Heart Is A Wasteland

Having admired the work of Aaron Pedersen on television and film, I was pleased to see that he would be appearing in Heart Is A Wasteland.  It’s going to be staged at the Malthouse Theatre from 29 June to 16 July, 2017.

Ursula Yovitch.Aaron Pedersen - Photo credit Deryk McAlpin copy-1Set against the back drop of the central Australian landscape, Rye is a country music star in the making. Playing pubs along vast desert highways, selling CDs for $10. She meets Dan, another wanderer and a love affair blooms during a four-day drive north of Roxby, South Australia to Alice Springs. It’s a journey into how we hurt and how we heal.

Presented by Brown Cab Productions who’ve combined their of love theatre, film and live music into this play. Written by John Harvey and directed by Margaret Harvey. Starring alongside Aaron are Ursula Yovich and Anna Liebzeit.

If you would like to see an Australian story; attend a performance of Heart Is A Wasteland.

Image supplied. Photo by Deryk McAlpin.





The Adventures of Peter Pan & Tinkerbell

As a child, I remember going to pantomimes presented by a local theatre group so I was rather excited when Bonnie Lythgoe Productions will be presenting The Adventures of Peter Pan & Tinkerbell. After Brisbane and Sydney seasons, it will be staged at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne from 21 to 30 July, 2017.

Well-known entertainer Todd McKenney will be starring as Captain Hook. Tim Maddern, Jaime Hadwen, Katrina Retallick, Robyn Loau and the role of Smee will be shared between Mark Jones and Kev Orkian.

Peter Pan

The Adventures of Peter Pan & Tinkerbell will feature glittering sets, spectacular effects, enchanting costumes and featuring fantastic song and dance numbers.

It will be sure to have lots of comedy and audience participation for the whole family from ages 3 to 103.

For further information on The Adventures of Peter Pan & Tinkerbell; click here.

Image supplied.  Photo by Robert Catto.

Disney On Ice Presents Frozen

Feld Entertainment celebrates 30 years since they first toured Australia with an ice show. The 2017 show is Disney on Ice presents Frozen. It will be staged at Hisense Arena in Melbourne from 5 to 9 July, 2017.  Extra shows added on 22 and 23 July due to audience demand.

It’s quite fitting that this year’s show is Frozen as we are currently experiencing the winter season in Australia.

Disney on Ice FrozenHosted by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disney on Ice presents Frozen transforms audiences to Arendelle where you revisited the story. At the 2014 Academy Awards, Frozen became the first film by Walt Disney Animated Studio to win Best Animated Feature and it also won Best Original Song for Let It Go.

Disney on Ice presents Frozen, audiences will experience world class ice skating and special effects while being enchanted with the characters of Anna, Elsa, the lovable snowman Olaf as well as new ones including Grand Pabbie, the Trolls and the Marshmallow.

Television personality, Shelley Craft, is the 2017 National ambassador for Disney on Ice who’s a mother of two daughters.

For further information on Disney on Ice presents Frozen, click here.

Brent Trotter

Entertainer Brett Trotter joined me for a Coffee Break to chat about his current role in Stage Art’s production of Spring Awakening, growing up in Ballarat and his career to date.

You’re currently performing in Spring Awakening which is being at Chapel off Chapel until  10 June. Are you able to tell me more about the show?
Spring Awakening is a musical that is based on a play by Franz Wedekind that was originally banned when first shown in the 19th century it’s a show that mainly focuses on the consequences of sexual repression which can be confronting at times but there is also a lot of beauty in the piece.

What role do you play and can tell me a bit about your character?
I play Moritz Steifel, Moritz is a teen who is struggling to deal with the effects that puberty is having on his body and his mind, this in turn with the pressures put on him by his father send him in a downward spiral.

Has the show bought you any challenges as an actor?
The show brings a lot of challenges for an actor, the character is somewhat on the spectrum so I must portray that with care and the same time he is consumed by sadness, having to put myself through that mindset every performance is utterly exhausting but it is one of the most rewarding roles I have ever played.

Brent02Who else is in the cast of Spring Awakening?
There is a cast of about 17 in Spring Awakening, with people ranging from all ages from as young as 17 to near 60, the whole cast is an amazing bunch and probably one of the most cohesive and caring casts I’ve ever worked with.

