This category contains 222 posts

Stage 101** Thank You For Being A Friend


For anyone who grew up in the ‘80s, The Golden Girls was classic TV viewing gold. Now the silver-haired Miami housemates have been brought back to life in the form of puppets for new tribute show Thank You For Being A Friend.


In an intimate home set as kitsch as the original TV studio, life-sized puppets – the perfect cartoon-esque representations of their human counterparts – and their actors sit alongside each other on the stage as they play out a series of hilarious story lines.


The fact that the actors are visible on stage takes a bit of getting used to, but the people chosen to play each character have been perfectly cast, from the deep-voiced Dorothy played by male actor Darren Mapes, to the sharp-as-a-razor Sophia, played by Donna Lee. With the puppets being fairly static, what really brings the characters to life is the facial expressions, movements and life-like accents of the actors, particularly Blanche’s pouting lips and southern belle twang, beautifully executed by actor Chrystal de Grussa, and Rose’s ditsy charm, played by Julia Billington.


The show’s storyline revisits the witty banter and taboo jokes of the original cast, but with a modern twist. It touches on issues including Blanche’s gay son, Jeremiah, having a baby with a Chinese surrogate from the internet, Emilio the dance teacher who is using Sophia for a green card, and Blanche writing her own version of Fifty Shades of Grey. As in the original TV production, the show is broken up into four scenes with hilariously daggy 1980’s TV ads playing in each interval.


All in all, the show is a light-hearted, fun night out and a great chance to re-live the best of 1980’s television.


Thank You For Being A Friend is playing at the Seymour Centre until 28 February.



Helen Lear





Coastal Design Co, the renowned New Zealand luxury outdoor furniture company founded by Jo Eddington, is launching its first flagship Australian showroom in the creative design precinct of Alexandria.

After more than a decade of living in Sydney, Melbourne and Europe, Jo sold her home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and bought a house on a white sand beach on Waiheke Island back in her native New Zealand. Coastal Design Co was established in 2006 after Jo designed herself an outdoor sofa, which she grew into a full range of stunning outdoor furniture, designed for relaxed living and outdoor entertaining all year round, for home, holiday house or apartment living. Created out of a desire for beautiful and practical outdoor living, Coastal Design Co has evolved into one of New Zealand’s most innovative and successful furniture brands, specialising in New Zealand designed indoor and outdoor collections, as well as a range of imported exclusive European brands featuring outdoor kitchens, heating and beautiful illuminated pots from Italy.

Seizing the opportunity to expand her business into export markets, and a desire to return to Sydney to live, Jo drove the 2014 launch of Coastal Design’s first Australian showroom, in Alexandria, Sydney’s exciting design hub. Close to 300m2 of ground floor showroom, located opposite The Grounds, incorporates a superb outdoor deck area, allowing Jo to showcase her New Zealand and Australian designed outdoor collections to customers and interior designers alike.

Jo’s collections are manufactured to strict quality standards using specialty marine grade materials sourced from the highest quality suppliers worldwide, including Sunbrella TM premium outdoor fabrics, Batyline textilene and 304 EP Stainless Steel, ensuring the products are built to weather the tough Australian and New Zealand conditions.

Complimenting Jo’s own innovative designs are exclusive imported European brands, the newest to market being VITEO, which is a Red Dot award winning, high end, contemporary brand of outdoor furniture and outdoor kitchens designed and made in Austria. VITEO is exclusive to Coastal Design Co in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to outdoor sofas and dining collections, Jo stocks a range of accessories to compliment any outdoor living area including Infratech outdoor heating from Germany, a beautiful new range of organic hand-made soy candles, sumptuous faux fur throws, exclusive Nick Radford New Zealand made outdoor rugs and COAST NZ Marine Bean Bags and luxury travel collection.

Coastal Design Co furniture is luxurious yet practical, and is designed for Australian living. It offers the ultimate in superior outdoor comfort, aesthetic design and value.




American YouTube sensations Jeffrey Self and Cole Escola are bringing the outrageous antics of the VGL boys to Australia for the first time ever at the Seymour Centre from 18th to 28th February.


As part of the 2014 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the cult comedy duo will present Desperate Houseboys, a brand new show tackling everything from Gay marriage to their penchant for wigs.


Jeffrey Self and Cole Escola exploded onto the US comedy circuit with their viral YouTube videos VGL (Very Good Looking) Gay Boys and hit cable TV series Jeffrey & Cole Casserole. In recent years, Jeffrey and Cole have toured separately with Self appearing in a wide range of TV shows including Desperate Housewives, 90210 and 30 Rock.


The pair have reunited in 2014 and, following shows in New York and LA, are sure to thrill Sydney audiences with their acerbic wit and brazen silliness.


For more information and bookings, visit or phone the Seymour Centre Box Office on 02 9351 7940.


Dates: February 18 – 28

Times: 9pm daily

Venue: Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre

Tickets:  $35


Social Spy** Pop Up bar to bring the Spirit of Mexico to Manly


Cantina del Sol at the New Brighton Hotel in Manly


FIESTA! Last night Sydney Social was invited to Manly’s iconic New Brighton Hotel for Cantina del Sol’s pop-up fiesta.


