Thursday, September 20, 2012

Legally Blonde The Musical to open at The Star, Sydney tonight - 21st September 2012

News Media Update... Theatre production 'Legally Blonde' enjoyed a media call this morning at Sydney Lyric Theatre at Pyrmont in Sydney. The play comes with much fanfare so it will be interesting to see if the show lives up to its reputation and hype once it plays to live audiences at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, which is part of The Star (formally known as Star City Casino). The Star and its business partners have taken a calculated gamble on running with 'Legally Blonde', and you can bet that they will be hoping for similar outstanding results that they received with musicals such as 'Annie' (which was considerable helped along with a strong performance and some wonderful publicity from Sydney radio icon Alan Jones). Sydney continues to secure world class entertainment thanks to our friends at The Star and Lyric, and we encourage you to check out what all the fuss is about. Update... News Media has been notified that short segments of four musical numbers from the show will be performed, and afterwards producers Howard Panter and John Frost and lead cast members Lucy Durack (Elle Woods), Rob Mills (Warner), David Harris (Emmett), Helen Dallimore (Paulette), Erika Heynatz (Brooke Wyndham) and Cameron Daddo (Professor Callahan) will be available for interview and photographs. The musical numbers will be: Serious So Much Better Whipped Into Shape Legally Blonde Remix Based on the hit movie of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon, LEGALLY BLONDE is the award-winning London and Broadway sensation created by a top-of-their-class creative team, led by Tony Award-winning director and Olivier Award-nominated choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray). LEGALLY BLONDE ran for three triumphant years in the West End, over two years on Broadway and is currently on a major UK Tour playing to packed houses. Winner of seven major awards including the coveted Best New Musical 2011 (Olivier Awards®) this all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is about knowing who you are and showing what you’ve got! The Australian Premiere of this award-winning Broadway and West End sensation was secured for Sydney with the assistance of the NSW Government through Destination NSW and the City of Sydney. Legally Blonde To Open Tonight... The Sydney Lyric Theatre is going to be host to the famous musical 'Legally Blonde'. Legally Blonde The Musical is the hilarious story of college sweetheart and homecoming queen, Elle Woods - a girl who doesn't take no for an answer. When her boyfriend dumps her for someone "serious", Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books and heads for Harvard Law School! Along the way, she proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style. Legally Blonde The Musical - Winner of Best Musical 2011 Olivier Awards and a smash hit running into its third year on the West End was created by a world-class creative team led by Tony Award-winning director Jerry Mitchell. Based on the movie starring Reese Witherspoon and remaining true to the script, Legally Blonde the Musical is a feel-good number with a '90s feel. College sweetheart Elle heads off to law school to win back her boyfriend Warner after he dumps her for someone more serious, only to graduate top of her class and find a far better love interest. Warner, too, finds the courage to dump family expectations of a career in law and politics and pursue his true calling as a model. "I've seen it on Broadway and the West End and it's great. It really does do the movie justice," leading actress Lucy Durack says. "I love the role of Elle. As much as she looks like she hasn't a care in the world, people are unkind to her and judge her and she struggles with that. "But she takes a positive path and rises above it. She doesn't take the low road, ever. The whole show is a celebration - be who you are, the best version of yourself, and be proud." LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL opens in 'Sin City' Sydney tonight! Websites Legally Blonde The Musical (Australia) The Star Sydney Lyric Theatre Echo Entertainment Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr Eva Rinaldi Photography Music News Australia IP Publicity Media Man News Casino News Media Destination NSW

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hanson performs Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia


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Tonight Hanson performed to a packed house at the famous Enmore Theatre.

The boys are performing down under live for the their first tour in seven years.

Hanson started writing Shout It Out while touring their 2007 disc, The Walk, and lead vocalist Taylor says it’s the most “holistic” and the least interfered-with of their seven releases.

“There’s no co-writing with other collaborators as writers, no other producers, we produced the record [ourselves].”

“It feels great to know that you’re able to have some connection that is lasting,” he says. “There is something that goes on with music and with audiences that is so special. With us, a lot of the fans that have stuck around [we] really respect it and admire that dedication, especially Australian fans. They’ve always been amongst the most active and the most engaged.”

Australian fans can look forward to additional tour dates based on how quickly shows sell out in selective cities. “Every show is different,” Taylor says. “We change it up, it’s going to feature some new music and it’s going to also highlight some songs from albums past.”

Tonight all the fans got value for money and by the look of things the band will continue to enjoy strong touring and CD sales in Australia.