Brent, you have links to Ballarat, are you able to tell me more about this?
I guess you could call them links haha actually I was born and grew up in Ballarat, where I grew my passion for the theatre, my first show being the 2001 BLOC production of Oliver! Ever since that production I’ve never looked back. Ballarat has always a massive encouragement for young people in theatre, in fact many of Ballarat Theatre’s alumni are currently working all throughout the entertainment field from stage all the way to the big screen.

You worked on a Disney Cruise Line in the USA. Can you share some of your experiences?
Disney Cruise Line was my first ever professional gig. At the ripe age of 19 I was flown to Canada to rehearse for a month and then spent 10 months sailing the Carribbean I was a MainStage performer and played roles such as Peter Pan, Aladdin and even as a giant puppet of Slinky Dog in Toy Story the musical. Working for a company as massive as Disney was a tremendous experience being such a young age and I hold the memories of that contract with great fondness.

Brent01Are you able to tell me about your involvement with Alexander Productions?
When I was about 16, I was offered a scholarship and flew to Sydney to do a Junior opera workshop which was run by Alexander Productions, the workshop was amazing, getting to work with Musical Directors of the Australian Opera and many famous singers, the week culminated with a performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

What was it like travelling to China with the Melbourne Piano Trio?
In 2014, I was lucky enough to be asked to travel China on a singing tour with three other singers. China was never on my “to travel” list so I was rather surprised how much I enjoyed my time there, we saw some amazing things and performed at some stunning theatres, we even appeared on a televised concert in front of a crowd of about 15000 people it was quite surreal.

What was like to work on Ned: A New Australian Musical?
Ned was a wonderful experience, one of my biggest dreams was to originate a role in a musical and that dream came true, and to top it off in an Australian musical. In Ned I played Steve Hart who was Dan (brother of Ned) Kelly’s best friend and also a noted member of the Kelly Gang, we were even lucky enough to wear armour designed by some Ned Kelly experts but it was only about a third of the weight luckily.

While undertaking my research I discovered you’ve got some circus skills. What are these skills? 
Someone is saying I have circus skills?! Ah wait I did learn to stilt walk while I was working at Sovereign Hill, it was for a School Holdiay Program based around Magic, a terrifying experience to say the least.

Do you have any hobbies?
Hobbies, this is a weird question for me because my hobby is actually my job, Acting/singing are my hobbies I’m just lucky enough to get paid to do them on occasion.

Brent04What is your favourite food?
I love all food, really I do. but you can’t go past a good pizza.

Do you have a favourite movie?
Favourite movie is a tough one, I have a lot of films that I love and more and more are added to that list all the time, but i can tell you that if I’m feeling a bit ill, I’ll probably chuck on Back to the Future to get me through it.

What is your idea of a good holiday?
A good holiday to me is somewhere I can relax, that could be a beach, a nice hotel or even having a cold beer at a bar in a new city a holiday is pointless if you take all your stress with you to another place.

What is the last album you listened to?
Last album I listened to was John Mayer’s latest but I don’t remember being blown away.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what items would you take with you?
A whole heap of food and water haha.


Is there anything which you don’t you leave home without?
My keys because if I lock myself out it’ll cost a fortune to get back in, believe me.

What’s next for Brent Trotter?
I am doing a one night only concert performance of Ned: A New Australian Musical reprising my role of Steve Hart but apart from that, I don’t really know but that’s the beauty of it all, if I knew then it wouldn’t be fun finding out.

Brent Trotter is currently performing in Stage Art’s production of Spring Awakening which is being staged at Chapel off Chapel until 10 June. For further information about StageArt Australia, visit the website here.

Images supplied. Photos by Belinda Strodder.

Paris – A Rock Odysessy

Australia lost one of it’s great performers in Jon English in 2016. Music Theatre Melbourne is presenting a concert production of Paris – A Rock Odyssey at the Melbourne Recital Centre from 13 to 15 July, 2017.

