21 August

The George Ballroom’s back in business

The George Ballroom

It’s one of Melbourne’s fabled venues – a bit like the Flinders Street ballroom – a place we know about and romanticise, but where few have been.

Georgina Damm, proprietor of event and catering experts Damm Fine Food, recalls being snuck in underage to the ballroom during its band room hey day (she thinks it was to see Kate Ceberano’s band, I’m Talking). “I can remember the red velvet drapes and being intrigued by the space,” she says. Damm set her heart on running events there subsequently and pestered the owner until he relented and opened the doors after a hefty, and no doubt expensive, bit of refurbishment.

After a varied history (seaside destination for the well-heeled in the 1800s through to early ‘50s, then gloriously seedy post-punk venue under the Crystal Ballroom and Seaview banners from the ’70s onwards – The Cure played there, and it was pretty much a regular haunt for Nick Cave’s outfits – the Birthday Party and the Boys Next Door) the George Ballroom fell into disuse and disrepair after being used as an event space for a few years in the ’90s and early 2000s.

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20 August

Victorian Opera launches 2016 season

Posted by in Arts, News, Theatre

Fondazione Teatro La Fenice - Lucia do Lammermoor - © Michele Crosera

This year marks Victorian Opera’s tenth anniversary, and so far, the company has offered highly successful, innovative productions alongside more traditional pieces featuring world-class performers. The VO’s 2016 season – launched today by artistic director Richard Mills – branches even further out into unfamiliar territory, and opera enthusiasts and lovers of the performing arts have plenty of reasons to get excited.

‘Different dreams’ was the theme of the launch, for good reason: the first production of the year will beVoyage to the Moon (Feb 15-19) which will see director Michael Gow blend Baroque operas into an entertaining pastiche, featuring respected Australian soprano Emma Matthews and leading mezzo Sally-Anne Russell.

A highlight is sure to be Banquet of Secrets (March 1-5), created by Australian author, screenwriter, comedian and producer Steve Vizard and celebrated composer Paul Grabowsky in tune with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The show – starring the brilliant Antoinette Halloran, who stole the show in the VO’s recent production of Sweeney Todd – will see four friends sharing a meal live on stage (created by chef Philippe Mouchel) and swapping secrets.… Read more

20 August

Legoland Discovery Centre coming to Chadstone in 2017

legoland

It’s a bit o’ time to wait, but Lego has foreshadowed that it’s opening the first Legoland Discovery Centre in the Southern Hemisphere in 2017 at Chadstone Shopping Centre. Promising to occupy a whopping space (2800 sqm) it’ll include a bunch of family attractions, including Lego sculptures and play zones, party rooms, a 4D cinema (a sensory cinematic adventure: the wind will actually blow in your hair) and a Miniland, setting out Melbourne’s cityscape and landmark highlights.

Intended for kids and families, it’s also a cool development for grown-ups. Have you played with Lego in recent years? It’s as much fun now as when you were a kid, except for the fact that your skills are probably better and you’re more likely to acquit a feat of engineering genius.

Legoland Discovery Centre. Opens 2017.Read more

20 August

It looks like Tim Minchin’s Matilda the Musical is coming to Melbourne next year

matilda-the-musical-the-royal-shakespeare-company-production-photo-03-by-joan-marcus

Jealousy is an ugly thing, but thankfully we’ll no longer be eyeing off Sydney’s production of Tim Minchin’s smash hit Matilda the Musical as it looks like the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl adaptation is making its way to Melbourne in March next year.

Perth-born comedian Tim Minchin wrote the music and lyrics for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production back in 2010. Quickly, the show became a blockbuster hit on London’s West End, then Broadway, picking up rave reviews and major awards along the way (Time Out London gave the show five stars).

Predictably, Minchin’s show – which follows the journey of mistreated, extraordinarily intelligent Matilda – is packed with wonderfully revolting moments for kids (remember Bruce Bogtrotter and the chocolate cake scene?) and wistful peaks of childhood nostalgia for adults.

The show opened in Sydney last week, and while no Melbourne venue or date has been announced as yet, the casting call for children on the Matilda the Musical website says that “Performances will take place at a theatre located in Melbourne CBD commending (on or about) March 2016”.Read more

20 August

BREAKING NEWS: Melbourne is getting a Dachshund Race in September

wienerrace

Three words: Sausage dogs running.

Oktoberfest is still a while away but the team over at Hophaus Bier Bar is starting the festivities early this year with a Teckelrennen – that’s German for Dachshund Race. These wee wiener dogs will be pitted against each other in an adorably cut-throat race to the finish line.

In partnership with My Dachshund Online, the sausage dog run will raise money for Dachshund Rescue Australia and will take place at Southgate Melbourne.

Better hot foot it and train those stumpy little legs ahead of the big day, and be sure to get those sausage-y outfits on point if you want your wiener dog to take home the ‘Best Dressed Dachshund’ prize.

We’ll just leave you with this.

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