Esther Hannaford to Play the Role of Carole King in Beautiful Musical

As groundbreaking music icon Carole King celebrates her 75th birthday, the Broadway sensation based on her remarkable rise to stardom is thrilled to announce its leading lady.
Multi-award winning musical theatre star Esther Hannaford will play the legendary singer/songwriter in Beautiful:
The Carole King Musical, which begins its Australian premiere season at Sydney Lyric Theatre in September 2017.

One of Australia’s most versatile and in-demand performers, last month Esther Hannaford collected a Sydney Theatre Award for cult musical classic Little Shop of Horrors. She garnered a Helpmann and a Green Room Award for playing quirky sidekick Penny Pingleton in Hairspray and has won plaudits for her performances as bootlegger Billie Bendix in The Production Company’s Nice Work If You Can Get, the wistful Bonnie-Mae in Nick Enright’s Miracle City, and Ann Darrow in King Kong.
Paul Blake and Mike Bosner, the original Broadway producers said: “We have been very lucky finding supremely talented leading ladies to take on the iconic role of Carole King. This role has made stars of actresses on Broadway, in London’s West End, and we’re absolutely delighted to do the same with Esther in Australia.”
Australian Producer, Michael Cassel said: “We hoped to find an actress who could capture the indomitable soul and gentle spirit of Carole King, whilst delivering some of the biggest and most iconic songs of the last century. In Esther Hannaford we’ve found our star – an accomplished performer who brings a delicate balance of warmth, humour and vulnerability to the stage which we know will strike a chord with audiences.”

Tickets are now on sale to the general public from beautifulmusical.com.au

Source: Esther Hannaford


Feminist Fashion Label, Moga, Creates Turban Made From Raw Meat

MOGA’s ‘More than Meat,’ campaign is a photo series that aims to challenge the rampant objectification of women that is occurring across digital and social media today. Referencing the iconic meat dress worn by Lady GaGa, we have taken this look and given it a ‘cultural revamp,’ by creating the first ever turban made entirely out of raw meat. With this visual, we would like to challenge the viewer to look past the obvious and see the human being that is right in front of them.

As a modest fashion label from Melbourne, Australia that designs bold and colourful scarves, we were shocked to read some of the derogatory and misogynistic comments online that were directed at the women in our advertising. We often choose not to use models, but everyday people in the majority of our photos. As such, we were disappointed to read some of the demeaning language on social media and fashion blogs that weren’t directed at our product, but instead, the girls appearances such as the their bodies, ethnicities and facial features.

This campaign aims to remind audiences that women are not just flesh and bones that can be torn apart like a piece of meat, but are real people with real emotions and how they look and what they wear is not an invitation for disrespect.

Source: Moga Fashion


Fifty Shades Darker Review: So Cringeworthy You Can't Stop Watching

Anastasia ‘Ana’ Steele knows exactly what she’s doing. For all the brouhaha about a film that supposedly exploits and glorifies ‘submissive’ women, ‘Ana’ is a compliant plaything who goes right along with Christian Grey’s sexual and emotional peccadilloes. Basically Fifty Shades Darker is a fairly bland love story with some mediocre and slightly raunchy sex scenes thrown in. All the while featuring fairly flawed characters. At the end of the original 50 Shades Of Grey, the two stars, Ana (played by Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan) end their sexually-oriented ‘thing’. (‘Relationship’ gives it too much kudos.) I think I’d fallen asleep in a hotel bed somewhere while watching it, but now, at the start of part 2, we surmise the two are definitely not on together. ‘No rules, no punishment, no secrets,’ she says after the pair re-meet at a gallery opening that happens to feature a whole lot of photographs of Ana that are ALL snapped up by Grey. So, they go for dinner after the gallery outing and instead of her allowing him to order on her behalf – as he had done in the past – she actually breaks the mould asks for a quinoa salad.

