ABR Arts

West Side Story (Opera Australia) ★★★

Peter Tregear
10 April 2019

Some sixty-two years after its Broadway première, Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins’s musical and geographical updating of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet continues to pack a powerful dramatic punch. While not without its weaknesses, such as the reliance on now-dated street slang and ethnic stereotypes ...

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Us ★★★★

Barnaby Smith
28 March 2019

Popular culture is still resonating with the impact of Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out, one of the most extraordinary and confident directorial débuts of recent times. Get Out cut a swath through complacency and assumptions regarding race relations. The idea of wealthy, ageing white people transplanting their brains into the bodies of young black men to ...

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Update - March 26, 2019

ABR Arts
26 March 2019

In this fortnight's Update: the Sydney Writers’ Festival program launch, the $20,000 WA Fogarty Literary Award, the First Nations Fellowship for First Nations Writers announced, the KYD Mentorship Program, and more!

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Māori markings: Tā moko

David Hansen
25 March 2019

The traditional Western art museum is struggling a bit. Its former role as a repository of national values, as reified and aestheticised in paintings, sculpture, and the decorative arts, is today challenged if not assaulted on multiple fronts: ranging from economic, political, and social globalisation, to digital technology ...

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In the program note for his most recent play, Belfast playwright David Ireland claims that ‘he became a playwright after being unemployed and unemployable as an actor for three years, despite having trained as an actor for three years at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama ... 

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The plays of William Shakespeare have the dubious honour of being the most reinvented, reimagined, dressed-up, dumbed-down, and generally meddled-with works ever staged. To a less prolific extent, the same is true of the Classical canon of ancient Greece. In unskilled hands, countless injustices have been ...

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The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Season Opening Gala last night was billed as part of their curated ‘East Meets West’ experience, and featured violinist Lü Siqing, with whom the orchestra toured China in 2018. It opened with a short welcoming address from MSO Board Chairman Michael Ullmer ...

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Picaresque (Adelaide Festival) ★★★

Ben Brooker
14 March 2019

For the uninitiated, a maquette is an architectural miniature of a monument or building. Small, made from cardboard or wood, and often able to be flat-packed, travellers have long collected them as souvenirs of adventures to faraway places. Robyn Archer, doyenne of Australian cabaret ...

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How many variations does it take, how many iterations and transfigurations, before a work of mediocrity becomes a work of genius? And what about a life – at what point do the quotidian accretions of living come to represent a person’s entire existence? What does it actually mean to live an extraordinary life ...

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The Update - March 12, 2019

ABR Arts
12 March 2019

In this fortnight's Update: the Clunes Booktown Festival 2019; Cirque du Soleil is coming to Australia; Piers Greville wins the 2019 Glover Prize; The Lifted Brow & RMIT Non/Fictionlab Prize For Experimental Non-Fiction is open for entry; Opera Australia at Uluru; and some giveaways ...

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