1 April

The search is on for the child stars of Les Misérables

Posted in Musicals

Les Misérables

If you’ve ever dreamed a dream of seeing your child perform in one of the biggest musicals of all time, then listen up. Auditions for the three lead child roles have just been announced for the Melbourne production of Les Misérables, coming to Her Majesty’s Theatre in June.

For many Les Mis devotees, the 2012 blockbuster film failed to capture the spine-tingling pathos of the live show. If musical nerds were unimpressed by the Hollywood stars chosen to represent iconic characters such as Jean Vanjean, Javert and Fantine, then they breathed a sigh of relief when the Melbourne leads were announced. The adult cast boasts Simon Gleeson (Mamma Mia!, Chess) and Patrice Tipoki (Wicked, The Lion King), and now the hunt is on for three undiscovered budding Broadway stars to play young Cosette, young Eponine and Gavroche.

Auditions are open to any child aged seven to 10 as long as they fit into the very tight height and voice requirements.… Read more

1 April

Burgers by drones!

Posted in Food & Drink, Videos

Drones, is there anything they can’t do? Not only can the friendly, GPS-guided flying machines deliver missiles to the doorstep of your foes, and smuggle drugs into prisons, they could, potentially be used to drop burgers to those who take getting obese seriously. Such is the theory put forward by Mr Burger today, and we’re totally on board. Here’s a video they made showing what that would look like:

Sadly, air space restrictions (and April Fools’ Day) mean that this is probably never going to happen. But we can dream, friends. We can dream.… Read more

31 March

Calling all sneaker freakers

Posted in Shopping & Style

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Are you an innie or an outie? We aren’t talking about belly buttons (although type ‘myinnie’ into YouTube if you’re feeling bored and brave), we’re talking about sneaker laces and a knew widget, ‘Myinnies’. Local entrepreneur Bart Atherinos noted that he and many of his other sneaker enthusiast mates were ‘innies’ who preferred  to tuck their shoelaces in on the inside of their shoes to achieve a clean, bowless look. However in order to achieve this they’d have to stuff their laces in the shoes, making for an uncomfortable fit.

Atherinos decided to think outside the (shoe)box and created the Innie – a small durable plastic clip which can’t be seen from the outside or felt on the inside. The clips have been tested on a bunch of shoes – hi-tops, boat shoes,  business sport and skate – to ensure they are both comfortable and functional. At the moment Bart is sitting at around halfway to his goal of raising $10k, so if you’re keen to get in on Innies, you can support the Kickstarter campaign.… Read more

31 March

We want candy

Posted in Cool stuff

lolly

Artisan candy-maker Pascal Menezes – formerly of Suga and Papabubble – has redefined the art of lolly making. The candy connoisseur has introduced Printa Pops, an Australian-first technique that involves infusing edible pieces of art into traditional lollipops. Pascal has teamed up with a range of local artists and bands such as Lucy McRae and Architecture in Helsinki, putting their logos and artwork on – through? – his lollipops and sticks of rock, as well as whipping up his own pretty incredible designs.

As well as the lolly-pops, you can get your logo or message on rock candy – so that you can literally eat your words.

We want candy

Always wanted to unleash the artist within? Send your designs to The Red Balloon Candy Artisans and let them work their magic. It could even be a sweet selfie.… Read more

31 March

The Fat Duck is closing, flying south to Melbourne

Posted in Food & Drink, News

Heston Blumenthal

It’s incredible how far a blow torch, liquid nitrogen and a mind that just won’t say quit can get you. At 10am this morning,  the lobby of Crown Towers was packed with every food journalist in town, waiting for magical food enthusiast Heston Blumenthal to take to the stage and drop some news. Any news. The world is crazy for the chef who brought us liquid nitrogen scrambled eggs and animals sewn together, so he could have announced he was opening a pie cart to all round applause. But smack our gobs with surprise if he isn’t closing his word renowned restaurant and bringing it to Melbourne, lock, stock,  smoking kitchen appliances and all.

