Top 10 Sydney Culture On this week 05/01/2020
This week, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll gasp and you’ll sigh. 2020 is really the year when the emotional instability caused by the decades-long ingestion of steroid-filled chicken mutants reaches its full potential.
10) Opening Night: Fiona Foley at NAS Gallery
What: The National Art School in association with Sydney Festival and Ballarat International Foto Biennale presents “Who are these strangers and where are they going?” a 30-year survey of the work of Dr Fiona Foley, one of Australia’s most acclaimed, insightful and challenging contemporary artists, curated by Djon Mundine OAM. Her work always explicitly relates back to historical research, throwing light on and constantly questioning race relations, cultural assumptions, sexuality and the reality of Aboriginal lives in Queensland around the turn of the 20th century. The exhibition demonstrates her great depth and breadth as an artist.
Why: Your annual reminder of the complex and often horrifying past of the country in which you live. It’s going to take three whole hours afterwards to forget about this one.
9) A Ballerina’s Tale’ Screening
What: An incredible, behind-the-scenes story of how Copeland overcame her tumultuous upbringing and near career-ending injuries to become one of the most revered dancers of her generation. More than just a ballet success story, Copeland’s journey is a hugely inspirational, universal tale of perseverance that examines her prodigious rise and her potentially career ending injury – alongside themes of race and body image in the elite ballet world.
Why: There’s no soft porn. If you still want to attend, it’s really up to you. We just thought we’d let you know.
8) ‘Choose Love’ Screening
What: ‘Choose Love’ explores many different facets of forgiveness, addressing new scientific findings, and raising some important questions. The documentary describes a journey of transformation through growth in knowledge and awareness. The seeds of a new form of humanity are present in empathy, love, and the true character of forgiveness. True stories that describe a process of openness, forgiveness, and love that breaks down prejudice and divisions. We need to change ourselves to change the world because it is only by feeling strong and grounded that one can find the power for forgiveness.
Why: Located at HOYTS, just past the bevy of depressed, homeless people suffering under a complex institutionalised and politicised system. They won’t harass you on your way to the cinema if you just walk fast and look straight ahead.
7) Six the Musical
4th January-5th March
What: Introducing the six wives of Henry VIII; the rebellious heroines of history taking to the mic to tell their story. Get ready for the Australian premiere of this electrifying smash hit pop musical that’s taken the West End by storm.
Why: Legitimately say you’ve been to a performance of Marlow. No one will hear you not say the ‘e’.
6) School of Rock: The Musical
4th January-16th February
What: After 3 years on Broadway and 2 years on the West End, along with sell-out shows in China and rave reviews from Melbourne, it’s your turn next Sydney to see the show called “Incredibly fun… hilarious and heart-warming” (Beat) and “An unalloyed delight – a slick, family friendly musical with a big rock sound”. (The Age) With a 2019 Helpmann Award nomination under his hat, Brent Hill will be leading the Australian cast in the role of Dewey Finn – a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school. Alongside him is Amy Lehpamer, the strict headmistress with a penchant for Stevie Nicks songs and a group of supremely talented young rockers.
Why: We often feel that Jack Black’s irrepressible charm and energy held up the flimsy pretext of School of Rock. But perhaps the man behind “The Jellicle Ball” can provide the necessary believability and charm.
5) La Bohème
What: First time at the opera? You can’t go past this dazzling story of friendship and first love in La Bohème. A poet, a painter, a musician and a philosopher walk into a bar to celebrate a sudden windfall in a lean winter. It’s Christmas Eve, and the poet has just felt the first pangs of great love. When a seamstress knocks on his door searching for candlelight, the pair fall in love faster than she can sing “Yes, they call me Mimì…” Between the ideals of love and art and the cruel realities of cold winters, bitter jealousies and empty pockets, two sets of lovers are trying to find their way. By the time the curtain falls, you’ll know the answer to an eternal question: Is love enough?
Why: We’ve seen the production at the Opera House, so we can answer that question for you: no. Clearly, love isn’t enough. Not when a single bloody Cornetto costs $10.
4) Parkes Elvis Festival
What: The Parkes Elvis Festival is held every year in the second week in January, coinciding with Elvis Presley’s birthday. Now in its 28th year, the Festival continues to grow – with over 150 events across five fabulous, fun-filled days. This year’s Festival theme is All Shook Up, celebrating Elvis’ iconic song and all things ’50s.
Why: The theme pays tribute to Elvis in the fifties! So get ready to swivel your hips and feel your insides shake like a leaf on a tree! But don’t expect too much about Lisa Marie this year. She was nine years away from being born when All Shook Up came out and so still about twenty years away from being sexually viable to The King.
3) Steve Hofstetter Live
What: One of YouTube’s most popular comics with over 100 million views, Steve Hofstetter is also the host of Finding Babe Ruth on FS1. Hofstetter was the host and executive producer of season one of Laughs (FOX) and he has been on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and E! True Hollywood Story, Comics Unleashed, Comedy All-Stars, Quite Frankly, White Boyz in the Hood, Countdown, and more. Now is your chance to find out what the fuss is about during this no-holds-barred stand-up performance, featuring some of his unfiltered observations about life.
Why: We promise you, the connotations of “one of YouTube’s most popular” are almost always negated by the word “comics”. This should be a genuinely enjoyable experience.
What: Over 10 thrilling days, Flickerfest, a beloved Sydney summer institution will once again delight audiences with the very best in short films from Australia and around the world, screened under the stars at the iconic Bondi Pavilion in January. A record 3,500 entries from over 100 countries have been received for Flickerfest 2020; a testimony to the fact that Flickerfest is one of the world’s leading and most respected platforms for short film. From this large entry field only around 200 of the very best most creative and inspiring shorts will be screened at the Festival across 17 competitive programmes and four showcase programmes all guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and gasp with delight.
Why: Yes! You’ll laugh, cry and gasp with delight! And that’s only 40% due to the the errant needle full of heroin you just stepped on that you thought was a seashell.
1) Sydney Festival
What: Every January, Sydney Festival starts the new year with a bang, transforming the city with a bold cultural celebration based on critical ideas and cutting-edge art and performance. Sydney Festival’s audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and up there as one of the most wonderful festivals in the world.
Why: Don’t forget to watch out for the wildly accurate piece of performance art featuring thousands of people fleeing a very realistic all-consuming raging fire. Don’t worry if cops are telling you to run and your clothes suddenly start to feel very warm, it’s just the genius of the piece.