Original Phantom can’t fail

Former Phantom of the Opera star Donald Cant is coming to Frankston for two shows next month.

David was an original cast member of the very successful Australian production of Phantom, filling four lead roles during his seven years with the production, including 500 highly acclaimed performances in the title role.  He has also starred in the musical The Fantasticks and the Broadway production of Kiss Me Kate as well as travelling the world and singing in many concert venues. His career encompasses music theatre, concerts, cabaret, opera, Lieder and recording, and he has sung for the Queen, Prince Charles and the Pope,

Now David returns to Australia with a new show filled with new songs and old favourites.  He performs at the Frankston Arts Centre on Friday, March 3, at 10.30am and 1.30pm.  Tickets are $18 (members/groups of 10 or more) and $20 (full) and include pre-show light refreshments.  Lunch at noon is available for an additional $22.  Book at thefac.com.au or phone 9784 1060.


A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston
T: 9768 1362
W: thefac.com.au

Emerging talent

Forty up-and-coming designers and makers will showcase their wares at the Emerge Home and Gift Fair next month.

As well as stunning homewares and gifts, candles, artwork and illustrations, stationery, jewellery, clothing and fashion accessories, the fair will feature live music, food trucks, a coffee van, and free caricatures by cartoonist Greg Vercoe.

It’s open to trade only from 9am-1pm and to the public from 2-8pm on Friday, March 17, at Mornington’s Peninsula Community Theatre.

Retailers wishing to attend the trade morning must pre-register at www.emergefair.com.au; the first 100 to do so go into the draw to win a $500 product prize pack.


A: Peninsula Community Theatre, cnr Nepean Highway and Wilsons Rd, Mornington
W www.emergefair.com.au

FB: www.facebook.com/emergefair

Instagram: @emergehomeandgiftfair

‘Van Morrison's Masterpieces’ comes to town by Andrea Kellett

A touch of Van Morrison is coming to the Frankston Arts Centre.

On March 9, for one show only, Australian jazz legend Vince Jones and The Astral Orchestra will pay homage to the rock music icon with an interpretation of two of his albums ‘Astral Weeks’ and ‘Moondance’. It’s called ‘Van Morrison's Masterpieces’.

It’s a chance to return to a golden era - a time when The Beatles stopped touring and progressed to psychedelic rock; Dylan left folk and went electric; and Van Morrison hired New York’s finest jazz musicians and recorded ‘Astral Weeks’ and ‘Moondance’.

They were classic albums that inspired musicians and singers around the world, including Vince Jones.  “I grew up listening to those albums as a teenager,” he explains during an interview with Frankly Frankston. “Astral was one of the first albums I ever bought.”

This much-loved entertainer, who is widely considered Australia’s leading jazz vocalist,

says ‘Van Morrison's Masterpieces’ is something he’s always wanted to do. Jones, by the way, is from the NSW south coast and has a strong following on the Mornington Peninsula, where he performs at least once a year. “Astral Weeks and ‘Moondance’ were iconic records for my generation, and important records, and that’s why I was drawn to this project,” he says.

The Astral Orchestra, led by music director Matt McMahon, is an ensemble of some of Australia’s finest jazz/rock musicians and ‘Van Morrison's Masterpieces’ performed to sold–out concerts at the 2016 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

Jones describes the production as a respectful interpretation of the original albums and “a full earful of music” for the audience.

‘Van Morrison's Masterpieces’ is at the Frankston Arts Centre on Thursday, March 9, 8pm. Tickets: artscentre.frankston.vic.gov.au


Name proves just write

It was Lisa Taylor’s children who came up with the pen name.

“We were sitting round having Sunday dinner and I kind of thought I needed to be somebody else because while I was writing I felt like somebody else,” the Mount Eliza author says.  “So I said ‘I need an author name’. I wanted the first name to be non-gender specific, so my daughter came up with Frankie – I don’t know where she got it from – and I thought ‘Well, that kind of works’ because my blogging style is I like to be frank and honest and just tell it like it is. Then my son’s best friend’s surname is Banks and he said ‘Oh, it needs to be Banks, and it also means you’ll get all the money, Mum’.”  She laughs.  “I said ‘Well, let’s hope so’.”
And so Frankie Banks was born.

Since she began writing professionally two and a half years ago, Lisa has self-published one book as Frankie Banks (Sharks & Lovers), completed the sequel and started work on the third.  Initially she made it available as a download on her website, then had it printed on the advice of a friend. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its risqué content, she had a “semi-launch” at Sexpo in Melbourne.

“I started writing it as a memoir following me as a 20-year-old; basically it’s about relationships and who holds the power.”

