11 September

New venue complex for St Kilda

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When is a cinema not a cinema? When it’s an arts hub. The former George Cinemas – which were last in action when Gus Berger rented them out for his George Revival Cinema from July 2013-February 2014 – were last destined to become a gym for a new apartment block, or so we thought.

Now it’s been announced that the space is the new project of theatre producer and investor Aleksander Vass. He’ll be transforming the three cinemas into two venues – one seating 500, the other around half that – to host theatre, opera, gigs, musicals, cabaret and comedy, as well as films. Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Richard Fitzgerald, pictured, is the general manager, and has in recent years revived the Arts Centre in Darwin and was general manager at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. He tells Time Out that the original projectors will be dismantled and preserved off site to allow for a broader scope of digital films.… Read more

11 September

Melbourne will be the first city to host the UK Imperial War Museum’s WW1 Centenary Exhibition

WW1 Centenary Exhibition

Herbert Hillier sketched the battlefield of Gallipoli just hours after the first landing on 26 April 1915. It’s rough, but there’s no mistaking the columns of smoke rising above the water and the debris floating below. After a century, fragments of memory like these can still feel unnervingly close.

Hillier’s sketch – along with a German calvary helmet (pictured), prosthetic hand and fragments from the Red Baron’s fallen aeroplane – was unveiled this morning at the Melbourne Museum.

The reason? For the first time ever, London’s Imperial War Museum will send a specially curated exhibition to nine cities across the world – with Melbourne as the first stop. Reliving the personal stories, collective experience and huge implications of the First World War, the WW1 Centenary Exhibition will open in April 2015 to coincide with the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.

“The First World War changed the world; it cost 16 million lives and affected the lives of many more,” said Diane Lees, Director-General of the IWN over a video recorded in London.… Read more

11 September

Sandra Bernhard is coming to Melbourne in March 2015

Posted by in Comedy, News

Look, you may think of her as Madonna’s friend…

Nancy from Roseanne

Masha from The King of Comedy
KingOfComedy

Sandra Bernhard from Will & Grace

Or a personal favourite Minerva Mayflower from the wildly undervalued Hudson Hawk

… but, she is way more than that.

The reality is that all of that is a sideline, a hobby, that the uber-incredible Sandra Bernhard uses to fill in the gaps between being one of the best stand up comedians on the planet.

No seriously, Comedy Central in the US rated her in the top 100.

Now Sydney is going to get a chance to catch up with the comedy/singing/commenting stylings of the magnificent Ms Bernhard next March when she explodes into town for one show only.

Terrified we might miss out, we had a chat to Sandy about Sandyland, and found out that:

– She can’t stand celebrities who whinge about their being no work for women over 40 (“If you have the talent … !”)
– She’s a better singer now than ever, but still caustically comedically gifted (“Always my first love?… Read more

10 September

Huxtaburger is popping-up in Carlton

Huxtaburger

A Huxtaburger is a good time in and of itself. But from October you’ll be able to get your Rudy and the all-new filled-with-fried-chicken Claire burger with a side of real entertainment. Team Huxtaburger is setting up a minimum six-month pop-up in the John Curtin Hotel. The plan is to serve burgers from lunch till late, with zero fancy fluff – that means no table service. You’ll simply order your burger and get a buzzer to make waiting more of a thrill.

Huxtaburger: John Curtin Hotel, 29 Lygon St, CarltonRead more

10 September

Dame Nellie Melba’s Coombe Estate opens to the public

Coombe Estate blog

If there’s one thing to know about Dame Nellie Melba – arguably Australia’s most famous opera singer – it’s that the lady had style. Rising to prominence in the late 19th century, Melba also became known for her refined taste in art, fashion and décor, and for her lush, seven-acre gardens surrounding her home in Coldstream, just adjacent to the Yarra Valley.

Tomorrow, Coombe: the Melba Estate opens to the public as a gallery, providore and suitably high-class restaurant. The grounds are free to explore – as is the gallery – and for $20, you can take a guided historical tour (Wed-Sun, 11am & 2pm), which includes a morning or afternoon tea.

Our tip: put on your best party hat, grab some buddies and make a fancy day out of it. After you’re finished roaming the grounds, stroll into the home and admire the gallery. The collection includes Melba’s 14-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set, Hermes riding boots and Cartier handbags from Paris (we told you she had style). Inside the providore, you can pick up exclusive Melba memorabilia and jams, and in the adjacent restaurant, you better believe Peach Melba will make an appearance on the menu.… Read more