After Christmas, Blumenthal and the whole Fat Duck team will shut the Bray restaurant and in February,  migrate to Melbourne for six months. At the end of the Fat Duck’s residency, the crew will head back to England and re-open the Bray restaurant which will have had a half-year spruce up in the team’s absence.… Read more

28 March

Stokehouse to usurp Comme

Posted in Food & Drink, News

The Stokehouse soap opera continues apace! Following the fire that destroyed the beachside fine diner and bistro earlier this year, a temporary pop-up was erected on the site. It’s pretty nice for a shed, and the crew have been hammering out a short selection of the restaurant’s dishes like wildfire from the word go. From May 11, however, they’ll need to hand over the charred land for the formal rebuild, which they estimate will take a year. But in good news for all Stokehouse fans (who don’t work at Comme Restaurant), the Van Haandel Group has just announced that they’re going to stick the Stokehouse concept into their Alfred Place venue from May, into 2015. The beautiful marble building will have a refit by gun designer Pascale Gomes McNabb for the occasion, and they’ll be doing both formal and informal food. Comme’s last service will be on April 20.… Read more

28 March

SNAP Sharpies’ Urban Folklore

Posted in Books, Cool stuff

SNAP Cover FINAL (3)If your knowledge of Melbourne’s Sharpie culture extends to that clip of kids dancing to Daddy Cool’s ‘Eagle Rock’, read on. Julie Mac has become something of the go-to expert, having now written her second book on the lost teenage subculture. SNAP, Sharpies’ Urban FolkloreAustralia 1952-1987, is the follow up to 2010′s  RAGE: A Sharpie’s Journal – Melbourne 1974 to 1980. By documenting her memories and those of her peers at the time – the gangs were largely from Frankston, Reservoir, Thomastown and other unlovely suburban outposts – Julie Mac has been at the centre of many a reunion get-together, with Sharpie bands such as La Femme providing the music. You can read more about Julie Mac’s Sharpie books here. And don’t miss the Time Out feature on Richmond’s Staggers Jeans – no Sharpie would have been seen dead without a pair.… Read more

27 March

Heston Blumenthal coming to Crown

Heston Blumenthal coming to Crown

The rumours are true, folks. Or partly true, at least. For the past few months there have been whispers aplenty about Heston Blumenthal (the bespectacled UK chef of Fat Duck restaurant and science-meets-magic cookery fame) opening his first international restaurant in Melbourne. His PR crew dumped a metaphorical gallon of petrol onto the gossip fire yesterday, bidding media to rock up at Crown Casino next Monday for “an announcement”.

We don’t have the full details at this stage, but we have had it confirmed that there will be a restaurant, and that it will not be a far flung outpost of his three Michelin starred Bray restaurant. Blumenthal has something else up his sleeves, and considering those sleeves usually also contain some form of flamethrower or liquid nitrogen-powered device, we’re pretty sure it’s going to be something at least a little bit ridiculous.

Excited? You should be. Don’t know who the hell Blumenthal is?… Read more

26 March

A tour of the School of Life with Alain de Botton

School of Life Melbourne

There’s something very intimidating about walking into a room and not knowing anyone. But at Alain de Botton’s School of Life, nobody’s a stranger very long.

As the popular Swiss-British philosopher explained at the March 25 launch, he’s always been the sort of person to strike up profound philosophical conversations at parties. “I had to invent an institution to make me seem normal,” he joked, charmingly.

His School of Life, founded in London in 2008, reflects de Botton’s professional persona: diffident, accessibly erudite and achingly earnest. Upon entry, guests at the launch party were handed little square cards bearing conversation-starting questions including: “Can incompatibility ever be a strength in a relationship?” “Does the price of a work of art ever reflect how good it is?” and “For you, what would be a good death?”

Black T-shirted staff members were seemingly instructed to strike up conversations with anyone standing or sitting alone.… Read more

25 March

Ajak Deng at VAMFF

Ajak Deng“Sometimes it’s hard for me to take in. Did I really just experience these two worlds? Now that I’m in New York as an international model, I’m like, ‘Wow, life is different.’”

‘Different’ hardly begins to describe the journey that model Ajak Deng has taken to get to the Melbourne Fashion Festival. Google her name and you’ll encounter the story of a girl who fled Sudan as a child, lost her mother to malaria in Kenya at age 12 and started a life in Melbourne in 2004 as the carer of seven siblings.

Equally as staggering is her new life on the other end of the spectrum. After finishing high school, Deng’s modelling career catapulted almost instantly. At 24, she now lives in New York, making her long-limbed presence known on the runways of Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Valentino and Chloe. On Friday 21st March, she made her return to Melbourne as the face of UK high street giant River Island, launching the brand’s partnership with Australian fashion website The Iconic by walking their runway.… Read more