backstage and touring paraphernalia, album art, and the personal diaries and letters of the Stones themselves. Their style, which definied a generation of rock fans wardrobes, will be on show, with clothing items worn by the band members from the ’60s till today on display. These will be accompanied by articles from designers who were inspired by or dressed the group, including Alexander McQueen, Prada, Dior, Gucci, L’Wren Scott, Mr Fish and more. If you’ve lived under a rolling stone (sorry) for the last 50 years and aren’t clued up about this genre-defining rock group, the exhibition curators are adamant that you’ll still enjoy your experience. There’s 190 original Stones-inspired artworks from the likes of Andy Warhol, David Bailey and John Pasche to enjoy, alongside an interactive sound deck and recording studio, a film screening narrated by Martin Scorsese, video elements throughout the exhibit and a big 3D concert finale. The premiere exhibit in London was touted as a wild success, and the US tour of the collection saw similar reviews. Let’s hope Sydney gets just
Read about The Book of Mormon's $40 ticket lottery. In 2011, when The Book of Mormon first opened in New York City, it was a risky bet. It’s notoriously difficult for original shows to survive on Broadway – roughly four out of five shows fail to turn a profit – and a parody of religious fervour, packed with anarchic, puerile humour, written by ‘the South Park guys’, Trey Parker and Matt Stone? Not a sure thing. Their co-writer, Robert Lopez, had won a Tony and a Grammy Award for his subversive puppet musical Avenue Q, but repeat success wasn’t guaranteed. But as we now know, it was an immediate hit. Not even celebrities were guaranteed tickets, and prices skyrocketed to meet demand. Its cast recording was the highest-charting musical album in over forty years, until Hamilton smashed all records. Its two lead actors – Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad – booked sitcoms and Disney movies. In the seven years since, Robert Lopez has not only won the EGOT (the full complement of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards) in the shortest amount of time for any recipient, he’s the only person in the world to EGOT twice. The show has toured all over the US, has a long-running production in the West End, and recently opened in Sweden. So is it worth all of the fuss? Does it still hold up in 2018? The answer is yes. We follow two young Mormon missionaries, Type-A Narcissist Elder Price (Ryan Bondy) and Elder Cunningham (AJ Holmes), a mess with a geeky streak, as they’re paired up for their tw
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The barbed-wire fence criss-crossing the Kings Cross Theatre playing space is impossible to ignore. Half of the audience must walk around it on the way to their seats: the concept of conflict, borders and stolen space is immediately front of mind. That’s the whole point of The Serpent’s Teeth, the work by Australian writer Daniel Keene which won the prize for plays at the 2009 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Comprised of two short plays – Citizens and Soldiers – Serpent’s Teeth takes a look at war from two distinct perspectives. The first is the everyday effect of conflict on the lives of ordinary citizens; the second gathers together five families, waiting to receive the bodies of their deceased soldiers from Afghanistan; their sons, brothers and lovers. Keene’s script yearns for our empathy; Keene’s script wants us to remember that everyone who suffers in a war is a human, beloved by someone, similar to us. Structured as a series of loose vignettes in both plays – the shift from one to the next is marked by taking down the wire wall – and directed here by Kristine Landon-Smith, this work is designed for a large ensemble. KXT have 15 actors on stage from nine different cultural backgrounds. They speak their own languages onstage – they make this story one of any time and any place. But that seems to be the ethos of Landon-Smith’s entire production, and sometimes to its detriment. We are so unmoored in place, time and character that the poetic, lyrical language often feels