It’s set in Southend-on-Sea, in England, where Lisa grew up before coming to Australia nearly four years ago; the second book follows two of the characters to Australia and is set mainly in Brighton and Kakadu.  She spent probably a year editing the first book and getting feedback from a friend in Byron Bay “who doesn’t beat around the bush” as well as members of the Mornington writers’ group to which she belongs.

“Getting honest critiques that are helpful is really difficult because people don’t want to offend you, and when you’re just starting out people don’t want to send you in the wrong direction. But I had a lot of encouragement and helpful feedback from the group.”

Lisa is also a member of a writers’ group that meets at Mount Eliza Neighbourhood House, which is where she is hosting a series of six writers’ workshops each Tuesday, 10am-noon, from February 21.  The sessions cost $35 each ($175 for all six) and cover everything from the first sentence to printing and publishing.  Bookings:  9787 8160 or mountelizanh.com.au
Sharks & Lovers can be downloaded at frankiebanks.com

Vibrant, vivacious Ventana

Ventana Fiesta is Frankston’s annual festival celebrating Latin American, Portuguese and Spanish cultures.

Ventana has something for one and all – bilingual story times for the little ones; street art workshops for the youngsters; a cooking workshop for seniors; and concerts, exhibitions, movies and murga workshops for everybody.

And if this wasn’t enough, there’s the Ventana Street Fiesta, a vibrant and lively street festival with an authentic South American murga carnival, ethnic street food, traditional craft stalls, children’s activities, live music and dance.  It’s in Wells St from noon-8pm on Saturday, March 11, and it’s free.

To get a taste of Ventana, attend the free official opening of the festival at Cube 37 on Friday, February 24, at 7pm. The evening will include a tour of the exhibitions that mark the journey of the vihuela (the guitar’s predecessor) and entertainment by Murga Madre, who will be featured in the Street Fiesta carnival parade.  RSVP to 9784 1060, and visit www.ventanafrankston.com.au for more details on all the events happening during this month-long festival.


A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston
T: 9784 1060
W: ventanafrankston.com.au

Designs to excite and entice

More than 45 exquisite designer brands will be on show at the Melbourne Collective Design Market in Mornington next month.

This alternative boutique design market dares to be different by creating a space that is unique and attractive for the designers and makers to showcase their beautiful products – home, fashion, babies and kids, lifestyle and health, and art and illustration - along with gourmet food, cool tunes and kids’ activities. 

The market is on Sunday, January 8, from 10am-3pm at Peninsula Community Theatre, 91 Wilsons Rd, Mornington and will be followed at 5pm by a two-hour styling workshop with the very talented Julia Green, from Greenhouse Interiors.  The workshop costs $199.50 and includes the opportunity to meet Julia and ask her any styling questions you have. Tickets at www.themelbournecollective.net

Wicked comes to the Frankston stage

Wicked, the magical prelude to The Wizard of Oz that introduces all the characters of Oz, will be triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects, breathtaking sets and costumes and unforgettable songs.

PLOS is thrilled to welcome back to the company Nadia Gianinotti as the green-skinned character Elphaba.  Nadia played the title role in Mary Poppins last year and was Morticia during PLOS’s season of The Addams Family.

All-round nice character Galinda, who during the story becomes Glinda the good witch, will float on to the stage and is played by company newcomer Britni Leslie, who brings a wealth of previous stage experience to the role.

Wicked has something for the whole family, and PLOS is once again putting its technical team to the test to create many magical ways to stage this timeless tale.  The result will be truly magical.
Join PLOS for the limited season of Wicked, which opens on New Year’s Eve at Frankston Arts Centre. Tickets are available for all shows but they are selling quickly, and this is one production you don’t want to miss.

Blues legends in session

The fifth instalment of the Mornington Peninsula Blues Sessions continues the tradition of bringing you a totally unique, world-class Australian blues experience on the Peninsula.

The Big Summer Showcase on Saturday, February 4, will feature Oz rock/blues legend Mike Rudd, blues masters Geoff Achison and Lloyd Spiegel, and Sydney singer/songwriter/soul diva Cass Eager.  These premier artists will perform solo and in various combinations, both acoustically and electrically, in the intimate theatre setting of the Peninsula Community Theatre in Mornington.  Young guns Ben Wicks on bass and Cameron Smith on drums will be the featured rhythm section and the special guest MC for the night will be the one and only Elliot Goblet.

Food will be available for purchase on the night, as will local wine and craft beer courtesy of Red Hill Brewery. Tickets are selling fast and are available now at morningtonpeninsulabluessessions.com.  Doors open at 6pm, with music from 7-11pm.