Set List:

Where’s The Love

Thinking Bout Something

A Minuet Without You

And I Waited

Crazy Beautiful

Strong Enough to Break


Wish That I Was There

With You In Your Dreams

Oh Darling – Beatles Cover

Cant Stop

Thinking of You

Penny and Me

Give a Little



Lost Without Each Other


If Only


Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson are household names in Australia and it’s no surprise – in 1997 one in ten Australian households owned a copy of the band’s smash album Middle Of Nowhere and the nation’s airwaves, hearts and minds resonated to the infectious sound of the band’s smash hit MMMBop. Now, after a 7-year absence, HANSON are back with a brand new album and tour that is sure to capture the attention and imagination of a nation that has always embraced the band as their own.

HANSON have been making music together for two decades. Fifteen years ago, their out-of-the-blue, soul-inspired brand of American pop-rock‘n’roll was introduced to the world. Unaffected by charts or fads, they’ve spent more than a decade building a community of fans connected to one another and fuelled by the energy and craftsmanship of three brothers and their music, earning praise for their songwriting, musicianship and dynamic live performances, with New York‘s Village Voice calling them the “Finest Straight-Up Rock Band In America.”


Native sons of Tulsa, Oklahoma, HANSON has been making music together for nearly two decades. Thirteen years ago, their out-of-the-blue, soul-inspired brand of American pop-rock‘n’roll was introduced to the world. Unaffected by charts or fads, they’ve spent more than a decade building a community of fans connected to one another and fueled by the energy and craftsmanship of three brothers and their music. Their fifth studio album, Shout It Out, was released on June 8th 2010 on their label 3CG Records. They deliver a powerful group of soulful, melodic tunes that will leave you with a contagious sense of optimism for the future and welcomed reminiscence for American rock ‘n’ roll.

Shout It Out is a collection of finely crafted, R&B-flavored pop-rock, a homage to the music that inspired HANSON when they started out. The album produced and written exclusively by the band is augmented with special guests: Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt, who played on some of Motown’s greatest hits, and horn arranger Jerry Hey, who worked with Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Earth, Wind and Fire and many more.

“The anatomy of our band is similar to a ‘70s rock band – white guys from the Midwest who grew up listening to ‘50s and ‘60s soul, who are mixing guitars, with vintage keys and melodic songs,” Taylor Hanson says. Adds Isaac, “We’ll always be a bit rootsy ‘cause it’s in the Oklahoma soil (the state is also home to artists like Bob Wills, Woody Guthrie and the versatile Leon Russell), but what we’ve never stopped aspiring to is the great songwriters and performers who struck a chord with us first, that early rock ‘n’ rock roll and soul music from Chuck Berry to Otis Redding. We’ve rediscovered that aspiration on this record. There’s a little more swing and a little more air.”

While Shout It Out looks back in time musically, it also represents forward movement for HANSON. “We love playing classic songs,” says Zac Hanson. “But we never sat down and wrote our version of what that sounds like until now.”

HANSON emotes such fresh energy on the new album that it’s easy to forget that this band has been around the block a few times. Multiple Grammy nominations (drummer Zac is the youngest nominated songwriter in history), years of headline shows everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl and world-records for the loudest concert audience in history.

They’ve sold millions of records and reached a level of adoration that few bands experience, and have also faced career obstacles that would have broken many artist’s resolve. They waded through four years of struggle with a new corporate label made up of inherited executives in discord with the band, which eventually lead the band to leave the label (chronicled in the documentary film Strong Enough To Break) and launch their own independent record company, 3CG Records, in 2003. Amidst a crumbling industry, they built their own infrastructure around a DIY attitude and their commitment to their music and their fans. Their independent moves paid off, building a brand that has grown with successful independent albums, singles and tours, during a decade when music sales plummeted. In addition, launching alongside their 2007 album The Walk, they championed calls for action on humanitarian efforts, galvanizing tens of thousands of people around the world to participate in barefoot one-mile walks to fight HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

Talking to the band about their forthcoming offering sheds light on how they find balance between these different elements and how they have emerged with this current direction. “The feeling I had when we were writing was that – as a band – you should be able to talk about serious subjects and share your passions [like fighting AIDS in Africa], but especially on this album, it was important to be able to share joy,” Taylor says. While The Walk carried a weighty message, in contrast the songs on Shout It Out, written mostly in hotel rooms and during soundchecks while touring The Walk were, according to Taylor, “A breath of fresh air during our hectic schedule”.

Shout It Out showcases not only the music of HANSON, but the many aspects that have allowed the band to survive and stay relevant. “The album is about being alive, and the contrasts we are faced with,” Taylor says. “We’ve come from a generation leaving the analog world and moving into an interconnected culture at risk of forgetting where it came from. This album tries to put together those pieces, but with a bit of melody to back it up.”

