live theatre



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One of the most fun events of the year in Sydney is the Mardi Gras parade. I’ve been a regular attendee now since the late 1980s. It is a little bit different every year, as the political and cultural messages shift and change over time and the floats become even more numerous and impressive. With movies like Pride coming out of England in the last year, it is fascinating to see how social and attitudes have shifted and changed within a lifetime.

The Sydney Mardi Gras is a very popular event and so it is a great idea to plan the best vantage points to see the show.

This year I was at the Sideshow which means there’s seating, toilets, a bar and food, ANZ was the corporate sponsor this year. ANZ have introduced the GAYTM in recent times in a bid to secure the queer dollar.

These days I am living in the city, so the travel involved a bus ride up to Central from Circular Quay, duck through the Devonshire tunnel and through to Chalmers St, onto a coach for paid tickets and up to Albion St, (avoiding the hill). All the while observing the colourful characters attempting to scale the challenging Albion St in a bedazzling array of wigs, sequins, feathers and fierce heels.

Unfortunately there was quite a wait to get in at the Sideshow but I wasn’t too worried really. Lately I have taken to bringing fold up directors chairs to these public parades and events which enables seating anywhere at the front on the fence line – a VERY good strategy!

After a while the parade began, Dykes on Bikes opened up, then Boys on Bikes, Indigenous Australians and the 1978ers bused by.

It was getting pretty exciting, I was standing next to six super hot gay men – this was an interesting experience in itself! Men in the parade would spot them and flirt with them and they did the same back. Kind of instant and predatory behaviour – all in good fun though.

There were so many highlights but I got a real kick out of seeing my exes solar powered Sunny Bin wheelie bin sound systems charging down the street – so perfect for events like this.

And stunning Christine McQueen unmistakeable and bewigged at the front with an Asian contingent of marchers.

And my gorgeous client Steven happily sailing by with Northcott, a very important representation in the march.

I LOVE Mardi Gras, so if you’d like to come with me next year and feel the Mardi Gras passion feel free to get in touch.

Mwah and air kisses.

Karen x

 

It was time for a good outing and one of my oldest and very best supporters was entertaining me last night. He and I have a close relationship within the boundaries of how these arrangements run, so I knew it was going to be something special.

I was not disappointed.  This modern day spin of a French vaudeville circus is located in trendy Oxford at the Slide Lounge Nightclub. It turned out we had arrived a bit early so I suggested we go for a drink at the Midnight Shift, a gay bar located just up the street.

The Midnight Shift bar has been there for many years, certainly I remember going there a few times in the late 1980s as a young whippersnapper. It’s an iconic Oxford gay bar with a trendy bar staff and clientele to match. I guess my very vanilla, heterosexual supporter was a bit hesitant venturing in to this somewhat unknown territory but my sensual manner and delicious low cut outfit convinced him to enter this particular den.
While I could see he was a bit uncomfortable at first, it’s a really well laid out ambient place, with great service. We both enjoyed our drinks before we left for our big event.
Arriving at the Slide Lounge, the doorman greeted us dressed in a top hat and tails with a cheeky French accent and a French themed hostess escorted us to our table . What a cosy room! Opulent chandeliers, themed lighting and an awesome music score doing Oxford Street night-time entertainment proud and that helped set up the night for an unforgettable experience.

We started our circus adventure with a Slider cocktail and a Cosmopolitan.
Out came the MC Verushka Darling a 6ft drag queen that had legs up to her armpits, mmm leg envy, bah! She introduced each of the seven courses of food with a stage act in between.

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What spectacular entertainment! The acts ranged from acrobats and jugglers to fire eaters lying on beds of nails, not to mention the sexy exotic dancers. All up the show is a really erotic affair and my eyes and ears were popping with the stimulus. I was feeling very flushed but just managed to compose myself – somehow.
The atmosphere, lights and stage effects were brilliant and the show was a very slick run operation. Outstanding! If you are going for the show you will be delighted.

As for the Autumn menu, I think in trying to be so unique it lost the plot a little. Some examples of the dishes were a goat cheese ice cream and a balloon that holds the aroma of popcorn ;-O  as well as a  latex glove issued to use to eat mushroom pie, off beat? YES! To be very honest, we would have been happier with just three courses of more conventional food.

All up if you want a night with a difference I can highly recommend this experience.

My wonderful supporter decided to take me back to his circus tent and practice some acrobatic moves of his own, Ha! Another great night!

To enjoy your own special night with a difference you can contact me and we can arrange your own fantastic experience.