The Mornington Peninsula Blues Sessions are not to be missed.

A: Peninsula Community Theatre, cnr Nepean Highway/Wilsons Rd, Mornington
W: morningtonpeninsulabluessessions.com 

Musicians unite aZz one

World music fans will be able to enjoy an international band in an intimate cabaret setting when Frankston Arts Centre presents aZzband at its Black Box theatrette at Cube 37.

Uniting musicians from Italy, Venezuela, Spain, Australia and Germany, aZzband interprets and mixes the music of the world, from jazz to tarantella, tango to fanfare, Uruguayan candombe to Argentine Murga. The ensemble uses the improvisation of jazz, attempting nonetheless to stimulate the emotions and imaginations of any type of audience, including one not entirely formed of music connoisseurs.  That's why this is not a classic jazz band but an “azz” band, the missing “j” revealing an added quality, one that allows greater freedom of execution, and avoids the group “anchoring” itself to any particular musical genre.

The performance on Wednesday, January 25 at 8pm will be preceded at 6pm by a one-hour world percussion workshop by aZzBand’s Yonder Rodriguez.  Percussion instruments from around the globe will be on show and some instruments will be provided, but you’re encouraged to bring your own if possible.  The workshop costs $20, or $15 with an aZzband ticket ($25 for members/concession, $30 for adults).

The concert is supported by the Consulate-General of Spain in Melbourne.  Book at thefac.com.au or phone 9784 1060

A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston
T: 9768 1362
W: thefac.com.au

An evening of light entertainment

Frankston is again preparing to light up for the annual Frankston Christmas Festival of Lights.

Each year thousands of families gather on Davey St for a night of free entertainment and children’s activities before the 100-year-old Norfolk pine tree is lit up at 9.30pm ahead of a spectacular fireworks display.

This is the festival’s 19th year, and the funs starts early with the arrival of Santa and his Elves to open the festival at 5pm.  Children will be able to give Santa their last-minute Christmas wish-lists, meet Santa’s deer, and enjoy some hands-on arts and craft at the North Pole Children’s Activity Centre.

Sid, from Ice Age, will be here to meet and greet all his fans, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom is on at the Frankston Arts Centre, and the Frankston Library will be open until 8pm, with Christmas story time at 4.30pm as well as a craft activity, face painting and live music in the library forecourt. 

The Entertainment Stage, with hosts Livinia Nixon and Brodie Harper, will feature performances by Adam Ladell (The Voice), the Frankston Ladies Choir and headline act Michael Paynter.

Rudolph’s Market Place is the perfect place for you to start – or continue - your Christmas shopping, and you can experience the taste of Christmas at Gingerbread Lane for Festival Dining.

For more information, go to facebook.com/FrankstonChristmasFestivalofLights/

A: 30 Davey St, Frankston
T: 1300 322 322
W: frankston.vic.gov.au
Facebook: Frankston’s Christmas Festival of Lights
Instagram: Frankston Events

Rosebud’s rock’n’roll revival

With Rosebud’s long history as a great place to enjoy summer beach holidays, what better place to revive the fun-filled ‘50s and ‘60s lifestyle?

This new festival, Foreshore RockFest, will run over three days - November 25-27 - and will involve a series of different music, dance, movie, car and vintage shopping events.

Fun starts on Friday evening with a Beach Party in the Rosebud Scout Hall, plus the Mark Andrews Legends Show at GPO Hotel from 7pm.  Mark is a renowned Elvis impersonator and his show will focus on Elvis, Austen Powers, Tom Jones and others.  

On Saturday morning the town centre will rock with hot rod and ‘chrome bumper’ cars on show, ‘50s performers and dancers along the footpath.  From noon outside Vinnies shop, Rosebud resident and professional impersonator Wayne Crawford will delight shoppers with his faithful recreation of the King’s velvet voice.

There is also a ‘50s and ‘60s market running at Rosebud Primary School on both Saturday and Sunday.  The market will include clothing, food, DJs, live bands and dance demonstrations, with a gold coin entry. The vintage shops in town will pump with music, fashion, bargains while the cinema will feature a classic Audrey Hepburn movie.  

Saturday evening will provide fans of the ‘50s and ‘60s with multiple dance venues hosting live bands, including the Lincolns, Fender Benders and Honey B and the Stingers, along with a special Elvis double feature at the Dromana 3 Drive In.

Sunday will see a pre-1970s hot rod and classic car show on the Village Green, featuring hundreds of cars and vintage caravans, with live music. For the fashionistas from the era, a vintage clothing and ‘pin up’ contest will also be held in the Memorial Hall next to the car show. All events will culminate at 3pm.