Featuring some of Australia’s best known entertainers including John Waters, Ben Mingay, The Whitlams’ Tim Freedman, Brian Mannix, Kerrie Anne Greenland, Cameron MacDonald, Mark Dickinson, Tod Strike, John O’May with upcoming artists Matthew Manahan and Madeleine Featherby. Jon’s son Jonathan Sora-English will feature in the Paris band.


This new chapter also features Shirley Bowen, Annie Aitken, Daniel Cosgrove, Jack O’Riley, Jordan Mahar and Caitlin Quinn.

With an ensemble cast including Kinlock Anstiss, Jess Branchflower, Simon Browne, Jesika Clark, Emily Crawford, Ned Dixon, Marissa Economo, Rosabelle Elliot, Anne Gasko, Christian Gillett, Courtney Glass, Mark Horn, Aaron Hughes, Peter Jenkins, Kaori Maeda-Judge, Sophie Loughram, Morgan Phillips, Jodi Raynes, Kate Schmildi, John Tacey, Megan Tiedermann, Isabelle Valette, Julia Walker, Sam Ward, Jaycee Waters, Lachlan Whan, Casey Withoos, Lisa Woodbrook and Michael Young.

Directed by Neil Gooding and with musical direction of Issac Hayward.

Paris began life as a soundtrack in 1990 when it sold more than 50,000 copies and winning best soundtrack at the 1991 Aria Awards. It made its amateur theatre debut in Sydney during 2003 and in Melbourne the following year. Jon was working on future plans for Paris before his death, at aged 66.

Paris – A Rock Odyssey is a love story drawn from Greek mythology that sparked Trojan Wars which inspired the creation of a giant wooden horse full of warriors to infiltrate the city of Troy.

If you would like to see some of Australia’s best entertainers, attend a performance of Paris – A Rock Odyssey when it’s staged in Melbourne for a limited season.

For further information on Music Theatre Melbourne; click here.



The Songs of Alan Menken

The Songs of Alan Menken is back by popular demand for two encore shows at Southbank Theatre in Melbourne on 24 June at 3.00pm and 8.00pm.

It’s third time The Songs of Alan Menken will be performed after successful seasons at The Toff in Town and Chapel off Chapel.

The Songs of Alan MenkenProduced by Flourish Productions. Alan Menken is best known for his work in film and on Broadway.  Some of his scores for Walt Disney Animation Studios include “The Little Mermaid“, “Beauty and the Beast“, “Aladdin” and “Pocahontas“.

Other works include “Newsies“, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame“, “Hercules“, “Enchanted“, “Tangled“, “Sausage Party” and among others. His stage work includes “Little Shop of Horrors“, “Sister Act“, “Weird Romance” and “Leap of Faith“.

With more than 40 years experience Alan’s career has been given him many accomplishments including eight Academy Awards, eleven Grammy Awards and five Tony Award nominations with one win.

Featuring a three piece band with the cast has expanded to seven including Seth Drury, Josh Ellwood, Zuleika Khan, Vanessa Menjivar, Liam J. O’Byrne, Emily Paddon-Brown and Jeff van de Zandt.

If you love the music from Disney; make sure you attend a performance during this limited season of The Songs of Alan Menken.

Click here if you would like to read my Coffee Break With Belinda interview with one of the performers Vanessa Menjivar.


Harrison Craig

Australia first discovered Harrison Craig when he launched his career as the winner of The Voice in 2013. With the release of his third studio album Kings of Vegas, Harrison has embarked on a Lounge Sessions Tour. He will be performing at the Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre on 8 July, 2017.

Harrison CraigThe Kings of Vegas Lounge Sessions pays homage to Harrison’s favourite performers from Nat King Cole, The Rat Pack, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and Frankie Valli.

Featuring songs I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Route 66, The Lady Is A Tramp, Fever and he will performing new interpretations of Almost Like Being In Love, She’s A Lady, Comin’ Home and his own hits from his first two albums.

Harrison’s lifelong passion for these musicians saw him travel to Las Vegas. His unique tone and crooning style sets him apart in his genre where he lavished with a blend of strings and brass which emphases his first-hand experience.

If you love the Kings of Vegas, you’ll be sure to enjoy Harrison’s Lounge Sessions where you enjoy an intoxicating cocktail of swing, glamour, cool and the thrill of anything goes.

For future information about Harrison Craig and his tour, click here.