The Overcoat, a well-loved short story by Nikolai Gogol, is a fable of corruption and vanity – or maybe human desire (it’s been long up for interpretation). When a humble man must starve and sell all of his possessions to buy a fine new coat, he becomes obsessed with the social capital it affords him. He’s terrified to lose it, and when he does, things go rapidly downhill. The story is considered a masterwork of literature; a Russian author (no one can quite nail it down, but it might have Turgenev) once said that “we all came out of Gogol’s overcoat.” And now, downstairs at Belvoir St Theatre for its 25A independent program, The Overcoat has been transformed into a musical. Composed by Rosemarie Costi and written by Michael Costi, the story has become an understated, experimental piece of musical theatre. The man at the heart of the story – name changed here from everyman-ish Akaky to the more currently accessible Nikolai – works as a copyist for a Russian government department. He’s opted out of the regiment that surrounds him; he finds genuine enjoyment in his work. He’s isolated, but it’s hard to tell if he enjoys that or not. Played here with sleepy eyes and a gentle, pleasant singing voice by Charles Wu, he is a man without much complaint. Until he accidentally shreds his threadbare coat. With a small, absurdly talented cast taking on a multitude of roles, The Overcoat is cannily cast and beautifully sung. Laura Bunting’s haunting voice seems perfect in this worl
The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has long been a source of inspiration and re-interpretation by artists. You might know it – it’s the story of a man who journeys to the underworld to retrieve his dead bride and makes a deal with Hades to save her, provided he never looks back to see if she is following him to the land of the living. It’s been turned into art by Titian and Rodin; immortalised in song by Arcade Fire; and brought to the stage by George Balanchine, Tennessee Williams, and in new musicals by Ryan Scott Oliver and Anais Mitchell. But this take is by Sarah Ruhl, an American playwright who places women at the centre of her worlds. Eurydice – a gentle comedy with a hint of pathos – spends most of its time in the Underworld, where Eurydice reckons with life (or, rather, death) in this new landscape, set apart from the journeying and despair of her husband. In Hades, Orpheus is not her concern. Eurydice, played here by the charming Ebony Vagulans, has lost her memories and her language, as all dead people do. But her father (Jamie Oxenbould) remembers all, and as he teaches Ebony about family (“your tree”) and reminds her of love (like sitting naked in the shade), she finds herself again. Three stones (Alex Malone, Ariadne Sgouros and Megan Wilding) are our guide to the Underworld, a chorus of rules and performed with tongue planted firmly in cheek. They mock human ways with little puppets, re-enacting scenes just gone with a mix of mime and something akin to simli
While the animal inhabitants at the zoo are an impressive bunch, these school holidays they’ll be joined by a new, prehistoric crew. Ten life-size animatronic dinosaurs will join the herd at Taronga Zoo until February 3 on the Dino Trail. The whole family will get a thrill searching for the monstrous Tyrannosaurus Rex, the feisty Raptor, and the spitting Dilophosaurus. There’ll also be dinosaur talks presented twice a day and a dig for fossils running during the program. Access to the trail and all the paleontology fun is included in your entry ticket to the zoo.
Patrick White saw through all of our empty social kindness decades ago. His 1963 play A Cheery Soul, set in a fictional 1950s Sydney suburb that’s all repression and politeness, blows up all the myths we might have then possessed – and still possess even now – about the ways we treat each other. Miss Docker (Sarah Peirse) shuffles around Sarsaparilla with her sticky beak and overbearing opinions, always the first to put her hand up to help. In the play, the phrase “she’s such a cheery soul” has the razorblade shape backhand of a “bless your heart”: Miss Docker is suffocating her fellow residents with her helpfulness, smothering them with her suggestions, and has a habit of leaving a trail of distressed people in her wake. But she seems to mean well, from a distance, and it’s obvious that she’s lonely, and this is suburban Australia in the decades before we collectively decided we could studiously ignore our neighbours. So when Miss Docker loses her home, the proper, yearning Mrs Custance (Anita Hegh) thinks that she and her husband (Anthony Taufa) should offer their spare room to her. What follows tests the couple’s social conscience and, after some over-pruned tomato plants, a damaged roast and a range of disruptive habits that kills the Custance’s intimate life, Miss Docker is shuffled off to a retirement village. And that’s when things get gloriously weird. The ensemble of 11 play, with the exception of Peirse, shifting and varied roles – but most of them play the chor