It was a pretty happy adventure when ‘The Masseuse’ (TM) suggested that we take in the Jersey Boys show last weekend. The idea was that we go to the show before we head out for a meal and spend overnight together for the second time in a month. TM seemed perhaps a little shy to suggest going to the show because it has been playing for a while and thought I might have seen it already. He was right, I saw the show early last year when it first opened in Melbourne but I was very keen to see it again and I am so happy he made the suggestion. I suppose, Frankie Valli first appeared on my (oh my gosh i’m a fan –OMGIAF) radar when he had a few hits in the movie soundtrack “Grease”, I LOVE that movie –I must have seen it about 10,000 times!

There were a combination of factors why I wanted to see this show again, the main purpose of my trip to Melbourne was to meet some (working) ladies that I had come to know online. The ladies had organised a luncheon get together and I was so very excited to meet them, really great people — all of them. Unfortunately it must have been the hottest day in Victoria ever and the location for lunch was way, way, across town. Factor in flights, hotel check-ins and taxis including trying to find a taxi back to the Melbourne CBD, well seeing the Jersey Boys show kind of got a bit buried under conflicting priorities, I’m sorry to say.

As TM had arranged the tickets to the show, we decided that it would be a good idea if I upgrade our digs to an executive suite with club floor access so we would both feel all the benefits of being pampered and indulged. We arranged to meet a little earlier than normal so we could have showers and change before heading off to the Theatre Royal. TM had arranged great seats and we beat all the mad crowds in which was great, he did a terrific job of navigating us to the venue only a short walk from where we were staying. I’m glad he did as I’ve come to recognize, sadly that my navigational abilities are as good as my singing *jawdrop *sigh.

The actual Jersey Boys set is this caged, grid metal affair with a urban backdrop, it seemed to be a pretty good visual representation of a struggling New Jersey working class lifestyle wanting to breakout into something better.

We were guided through an introduction to the characters, their strengths and weaknesses and the formation of the band the Four Seasons. The great thing about this musical is the storyline is as strong as the songs. The string of hits is impressive, one after another like ‘Sherry’, ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Ragdoll’, ‘Who Loves You’, ‘Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye)’, ‘Let’s Hang On’, ‘Can’t Take My eyes Off You’, ‘My Eyes Adored You’ etc, etc. TM and I agreed the show, acting and songs delivery were really tight, probably as a result of delivering to a different audience night after night. I do think this was a better show than the one I saw in the early season in Melbourne. A nice touch at the end of the show the actors and singers fall away and only the band is left. It’s a really, really great band, I liked the horn section best. Ha!

TM and I wrapped up a terrific evening with dinner at a Spanish restaurant in Liverpool St, with TM in great spirits because his Rugby League team Manly Warringah had won the Grand Final and we celebrated with several courses of wonderful dessert in our swanky hotel room.

Oh what a night!

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
I kissed a girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town dirty old town
Ewan MacColl 1949

If you love live theatre you will find yourself spoilt for choice in old Sydney Town. This was the happy problem facing my client “The Detective” and I when we were deciding what to see recently.The idea was to meet at his hotel, have a quick bite to eat and enjoy a play ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night” before returning back to his hotel for some extended intimate relaxation.

After much discussion over a period of time we settled on dinner at Lowenbrau.Lowenbrau is a german style dining venue set in the historic Sydney Rocks precinct. It’s lots of fun offering a tasty staple menu, different german style beers and even a brass band. Given the cool weather we happily tucked into some delicious german sausages, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut washed down by a beer for the detective and a couple of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blancs for me. It’s the kind of place where the waitresses have cute blonde plaits and wear traditional costume and the Detective reckons you need other certain attributes to work there -gee I wonder if I’d qualify?

The Detective had arranged a hire car and we made our way down to Walsh Bay to the Sydney Theatre Company Headquarters. We just made in in time too!

The production was of Eugene O’Neills masterworkLong day’s Journey Into The Night. This was a epic 3.5 hour event. There are four central characters in the play which is set in 1900s Canada. It’s raw, heavy going drama exposing the flaws, failings, problems and dysfunctions within a family structure. There’s the father ‘James Tyrone” played by William Hurt, he’s a Irish Catholic immigrant made good but he cannot forget his childhood poverty and is criticised for being stingy by his two sons. James with his strong working class ethics, equally faces massive dissappointment with his own sons. There’s the mother “Mary” played by Robyn Nevin, she’s addicted to her medication morphine and so her mental deteriation becomes increasingly more obvious throughout the span of the play. There’s the youngest son who is racked with consumption and is needing to go into a sanitorium and the oldest son who is the most alcoholic out of all the male characters in the family. For me with my full Irish background, the play was fascinating, edgy entertainment, beautifully acted and produced.

My usual scene is to go to arthouse cinema when I want to see great drama but this experience really stepped it up for me.

All and all it was a very memorable evening on every level.