Wow, she actually has a mind of her own. Or is she just planning on losing a few kilos so she can actually fit in to some of the ‘red room’ designer dungeon sex gear? This round of new courting goes on and a quite a few of the lines leave you absolutely chuckling. Or hiding your head in your hands because they are just so cringe-worthy. Ana and Christian are actually codependent. Underneath all the crap they twist their lives into, they actually get off on each other. ‘You want a vanilla relationship,’ ‘You got off on the fact that up you hurt me’, ‘calm isn’t my forte’, ‘sex is not gonna fix this right now’ are just some of the lines really like they’ve come from a motivational relationship Instagram feed. To liven things up a bit, Ana has a new boss at the publishing house where she works, Jack, who, by the way he looks at her like, has more than book manuscripts on his mind. Anyway, as Grey eventually gets to the first of the undressing scenarios they have relatively normal, polite and totally consensual sex. Another time Ana asks Christian to ‘Kiss me’. While to most that may mean a seriously passionate and overt slobber on and around the facial lips area, Christian heads to the shins and heads upwards. Ok, so we all saw where that was going. The ‘dating’ goes on and they do have normal (at times vanilla) sex although there is some talk about ‘kinky fuckery’ but unless the time when he looked like he was about to work-bench plank her, the ‘kinky fuckery’ kind of passed me by. The fact he asked her to draw some ‘boundary lines’ on his body with a red lipstick seemed more childlike than a grown man.

But Grey isn’t quite a normal ‘man’. Showing her Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman side, Ana complains she doesn’t have a dress to wear to Christian’s family party but of course he tells her ‘it’s all been taken care of’. At this point, you can tell she’s getting sucked right back in. Again. Grey is pretty much a sad & fairly horrible excuse of a man. He may be rich but he still treats Ana as a subject. He’s an angry man who acts like a petulant child. And there’s this ownership situation, which is pathetic. ‘I don’t know whether I should worship at your feet or spank you,’ says Grey at one stage, apropos of nothing, I think my popcorn fell off my lap at this point. But as I swept it up I could definitely hear a hand palm against a bottom. To amp things up, enter an wise older girlfriend in the shape of Kim Basinger, who seems more Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction than Mrs Doubtfire. “He needs a submissive,” she warns young, gorgeous Ana. ‘If you want to make him happy, let him go,” she tells Ana. Overall, the plot is as thin as the panties Grey asks Ana to remove when they’re dining at some cool munchery . . . before he puts them in his pocket. “I’ll never be able to give you that subservience and submission,” she tells him. This was after he’d inserted a line of shiny, happy, silver balls into an orifice somewhere beneath her belly button. I did notice it made her ability to walk a tad uncomfortable. Well, sex and toys are overriding themes so the balls upped that quota and hey, we were only half way through the film by then. Grey goes on about getting off on punishing women before Ana brings a touch of the Oedipus complex into the while scenario. “Like your mother?” She says. (A bit Christian Grey background here: there’s a bit of a grey issue with a drug-addicted mum situation.)

After previous girlfriends lurking in the background and Ana’s boss, Jack, trying to make a play for her, that’s about it storyline wise. Until the marriage word happens. ‘I want to marry you,’ says Grey. ‘Why?’ says Ana. ‘Because I want to spend every second of my life with you.’ At this point the movie has turned into a potential Saturday Night Live skit. But wait. There is some drama. Suddenly Christian has to attend to business via a helicopter and due to weather circumstances the chopper goes missing. Ana is in an absolute state. Search parties are out, the entire American airforce seems to have been summonsed – well, he is an indulgent American billionaire with some kind of Trump-esque power. But then, as quick as the the click of a pair of handcuffs, he walks into the room where Ana has been waiting. ‘I was so scared. I thought I lost you forever,” she says. Personally, I think that lose may have been quite a good thing. Anyhow, they allow themselves some birthday sex, even though he has been in a near fatal chopper collision. She says ‘yes’ to marriage. And they then have great shower sex. Ana finally asks Grey to take her to his infamous ‘red room’, full of masks, various leather goods, bolts and chains and lots of oily stuff. They both obliged. And seemed to have quite a fun time all-round. Cutting to end chase, Christian hosts his birthday party while Kim ‘Glenn Close’ Basinger looks on. ‘I asked her to marry me and she said yes,’ says Grey to a room full of cocktail-dressed onlookers. A few drinks were thrown into faces after that pronouncement and fully expecting a Rhonda Rousey v Holly Holm inspired fight, Kim Basinger turns on her Loubitons and quickly departs the room. So, some disgruntled ex-girlfriends, the even more disgruntled former boss of Ana’s, a Grey wedding, more sexual exploits and hello, sequel three will be coming to a cinema next year.

