THE CREATION OF “GATSBY’S CABARET”
“There was music from Gatsby’s house through the summer nights.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby).
What can I bring to The Great Gatsby that has not already been done in Perth before? Since the 2013 film release, there have already been many Gatsby themed events and cabarets. I decided that mine will be different not only from these but from the novel and films as well because I will tell the story from the perspective of Gatsby himself. Gatsby’s story has always been told from the outsider’s point-of-view, usually the novel’s narrator Nick. In addition, I will emphasise an often glossed-over aspect of the novel: the overt racism prevalent at that time and the fear that African Americans would unbalance the “rightful” place of those who preferred white supremacy. Fitzgerald merely hints at this in his novel through Tom’s character. I will bring this racial tension to the forefront in my production. My production also features songs from the 1910s to the 2010s – songs made famous by artists as diverse as Drake and Billie Holiday, Leonard Cohan and George Michael, Rihanna and Dean Martin. So treat yourself and your lover or friends to the one night only show Gatsby’s Cabaret!
TAKING CENTRE STAGE
“In his blue gardens, men and girls came and went like moths among the whispers and the champagne and the stars.” – F Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby).
Proud to be on stage with the founding members of Mint Jazz Band (Chris Marquand, Mark Cunniffe, and Malcolm Mah), this cabaret will also feature the incredible talents of actors Fleur Pereira, Andrew Philips, and Claire Thomas. Fleur is a Mumbai born actress who recently starred n New City Theatre’s production of The Criminal Went That Way. I met Fleur on the set of a music video for local band Surroundings and then worked with her again in a TAB print and television ad for the TAB. Andrew is a stand up comic and actor currently working with both the Jome Performing Arts Club and the WA Youth Theatre Company and currently in a production with Claire. We met on the set of a Landgate commercial. Claire is in fact the same actress/dancer who played “MJ’s girl” in my Fringe World production of Come Fly With Me this year. She is a trained ballet dancer currently working on Limelight Theatre’s production of Snoopy the Musical. On stage, I like to give everyone a chance to take centre stage and draw the audience’s attention so in the show you will see these actors shine. I want everyone to shine. The script I have written for the show will allow you to see how excellent these actors are in their roles. Similarly, you will be able to enjoy the tremendous talent of Mint Jazz Band members Mark, Chris, and Malcolm during the show through their musical prowess and solos. Don’t miss out on this one night only opportunity to see these talented people take centre stage.
“Each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.” – F. Scott Fiztgerald (The Great Gatsby).
Thank you to Maneera de Mel (aka Beauty by Maneera) who created the photographic images for the show.
Thank you to poet and journalist Mandy Mo Tu for the smashing interview she wrote about the show for Rotunda Media.
Thank you to actor and radio presenter Brendan Ellis for his hilarious interview on his Thurs night show Sitcom on Twin Cities Radio. Soon to be available.
Thank you to actress and presenter Rebecca Caldwell for her solid interview on Herding Cats Production’s online TV series Popcorn.
Thank you to poet and friend Karen Murphy for once again offering to create a stunning show programme.
Thank you to radio presenter Matthew Cappeluti for his radio interview with me on his Radio Fremantle Friday night show The Mixed Bag. Show his page some love by giving it a Facebook like 😉
Thank you to radio presenter Sue Myc for the interview on Twin Cities Radio’s Sue Myc Morning Show (interview below).
Thank you to any newspapers, social media outlets, and all friends, family, colleagues, and kind-hearted people that help promote this show. Your kindness helps to make shows like this possible.
Thank you in advance to any reviewers and people attending the show. Contact me should you require any photos or have any questions about tickets. Please like my Facebook page if you haven’t already and make sure you book your tickets before there are no more left.
Thank you to Rigby’s Bar & Bistro for allowing us to present “Gatsby’s Cabaret.” Here’s to a terrific entertainment partnership!
$30 show tickets available as well as $60 show + 3 course meal tickets available online from: Rigby’s Bar & Bistro.
Seven lucky months since my last blog post and I am determined to make 2014 a year of poetic and singing success. On New Year’s Eve 2013 I printed the first draft copy of my 50 poem manuscript “The Fledgeling Poems or Like Thought Before Movement.” This places me just one step closer towards getting my first poetry collection published; a project I have been working towards for eight years now. In seven days, one of Perth’s most prestigious entertainment venues will announce I will be part of their 2014 season. Join me on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with my upcoming announcements.
Highlights of the last seven months:
“Like Blown Smoke,” my first original song (I wrote the melody and lyrics) was launched on Twin Cities Radio FM. Produced by James Abbot and inspired by the chord progressions of AfroKingz rapper Derrick Chella, “Like Blown Smoke” is available through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and my Triple J Unearthed profile. It is the first song I have proudly registered with the Australian Performing Rights Association. I am currently working with Abbot on a new original song, inspired by Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill, called “Burn Bright Tygers.”