While the new album draws inspiration from the past, HANSON is looking to an exciting new era for the band. Their insatiable desire to innovate with technology - seen in their plans to incorporate mobile live streaming video both onstage and off - is building an even stronger fan connection. They’re committed to their live concert experience, with special events like their sold out five-night stand in NYC featuring each of their albums performed in their entirety, culminating with the debut of Shout It Out live. HANSON has established a reputation as successful independent artists who are comfortable at charting their own path, standing at the crossroads of the analog and digital worlds, and offering fans the best of both.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

'Indiana Jones & The Raiders of the Lost Ark' screening; Popcorn Taxi at Randwick Ritz Cinema, Sydney - 12th September 2012

Popcorn Taxi at Randwick Ritz Cinema, Sydney; John Rhys-Davies interviewed...


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Indiana Jones & The Raiders of the Lost Ark' has been digitally remastered and is now available on DVD, and actor John Rhys-Davies is here in Sydney to tell us about it... as well as tell us about his expiences in the film and entertainment business.

The night was full of energy and information, but fairly light on news media, which didn't seem to mind anyone in the slightest - film buff club of sorts Popcorn Taxi has their own in-house media on hand tonight and no doubt they got some great information from actor Rhys-Davies who was in a talkative, jovial and theatrical mood.


Steven Spielberg and sound legend Ben Burtt went back to the original negative to create this new version of Indiana Jones & The Raiders of the Lost Ark that's entirely true to the look and feel of the original film.

John Rhys-Davies attended tonight's remastered screening. Rhys-Davies, in his pivotal role of Sallah, experienced not only a part on one of the most famous films of all time, but an inside view into the film's fascinating production process. Since starring in Indiana Jones & The Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rhys-Davies has enjoyed a rich and varied career, including the role of Gimli in the Lord of the Rings films.

Upon reading the script he said "This is either going to be one of the biggest disasters of all time, or its going to set a new fashion in film making but either way I’d love to do it."

Rhys-Davies is a Welsh character actor who is most famous for playing an Egyptian Man-Friday style character...Sallah in both 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade' and a Russian general opposite James Bond in 'The Living Daylights'.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford. It is the first installment in the Indiana Jones franchise.


The year is 1936. A professor who studies archeology named Indiana Jones is venturing in the jungles in South America searching for a golden statue. Unfortunately, he sets off a deadly trap doing so, miraculously, he escapes. Then, Jones hears from a museum curator named Marcus Brody about a biblical artifact called The Ark of the Covenant, which can hold the key to humanly existence. Jones has to venture to vast places such as Nepal and Egypt to find this artifact. However, he will have to fight his enemy Renee Belloq and a band of Nazis in order to reach it. (IMDB)

Wrap Up...

Awesome film. One of the greatest flicks of all time in the opinion of many. Rhys-Davies was very giving of himself this evening and well done to the good folks at Popcorn Taxi for adding extra excitement and substance to the films showing. Keep checking the Popcorn Taxi official website for more about this great film and wonderful interview. The film and its actors and team have put a stamp on the movie making business that will never be forgotten.


Harrison Ford - Indiana Jones
Karen Allen - Marion Ravenwood
Paul Freeman - Dr. René Belloq
Ronald Lacey - Major Arnold Toht
John Rhys-Davies - Sallah


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Sunday, September 9, 2012

EB Games EXPO 2012, Sydney, Australia


Gaming Games Sydney Australia

Presented by: EB Games

It's official - Australia's biggest ever gaming event is coming to Sydney!

The EB Games EXPO is a 3 day event showcasing all the latest upcoming and new release games.

Featuring a massive gaming exhibition, spectacular arena shows, developer and publisher presentations, cosplay, family zone, and much, much more.

The most anticipated upcoming games will be there, along with developer talent, including Call of Duty Black Ops II, Halo 4, Farcry 3, Assassins Creed III, Borderlands 2, Tomb Raider, Aliens Colonial Marines, Skylanders Giants, Pokemon Black and White 2 and heaps more titles. This is your chance to play games before they are officially released!

For more information visit

Fri 5 - Sun 7 Oct, Sydney Showground, NSW, Australia
(Credit: EB Games)


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Festival of the Winds; Kites fly high at Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia - 9th September 2012


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Bondi Beach today was once again home to the annual Festival of the Winds, where kite flying is the paramount attraction.

Festival of the Winds is Australia’s biggest and most entertaining kite flying festival and today the weather really turned it on for the festival, with sun and strong winds.

Flyer Society members showcased their designs along with kite designs from India, Malaysia, China and Japan.

The public both made kites and some also purchased them from the kite stalls in the park. Some even took kite making workshops.

In addition to kite flying, there was a multicultural entertainment program throughout the day with great music, dance and kid’s shows.

Acts include, Pak Hok Kung Fu International, who celebrated the Year of the Dragon with their Kung Fu mastery and famous Lion Dance; The Asthmatix, a local hybrid hip hop trio with soaring fiddles and Hebrew humour; Freeman Dancers (Wiradjuri), Australian Indigenous traditional dance and music from the Wiradjuri Nation; Afrokings featuring Moussa Diakete from Mali performing Afro, Latin, Funk and dance grooves; and, El Orqueston, performing the festival finale with a salsa party featuring a 12 piece live band and Cuban dancers.