Tickets are essential for many events, and they’re selling quickly online.  For tickets and full details, visit www.foreshorerockfest.com.au, and check out Facebook Foreshore Rockfest.

Mornington Peninsula Magazine is a proud sponsor of Foreshore RockFest.

Big prizes for short films

 The audience gets comfortable at the 2016 Peninsula Short Film Fest. Picture by Yanni.

The audience gets comfortable at the 2016 Peninsula Short Film Fest. Picture by Yanni.

Enter the Peninsula Short Film Fest and you could share $30,000 in cash and prizes.
Twenty shortlisted films will be judged on Saturday, February 4, by industry professionals, with the winner taking out $5000 in cash, second place $2500 and third place $1250.  The winner has an opportunity to fast-track their career by meeting industry giant Madman to discuss distribution and production avenues.

There are plenty more cool prizes for Best Animation, Best Documentary, Best International and the Woodleigh School Emerging Filmmaker Award (open to any Australian student under 18).  There are also awards for Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Cinematography. Entries are open until Friday, December 9.  Films must be no more than eight minutes long.

Festival director Steve Bastoni said the festival offered an amazing opportunity for filmmakers to have their film seen by the most influential film practitioners in the business. “This is a great chance to rub shoulders and network with industry professionals,” he said.  “Filmmakers receive feedback from the best in the business.  Our judging panel has included Screen Australia board member and Australian director Rob Connolly, John Molloy (Mushroom Pictures), Andrew Mason (Hopscotch) and we’re very lucky to have renowned Australian director Fred Schepisi as PSFF patron.”

Enter at filmfreeway.com/festival/PeninsulaShortFilmFest or head to peninsulashortfilmfest.com.au for details.
The Peninsula Short Film Fest is at the Village Green, Rosebud, Free entry; no BYO.

Meanwhile, the festival will screen You’re It, a short film written and directed by Steve for RU OK Day and Mental Health Australia.  You’re It, which is being shot this month, will focus on the role of technology in our children’s lives and the all-encompassing effect it has on us at work and play.

“With a wealth of local talent on the Peninsula, from actors to producers, directors and cinematographers, and such diverse locations, the Peninsula is the perfect location for films,” Steve said.  You’re It will showcase talent from the Peninsula School of Acting.


Festival set to rock by Eline Cox

Happy vibes, tasty food, cold beers and a lot of good music - we can't wish for anything more during summer.

On Saturday, February 4, the heart of Mount Eliza Village is where you can find all of this during the Mt Eliza Music Festival. The event takes place throughout the whole village, across cafes and restaurants, including more than 12 venues, three outdoor stages and eight busking locations, where more than 70 musical acts will perform.

Expect bands, soloists, DJs, as well as family entertainment, buskers and much more – day and night. The first line-up announcement tells us we can expect artists as Reuben Stone, John Cashman and the amazing duo Romey and Joe, better known as Barely Standing. They grew up in Lennox Head, jamming around a fire in a friend’s backyard.

Both guys moved down and met each other again in Melbourne. “After constantly jamming in backyards, we were such good friends, finishing each other’s sentences and decided to give it a go at an open mic night,” says Joe.  “Following the success of that we continued working on our performance and started writing our own songs.”

Now they are looking forward to performing at the Mt Eliza Music Festival, just like they did last year.   “We occasionally come down to the Peninsula to surf,” Romey says.  “It’s the closest place where we feel at home. It’s a perfect escape to enjoy some peace and quiet from the city life.  But we can’t wait to go down again to play some music. We have been writing a whole lot of new material, which we will unleash at the festival. We also have a couple of friends joining us on stage this year for the first time, which we are very excited about. This is certainly one festival we will be working towards over the next few months, with a few surprises in store and a bunch of new tracks to perform. See you there.”

Hacksaw Ridge Showing at Hoyts, Wells St, Frankston

Hacksaw Ridge is a film about conflict and after a very public fall from grace, directing his first film in a decade, the subject is clearly something Mel Gibson has an understanding of.

Family, faith, politics are all under the microscope in the true story of World War II Army medic Desmond T. Doss, the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. While it does tend to play to genre conventions for much of the first act, when the film arrives at the titular battleground, atop a 100-foot cliff on the Japanese island of Okinawa, the sheer relentlessness of war is presented in a gripping manner.

An unarmed man trying to survive while getting fellow troops to safety.  Through poignant moments of ambiguity, Gibson’s signature style never strays too far from the realistic depiction of war-as-hell, making Hacksaw Ridge a solid return to the big screen. 