*50 Shades Darker opens in cinemas today


Katy Perry's New Single Unveiled With Inspired Marketing

Katy Perry fans all over the world are listening to a 60 second preview of her new single, ‘Chained To The Rhythm’, via 25 large disco balls placed in strategic locations across the globe. These disco balls have been fitted with an ipod and headphone jack, allowing fans and passers by to have the very first listen to this eagerly awaited new single.

Katy Perry fans have been whipped into a frenzy by the superstar’s social media teasers over the last few days, including a massive billboard in the heart of LA, news of her live performance on the Grammys, and the now very imminent arrival of the brand new single, ‘Chained To The Rhythm’.

Sydney’s #CHAINED TO THE RHYTHM disco ball has landed smack bang in the heart of Circular Quay, out the front of the UGG store, near the Opera Bar – click here for map and directions. Since 5.30am this morning, fans have been making their way to this significant location with their headphones to hear the first taste of the disco opus, ‘Chained To The Rhythm’. They are encouraged to take the opportunity to visit the Sydney disco ball right across the day – it will be in place until 6pm this evening.


How Browsing Cheap Fashion Sites Led to a Downhill Spiral

ONLINE shopping is the norm for many of us, but if you don’t watch out it can easily become an addiction.

We can all buy something at midnight and if you are lucky it can be at your door, sometimes within less than 24 hours.

The problem is that customers (hello, me!) are at risk of filling their wardrobes full of “stuff”. It’s kind of like going into a fast food chain and piling your tray with food and leaving most of it uneaten.

I have never been a big shopper, having always preferred quality over quantity but when an ad for a cheapie fashion website popped up on my screen, I went through the choices available and baam! I became fluent in fast fashionese.

For $120 I had nine (yes NINE!) pieces of clothing winging their way to me. It wasn’t ball gown/cocktail party stuff — in fact, once delivered, four were just plain wrong in every way.

And you know what, I actually felt guilty about the waste. These four horrible ‘things’ sat there and were quickly dumped into the closest St Vinnie’s bin.

I had spent my money on crapola clothes that could have bought me one extra special, better quality, ethically-made, something or other.

But at that particular time (and I admit, a further two times after that) I was like a dopamine-fuelled addict. Why stop at one.

It really got me thinking. I wondered why I had done it and it boiled down to one, simple thing. The price of so much fashion is just ultra prohibitive.

I recently bought an Aussie dress that was originally $500 and was on a sale rack for $250. Not outrageously expensive in the greater scheme of ‘designer’ fashion, but hey, when there’s a mortgage, bills, going out and school fees et al, well, you know the drill.

Sure, it was just a crinkly cotton, floaty kind of situation but after just a few wears it is already looking like a rag. And someone was ‘meant’ to spend 500 bucks on it? That’s just ludicrous. And it isn’t even an established brand.

Of late, two longstanding Aussie designer names went into voluntary administration with 52 stand alone stores, 11 outlets and 140 concession stories between Marcs and David Lawrence.

Just yesterday — and while not Aussie brands but with a huge retail presence of 29 stores here — the underperforming Rhodes & Beckett and Herringbone have said hundreds of jobs are going to go. It’s this middle market of fashion that is doing it very tough.

Overall, Aussie designers are a really good bunch. They have their own signature style but competing on global and online stages is getting harder when all these fast turnaround cheapies are being churned out moments after a new ‘trend’ has hit the runway.

And then there are the likes of fashion commentator like me, sitting on the lounge, ipad in hand and credit card in the other.

While I have stopped (yes, I cut it off before it became full-blown) it did make me take extra note of what is really out there. Away from the ease of online.

Names like Zimmermann, Tome, Camilla, Toni Matecevski, Dion Lee, Strateas Carlucci, Camilla & Marc, by Johnny, Carla Zampatti, Rachel Gilbert, Alex Perry, Leona Edmiston, Romance was Born and Martin Grant (who has been based for many years in Paris) are still flying an Aussie fashion flag.

Having spoken to most of them in the past few months, they are all happy the way their businesses are going. But they are putting in the hard yards to get there.

And pricing is still an issue when they are competing with the online cheapies and the fast fashion chains.

What I have learnt through my digression is that quality wins over quantity every time and doesn’t take up as much room.

Source: Online Shopping

This article was originally posted on news.com.au