Sydney Theatre Company's 'The Present': cast announced for Broadway season

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh will be joined by the entire original cast of The Present when Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Andrew Upton’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play opens on Broadway. Full casting was announced overnight in the US as tickets go on sale for the limited season, commencing previews at the Barrymore Theatre on 17 December 2016, opening on 8 January and closing on 19 March 2017.

John Crowley’s acclaimed production features Anna Bamford (Maria), Cate Blanchett (Anna), Andrew Buchanan (Osip), David Downer (Yegor), Eamon Farren (Kirill), Martin Jacobs (Alexei), Brandon McClelland (Dimitri), Jacqueline McKenzie (Sophia), Marshall Napier (Ivan), Susan Prior (Sasha), Richard Roxburgh (Platonov), Chris Ryan (Sergei) and Toby Schmitz (Nikolai).

Set and costume design is by Alice Babidge, with lighting design by Nick Schlieper. Stefan Gregory is composer & sound designer for The Present, which had its premiere season at Roslyn Packer Theatre in 2015, seen by almost 45,000 people.

Variously known as Platonov, Wild Honey, Fatherlessness and The Disinherited, Anton Chekhov’s first play was not discovered until 1920, some 16 years after the playwright’s death. Andrew Upton’s adaptation is set post-Perestroika in the mid-1990s at an old country house where friends gather to celebrate the birthday of the independent but compromised widow Anna Petrovna. At the centre is the acerbic and witty Platonov with his wife, his former students and friends and their partners. They may appear comfortable, but boiling away inside is a mess of unfinished, unresolved relationships, fueled by twenty years of denial, regret and thwarted desire.

The Present is produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson and Sydney Theatre Company.

Welcome to the RAYMOND WEIL world of music! (Oh, and watches...)

RAYMOND WEIL is proud to announce its partnership with music industry leader Universal Music Group. With this new collaboration, the Swiss watchmaker again pays tribute to its dear source of inspiration and further emphasizes its wish to support and promote music of all kinds.

RAYMOND WEIL goes much further and offers to everyone the opportunity to dive into its musical universe thanks to an extraordinary partnership with Universal Music, the world’s leading music company and home to the most iconic artists and influential labels & brands in music. This unique collaboration consists of a bespoke digital music service specifically developed by Universal Music for the Swiss watchmaker. The launch of this partnership will be accompanied by a worldwide advertising campaign and cross-promotional activities.

“We are thrilled to partner with Universal Music, the world’s leading music company, and to associate our Brand’s name to such an iconic actor of the industry. RAYMOND WEIL has always been strongly committed to promote music of all kinds. With this exclusive entertainment service, we offer our clients access to the best music artists and an undisputable added-value”

Samsung introduces the ultimate TV experience to Australia

Samsung Electronics Australia has announced the local pricing and availability for its 2016 home entertainment product line-up, featuring the next generation of Quantum dot display TVs, and the first ever Ultra HD Blu-ray player available in the Australian market.

Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs offer incredible picture quality with Quantum dot display technology, and a simplified smart TV experience, making it easy for Australians to access their broadcast and online streaming entertainment services. The range also features a stunning 360-degree design, including a metallic stand, and a profile that has been engineered for a premium look from every angle.

“The new range of SUHD TVs represent the pinnacle of what television should deliver Australians, while making the experience easy, whatever your home entertainment habits are,” said Carl Rose – Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung Electronics Australia. “The way Australians experience home television has evolved dramatically in terms of viewing habits and access to on-demand or streaming services. With the arrival of technologies like HDR, and access to 4K Blu-ray discs, this launch comes at an important time for the industry.”

“Our goal is to create the ultimate television experience for Australians, bringing together multiple content sources in one seamless, easy-to-use interface, while delivering an amazing picture with our Quantum dot display technology,” Rose added.

Quantum dot display: Ultimate picture quality

Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs feature a cadmium-free, 10-bit Quantum dot display, offering true-to-life picture quality, stunning brightness, exceptional contrast and the most lifelike colours ever offered by Samsung.

With 71 per cent of Australian households featuring an open-plan living room layout1, the new SUHD TV range is suited to a wide range of home settings – whether the TV is set in the centre of a room, next to windows featuring bright sun during daylight hours, or mounted on a wall.

360 design: Beautiful from any angle

Four years after introducing its first curved TVs to the world, Samsung is launching a range that pushes design to new heights. More than ever before, TVs are the focal point of the lounge room, so Samsung has worked to create a range of SUHD TV panels that look stunning at all times.

Single Remote and Smart Hub deliver the ultimate easy-to-use experience

Operating on the Tizen operating system (OS), Samsung’s 2016 Smart Hub simplifies and streamlines navigation of content, making movement between content sources easy.

Whether operating in-TV apps, streaming services, compatible external players or games, or more traditional TV sources, the digital interface and new SUHD TV remote are designed to make using the TV uncomplicated. In addition, a customisable interface will enable Australians to create their own Smart Hub layout so they can prioritise and manage their favourite content.

Australia’s first Ultra HD Blu-ray player

Samsung has also unveiled its first Ultra HD Blu-ray Player, the UBD-K8500, which is HDR compatible and offers up to four times the resolution and 64 times the detailed colour expression of a conventional Samsung Blu-ray player. It features a sleek, curved front design, and is available now for purchase.