SCOTT JACKSON Three and a half (3.5) stars

We have 3 double passes to give away courtesy of Hoyts Frankston.
Go to www.franklyfrankston.com.au and become a member to be in this draw and every draw we have! 

Last month’s winners were Caitrin O'Rourke, Natalie Kaye and Adrian Wieckowski.

Just the ticket for Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, so surprise your loved ones with a voucher from Frankston Arts Centre.

Let them choose from tickets to thought-provoking plays, magical musicals, incredible concerts, mind-blowing circus acts, captivating contemporary dances or laugh-out-loud comedies.  They could also purchase unique artwork and handcrafted jewellery, such as one of Georgie Cunningham’s sea glass creations (pictured), or attend one of the hands-on workshops run by local artists.  There is just so much on offer.

The gift card can be any amount you would like and is the perfect way to spoil your friends and family.  No matter who you are or what you are interested in, the Frankston Arts Centre has something for everyone.  So don’t wait until Christmas Eve to do all your present shopping - phone or visit the Box Office today.  The Frankston Arts Centre has got your gift-giving all sorted. 

A: cnr Davey and Young streets, Frankston
T: 9784 1060
W: thefac.com.au

Snakes make their move

Our resident populations of sun-loving copperheads and tiger snakes are out and about again after another winter, and that means clearing shrubs, bushes, wood piles and other hiding places from around the house if you want to avoid an encounter.

“The snakes need a place to hide and feel safe,” says Mornington snake catcher Barry Goldsmith, “so if you remove those hiding places there’s less chance of encountering a snake.  No snake has bitten someone unless it was disturbed first - we’re not on their menu.”

Killing the snake shouldn’t even be a consideration.  “I just want people to know it’s cruel, it’s not necessary, it’s illegal, and there are snake catchers all over the place who can be at your place to remove the thing within an hour.”  It’s also dangerous – most people are bitten while trying to kill the reptile. 

Barry’s been catching and removing snakes for about 40 years.   “It’s more of a pastime or a hobby – I just like to be the person people ring as opposed to killing it.”

Phone Barry on 5975 0481 or 0408 067 062.


Month of fun for seniors

From walks to workshops, bowls to budgeting, our seniors will have a host of events and activities to choose from to celebrate the annual Kingston Seniors Festival.

Now in its ninth year, the festival has more than 100 events and activities that showcase the many groups in the Kingston community.  There are physical activities, computer training, art classes, ballroom dancing, fashion demonstrations, nature walks, musical performances and much more planned throughout October.

On Wednesday, October 19, Patterson River Golf Club, The Fairway, Bonbeach, will host an information session on living with hearing loss, presented by Chelsea Hearing and Ears in Balance.  It’s free and runs from 2-3pm; bookings are essential on 8740 2135.

The Carrum Activity Hub, 38 Valetta St, Carrum, has several activities planned, including a giftware presentation with a lovely range of gifts to buy for Christmas (Thursday, October 20, 10am-noon) and a greeting card-making session (Thursday, October 27, 10am-noon).  Bookings are essential on 8588 1831.

For a full list of events and activities, go to kingston.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Media/Media-Releases/seniors-festival-2016#sthash.votLz6r8.dpuf

Festival is music to our ears

In the heart of summer there are a few things we can't get enough of, and music festivals are definitely on top of the list.

On Saturday, February 4, the heart of Mt Eliza Village is where you and your friends can gather and enjoy the Mt Eliza Music Festival.  The event takes place throughout the village - in cafes and restaurants, three outdoor stages and eight busking locations, where more than 70 musical acts will perform.

Expect bands, soloists, DJs, family entertainment, buskers and much more, day and night.  Among those already confirmed are Josh Cashman, Reuben Stone, the beautiful Thando Sikwila (the 23-year-old from The Voice) and the major musical production Dreamgirls.  More performers will be announced over the coming months.

The Zimbabwean Thando moved to Melbourne only five years ago from Canberra to pursue her career and passion.  “It's the feeling of making a genuine difference in someone's life and seeing people through tough times and celebrating the great ones,” Thando says.  “I'm lucky to be a performer and experience bringing that kind of joy to people.” 

Thando has never been to the Peninsula and is looking forward to experiencing a new part of Victoria.   “And of course to perform; you guys can expect an energetic set reminiscent of Aretha-style belts, a sassy backing vocal section and a groovy band that plays for the gods.  You'll find it hard not to bop along with us.”

The Mt Eliza Musical Festival kicks off from noon and entry is free.  More at mtelizamusicfestival.com