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Entertainment

11 July, 2021

Financial year usually means bugger all for performers

BY Joel Bow WELL, it’s a new financial year but for artists and performers that usually means bugger all. We’re about the good times, bright lights and the fun and frivolity of being on stage. We do appreciate you buying tickets to gigs and shows, and if you have some spare sheckles, there is plenty of good gear to see and experience in town these days.


BY Joel Bow 

WELL, it’s a new financial year but for artists and performers that usually means bugger all. We’re about the good times, bright lights and the fun and frivolity of being on stage. We do appreciate you buying tickets to gigs and shows, and if you have some spare sheckles, there is plenty of good gear to see and experience in town these days.

 Locally we have amazing show folk on and off stage. There are some educators and creatives in Macktown that do not always get the applause they deserve. I guess it’s due to their desire for their students to take the glory. Natalie Porter is one of those excellent humans. The legend grew up dancing in this town on our beautiful MECC stage and is constantly giving her time, energy and creativity to her adoring students.

 Recently, Porter was seen on stage with Red Giraffe Theatre in A Chorus Line, and it was a blast to dance alongside the leggy technician. Yeah, it was rad. Mostly ’cause it was fun, but I was shark eyeing Nat the whole finale so I could remember Erin Brookhouse’s divine choreography. It had been a while since I had kicked a leg and my memory is kinda bonkers.

 Mercy/St. Pats recently produced Fame the Musical with director Tania Attard and if you missed it, you seriously missed a great bloody show. Nat choreographed that excellent show and what I found truly awesome was Nat’s ability to choreograph dancers of all ages, styles and abilities and make them feel like stars. The show was neat as a pin, another sign of a fierce choreographer. High-Five, Porter, you are doing great and I am a fan.

This sentence is not supposed to mention The Base Coats, Crossroad Arts, Folks Like Us or the fact that Heading North a workshop performance opens tonight at the MECC. Musical Director Janice Whelan is the excellent human behind the local and fabulous choir, Tutti Vocal Ensemble. They have a show coming up that I am extremely excited about at the CON called Swing & Song. The choir will perform some of their most loved songs that they have performed over the years. From jazz, pop, contemporary and classical music to music theatre. Jan Whelan: “Accompanying is one of my genuinely great pleasures be it choirs or soloists but working with the incredibly talented ladies of TUTTI is really very special.

 I am immensely proud to be music director of this group, although I am always happy to have input from everyone.” Jan has been accompanying in Mackay for many years, and I had the pleasure of having Jan play for me growing up. And then as a real-life adult it was amazing to work with Jan on Songs for a New

World that I directed and co-produced for my company Red Giraffe Theatre. Whether it is working with Mackay Choral Society on Icons of Stage & Screen concert, Mackay Musical Comedy Players most recently accompanying Mamma Mia or school choirs and music ministry, Jan is the ultimate professional and leading figure in music in our beautiful town. Pieta Farrell of PiettaGoGetter is the producing powerhouse that is the darling of the Melbourne Comedy Festival winning the top employee award and is the manager for the cabaret star Reuben Kaye. 

 Pieta produced Betty Grumble’s smash hit tour and has worked alongside the country’s top comedians and cabaret acts touring London and Edinburgh. A dancer by trade who had a varied performing career in contemporary dance, go-go, burlesque and cabaret especially in The Adventured of Gypsy and

  Rag (with yours truly) that we wrote, produced and performed in sold out venues across the country, winning the Short and Sweet Cabaret audience favourite award. There are rumblings in the streets that PietaGoGetter will be bringing a fabulous show with    a cavalcade of stars to the 2022 Mackay Festival of Arts. Yeah, I’m that guy, that will be first in line to buy tickets. About Joel Bow: Joel thinks it is reasonable to push a cat in a pram, so long as the cat is agreeable.


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