The was also additional entertainment including free dance workshops in African Dance, Capoeira, Zumba, Salsa and Tango, with the ever popular Tango Milonga at the end of the day. Children enjoyed pony rides, fun slides, leaping castles, face painting, animal farm, wandering minstrels, jugglers, stilt walkers, puppeteers, clowns, and craft workshops.

The Red Baron plane also performed an aerobatic display and there was loads of multicultural food stalls with food and drink from across the globe.


Festival of the Winds - Waverley Council

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Melbourne Storm NRL team ink sponsorship deal with Packer's Crown Casino; Sydney news - 31st August 2012


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The Melbourne Storm is raking it in, with an extra $1.5 million in with Crown Limited inking as major sponsor for a third year running, while rugby league in Victoria could also benefit significantly.

Thursday's renewal of Crown's only team sponsorship is believed to be valued at $1 million, give or take a few dollars.

The funds boost joins the $500,000 Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant confirmed on Monday would be delivered to all clubs before October 31.

With a back-of-jersey sponsorship still to be sold before the finals, Storm might well collect another payday.

Club chief exec Ron Gauci advised the funds would be used to help expand the code in Victoria, a cause boosted last month with the debut of born-and-bred local Mahe Fonua.

Storm officials aim to fund youth teams down to under-16s and spend up to keep Melbourne "ahead of the pack" with cutting-edge, football-specific technology.

"We'll continue to invest in the organisation. We'll invest both across the football department and administration," Gauci said.

"We want to continue being best practice and continue being ahead of the game. We'll invest in football operations and pathway development.

"We want to extend the Storm brand beyond the under-18s and we've put in a proposal to the Australian Rugby League Commission to facilitate the growth of the game in Victoria and now have the funds to help make that happen.

"For us, any investment needs to have a long-term benefit."

The push from the Government-backed Victorian Major Events Company to secure more State of Origin clashes in Melbourne could reap even more cash for local rugby league.

Plans are in place to establish a youth academy, with only the arrival of sufficient funding needed to make it happen.

Great to see Crown's casino king James Packer sharing the love and funds around to worthy causes.

It's understood that Sydney's South Sydney Rabbitohs management including king bunny, Russell Crowe, are taking an interest in the way The Storm and Crown do things, as you might expect with Rabbitohs also having a sponsorship deal with gaming - entertainment firm - The Star.

Sydney NRL team also has casino deal...

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are continuing to enjoy their sponsorship deal with The Star (formally known as Star City Casino).

NRL top brass has said rugby league has benefitted from its association with betting agencies because it allows better access to information about irregular plunges.

As the Australian and globally economy continue to go through tough times its going to be interesting to see if more NRL teams ink deals with Australian casino or gaming firms. I for would would bet yes.

And what's to become of the Barangaroo 6 star hotel and casino development in Sydney? Could they also become a sponsor of an NRL team? With James Packer in the think of the action one would think so. Keep watching this space.

Media Release...

Exclusive Deal For 6 Star Hotel...

Last week's announcement by Lend Lease and Crown, that they had signed an exclusive agreement to develop a six star hotel at Barangaroo South, has attracted wide ranging media coverage and commentary. Below is a summary of the media releases and media coverage to date.

Following the announcement, the Authority confirmed it will continue to work with Lend Lease, and now their exclusive rights partner Crown, to negotiate a new location for the hotel in Barangaroo South and oversee the appropriate planning applications that must be approved before any concept moves ahead.

Acting Premier Andrew Stoner last week said the development of such a hotel would represent a significant investment in NSW tourism infrastructure, and today’s agreement is a vote of confidence in the NSW economy.

“It is, of course, subject to all the necessary planning and regulatory approvals but Lend Lease already has an existing permit to build a hotel in Barangaroo South and are negotiating with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to relocate that onshore,” he said.

“The creation of a hotel of this stature would deliver new jobs in construction, off-site manufacturing and the tourism industry, along with hundreds of millions of dollars for the State economy each year.”

Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said that Lend Lease and Crown would now work towards achieving the necessary development approvals from the NSW Government for the hotel and jointly develop the concept plan for the hotel. Lend Lease is currently in negotiations with the NSW Government to finalise the hotel location.

“Barangaroo South is a major urban regeneration project that provides a unique opportunity to create a world class commercial, residential, entertainment and mixed use destination on Sydney Harbour. A key part of Lend Lease’s vision for Barangaroo South is to have a high quality international hotel,” said Mr McCann.

*the writer is a shareholder in Crown Limited, Virgin Blue and Ten Network Holdings.


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