Enhanced audio with Samsung soundbars

Accompanying Samsung’s TV range is a selection of audio solutions that bring style and cinematic sound into Australian homes. The range features both curved and traditional soundbars, immaculately designed to complement the full breadth of Samsung’s TV range.

Thanks to its side-firing speakers, the sweeping arc of Samsung’s flagship Series 8 Curved Soundbar offers a rich, immersive audio experience with its 9.1 channel sound. With each speaker boasting a dedicated amplifier, the Series 8 was engineered and tuned by the Samsung Audio Lab to provide perfectly balanced sound from one end of the bar to the other.

The good, the bad and WTF? Logies fashion moments

TRYING to explain Lee Lin Chin’s brilliantly crazy rope braces, baggy pants, red shoes and kooky bow tie is as hard as trying to sum up what the Logies are actually all about.

Lee Lin upstaged the entire Logies guest list simply because she didn’t conform to the usual spray-tanned, tong-haired and super eye-lashed set. And how refreshing is that?

This is the Festival of the TV Frock after all and the gathered A to Z list embraced all the trends we’ve been seeing on red carpets all over the world.

Thank the style lords for Carrie Bickmore, Pia Miller, Leila Mackinnon, Jessica Marais, Rebecca Gibney, Lisa Wilkinson, Essie Davis, Danielle Cormack and Edwina Bartholomew who all NAILED their looks.

The trend that was truly tried and tested was the all-lace vibe. Especially the lace frocks that moved into sheerness around the breast and upper leg departments.

Trains too featured, big time, but some just looked, well, a bit old-fashioned. Oddly, that incredibly 40s Hollywood, old-school-glamour feel (one we usually celebrate) didn’t quite cut it this year with a more modern vibe capturing the fashion Zeitgeist.

In the past few years we’ve seen SOOO many dresses with sheer panels, it’s kind of worn out its lacy welcome.


*The full-length, long-sleeved dress as worn by Jessica Marais; Jesinta Campbell in Camilla & Marc and Carrie Bickmore in Paolo Sebastian

*The choker necklace or high-necked dress was big news, with Olympia Valance leading the lace charge and morning chicks Eddie Bartholomew (wearing Homage) and Sylvia Jeffreys (in Carla Zampatti), rocking higher necklines.

*Deep red/black lips worn by Shelley Craft

*Lace, lace was everywhere: We could have been watching a bridesmaid convention

*Shades of red, burgundy and wine were hot hues

*What was it with Gamble Breaux’s bejewelled leg? The Real Housewives star leg was festooned with jewels and chains and I kind of loved it.

*Cut-outs: again with Pia Miller showing the best example.

*The cool and sexy androgynous vibe from Rebecca Gibney and Kitty Flanagan

*Big, billowing ball gowns took up half the red carpet as worn by Rebecca Judd (pregnant with twins and channelling Elsa from Frozen) and Lauren Phillips, with a train nearly as long as the media.

*Short(er) skirt lengths were worn by Jennifer Hawkins, the brilliantly funny Julia Morris and Catriona Rowntree

*Hair that worked was tousled, loose and that just out of bed look, brilliantly executed by the gilt-edged-Sonia Kruger and a feathered Dannii Minogue while the sleek back look was brilliant on Amanda Keller and Natarsha Belling

*Big. Floral. Prints. Made a big red carpet appearance from Jessica Rowe and Marta Dusseldorp

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Fitbit and fashion label TEN PIECES collaborate on a fashion film

Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness market have partnered with Sydney fashion label TEN PIECES to release a fashion film at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia in May. The film which will launch the 10/31-10/40 + purl harbour x ten pieces  collection will feature Fitbit’s two new releases Fitbit Alta and Fitbit Blaze which come with a range of stylish interchangeable bands in multiple fashion colours and premium materials. Both the new trackers feature advanced health and fitness features that make tracking movement effortless and deliver positive motivation to keep you moving.

As part of the global launch, Fitbit shipped more than one million Fitbit Blazedevices in its first month of availability, exceeding internal Fitbit sales forecasts. Fitbit also announced that more than one million Fitbit Alta devices shipped since U.S. retail availability began on March 9. Fitbit Blaze is also the #1 bestselling device in both the smart watch and heart monitor categories on Amazon.

“Fitness and fashion have come together as never before” said Jaime Hardley, Senior Director of Marketing, Fitbit Asia Pacific. “The TEN PIECES show was the highlight of MBFWA last year and we are excited to partner with them in May to showcase our newest trackers Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Alta”.

“TEN PIECES’ approach of bringing a lifestyle aesthetic to the runway combined with Fitbit’s mission to fit fitness into your daily life will produce an authentic, integrated collaboration with a strong mutual vision. Fitbit Alta and Fitbit Blaze combine fashion with function, allowing the wearer to fit fitness seamlessly into their lives while staying true to their own personal style.”

TEN PIECES co-founders Lucy Hinkfuss and Maurice Terzini said  “The inspiration for TEN PIECES is to create a unisex uniform for people who are always on the move and need clothes that are versatile, functional and modern. The collaboration with Fitbit is a natural fit with a shared vision to help people move effortlessly from day to night with a look that reflects their personal style and motivates them to stay fit and healthy”.

The partnership with TEN PIECES follows the recent collaboration between Fitbit Alta and fashion house Public School at New York Fashion Week. Public School’s co-founders Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne designed a capsule collection of Fitbit Alta wristband accessories in their signature edgy streetwear style. The first of the design concepts was featured in the Public School A/W 2016 women’s collection runway show in February.