Mint Jazz Band has been very successful over the last half year. Our double bassist Malcolm Mah married in spring and our drummer Chris Marquand married this autumn! I was honoured to be chosen by Mah to perform “In Your Eyes,” an original song he penned for his bride, at his wedding reception, and to sing the first dance song – a swing version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – for Marquand’s! In addition, we have been over-the-moon every time we are chosen to entertain at clients’ weddings (thank you brides and grooms and Perth Professional Entertainment Services), charity events (SolarisCare’s Red Sky Ride Appreciation Night, Mondo Community Warriors’ Lifeline Fundraising Brunch, Playlovers Theatre Hills Bushfire Fundraiser), council events (Town of Cambridge, City of Perth, Town of Victoria Park), and stylish restaurants (the Naked and Wild Fig Cafes).
You are looking at my first self-produced Photoshop gig poster. I hope you can make it to our third Ellington gig! It will be the second cabaret style show I perform this year. The first was “Spring Valentine” – a romance themed mini-cabaret I performed for the City of Perth’s Holly Wood Tuesday Morning Show at the Perth Town Hall. These will not be my last! 😉
RUDE Agency has taken us on as one of its clients and Events & Beyond made my personal dream of performing on the Forest Place stage at the Twilight Hawkers Markets a reality. E&B also booked us to perform at the City of Perth’s Home Growers Market. I am also happy to declare that we will perform at Jazz Fremantle this Mother’s Day! This will be Mint Jazz Band’s first Fremantle show. Thanks to the celebrated X-Wray Café, who have booked pianist Mark Cunniffe and I to play there every Monday in June, Fremantle may soon become our second musical home.
After many years of searching, I have finally found a supportive and knowledgeable singing teacher who helps develop my vocal technique, extend my range, and (most importantly) makes me feel comfortable and confident. Her name is Antonietta D’Elia. She is a classically trained Italian soprano and I am proud to work with her. In addition, I am still working closely with actress and singer Rhoda Lopez whose directorial and stage movement advice are brilliant. Stay tuned!
Check out these journals that contain my poetry! These represent the culmination of hard work and persistence. As explained in my previous post, Poetry New Zealand (NZ) and Lost Coast Review (USA) are international journals. I set myself a goal of sending poetry to international journals and my aspiration of being published more internationally has been successfully met. I cracked the UK market with publication in Strutco and entered the South-East Asian market with publication in Eastlit. Locally, Little Raven Press accepted one of my few erotic poems for publication, UWA’s Poet’s Corner featured one of my works, and Little Mozzie published one of my few love poems in the same issue as two of my favourite Australian poets: Bruce Dawe and Thomas Shapcott! I was also selected as Poet of the Month by Jackson for her journal Uneven Floor and was thrilled to read poems on Twin Cities Radio as well as for WA Poets Inc at the Beaufort St Festival late last year.
Melbourne continues to treat me with love: in Brief and GORE Magazine accepted poems for publication and to my immense delight, I was awarded first prize in the Right Now: Human Rights Poetry Competition for my poem “No Asians. Your Desire!” Finally, my poems about race have been getting published. Social Alternatives is set to publish “On Pauline Hanson’s Doorstep” and foam:e recently published “Guiding the Sheep.” I have also just signed off on proofs for two anthologies that will include a poem of mine: the 2014 Short and Twisted Anthology and The Stars Like Sand. Furthermore, the Peter Cowan Writers Centre Advanced Poetry Workshops have been exhilarating. I was also blessed to have my poetry mentor Dr Mary Ellen MacDonald and my poet friend Bron Bateman read my manuscript with their astute critical eyes to help me prune it further before I send it to publishers. A lot to be thankful for and a lot of hard work ahead so wish me luck!
Acting for the stage and screen has always appealed to me. Besides attending an FTI Screen Actors Boot Camp a few years ago, I also completed two Performing Arts units at Curtin University. This year, I attended a one day Acting Classes in Perth workshop and also had my first official on-screen acting role. Produced by the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office, I play an unhappy client of WA’s mental health service. My part starts at 05:10. 😉
Working at UWA has continued to provide opportunities for professional development. Creating e-modules, running LMS Moodle training classes, and co-ordinating the transformation of the School’s medical specimen museum into a Pathology Education and Learning Centre keep me busy Mon-Fri 9-5pm.
On the freelance journalism front, I made my UWA News author debut and penned another article for MeDeFacts. In addition, I was again selected as a Fringe Festival reviewer. What I most look forward to, however, is being featured in the local newspapers again. Two recent examples below. Fingers crossed that there will be more to come!