The venue was transformed into a Mexican escape, with exotic decorations including scatterings of fresh fruit, flowers and candles. VIPs were greeted by Frida Kahlo skulls and a huge Cantina Del Sol wall canvas. Guests sampled authentic Mexican street food and sipped Sols to Mexican vibes by musical trio, Kallidad.

image[1] 3

The pop-up bar brings the colourful spirit of Mexico to Manly’s beachside and will run for ten whole sun-soaked days. The cantina will sit alongside the bustling Australian Open of Surfing and is open for the duration of the festival.


Surfers and spectators alike will find the Cantina Del Sol offers comfortable seating options both inside and out—making it the perfect place to kick back and enjoy some delish Mexican grub. Menu options include the Kingfish Ceviche Toastada ($10), Pulled Pork Tacos ($6) to Chicken Quesadilla ($10) and a refreshing Watermelon Salad ($10).


Live music will be held every night from the likes of Kallidad, Hein Cooper, James Englund and Dax Goulding followed by DJs and fun times until midnight.


Dos cervezas por favour!


Cantina del Sol at the New Brighton Hotel, Manly

Open 6-16 February


Last night PATRÓN TEQUILA presented the 5th Annual Rolling Stone Awards at one of Sydney’s most iconic music venues, Beach Road Hotel in Bondi. The magazine’s annual music awards celebrated the best in Australian entertainment, with the music industry out in full force to support winners whilst enjoying a variety of Patrón’s finest tequila cocktails.



More than 1,000 guests attended the event, with the MC, Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson, entertaining the crowd with his witty banter and his engaging disposition. Melbourne band Kingswood performed an electric set, fresh from their Big Day Out tour and Sydney all-star cover band Furnace & The Fundamentals kept the party going long into the night, keeping guests on their feet with their fun and dynamic performance.

 Gabby Thomson, Jil Bertoli, Dan Jones

Gabby Thomson, Jil Bertoli, Dan Jones

Patrón Tequila has been the key sponsor of the Rolling Stone Awards for the last four years, offering guests elaborate tequila cocktails using a variety of Patrón products. Their number one party trick last year was in the form of an ice sculpture – the ever-popular Patrón Tequila ice luge. This was continued this year, expanding to two Patrón luges featuring Patrón XO Café and the brand new Patrón XO Café Dark Cocoa Tequila. Cocktails were created specifically for this event, served in distinctive branded Patrón jam jars. The incredible cocktails included the Patrón Paloma, Patrón Mule, Passionfruit Margarita, and the crowd favourite was undeniably the Patrón XO Dark Espresso Martini.

2014 Rolling Stone Awards

After the first round of cocktails the awards ceremony commenced. New Zealand songstress Lorde continues her stellar rise, taking out Album of the Year and Best New Talent. Bluesfest director Peter Noble was presented with the Rolling Stone Award, which recognises an outstanding career-long contribution to popular culture. Other big winners on the night were Tame Impala (Live Act of the Year), Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (Best Independent Release) and The Jezabels (Single of the Year for “The End”), as voted for by the readers of Rolling Stone and sponsored by Patrón).

2014 Rolling Stone Awards

The awards night is always one of the hottest events on the music industry calendar, with all guests revelling in the amazing live performances and enjoying premium Patrón tequila cocktails. There is no doubt that the 2014 Rolling Stone Awards was a huge success, and a wonderful celebration of the passion, strength and results of the Australian music industry, proudly presented by Patrón Tequila.

Kate Peck, Michelle Lucia, Leila Maktari

Kate Peck, Michelle Lucia, Leila Maktari


The Rolling Stone Award: Peter Noble
Best Independent Release (sponsored by Royal Doulton): Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away Actor of the Year: Aaron Pedersen, Mystery Road
International Act of the Year: Arctic Monkeys
Album of the Year: Lorde, Pure Heroine
Live Act of the Year (sponsored by Corona): Tame Impala
Single of the Year (Readers’ Choice, sponsored by Patron): The Jezabels, “The End”
Best New Talent (sponsored by Ultimat Vodka): Lorde
Music Video of the Year: The Preatures, “Is This How You Feel?” (Directed by Alex Ryan)

Social Spy** PLONK

Maddy King and Kris Smith

Maddy King and Kris Smith

Laughter flowed from the packed Cinema One at the Verona Paddington last night as the 150 strong crowd delighted in the preview of the first 2 webi-sodes of the much anticipated PLONK series.
marc fennell (laughing centre).

marc fennell (laughing centre).

Identities such as Kris Smith, Indira Naidoo, Andrew Hansen, Anna Bligh, Adam Ashley Cooper joined cast members Chris Taylor, creator and director Nathan Earl , Executive Producer Glen Condie, shirazamataz blogger Joshua Tyler and Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase in the sneak peak ahead of the online launch on Monday 10th February at
anna scrimshaw (left) and adam ashley-cooper.

anna scrimshaw (left) and adam ashley-cooper.

And thanks to Wine Selectors the entire party enjoyed tasting wines from some of NSW most interesting vineyards.
nathan earl, sandra chipchase, chris taylor, joshua tyler and glen condie.

nathan earl, sandra chipchase, chris taylor, joshua tyler and glen condie.

With support from Destination NSW, the wine industry and NSW wine makers including Andrew Thomas, Bruce Tyrell and Tim Kirk PLONK has already got a lot of national attention. The plot is simple – we follow the trials and tribulations of a feckless television crew as they travel through NSW trying to produce a unique, engaging and credible wine program. It’s a look behind the curtain of a TV production and the elements that can derail even the most benign of intentions.
nathan earl and glen condie (right)

nathan earl and glen condie (right)

Welcome to the world of PLONK.
plonk launch-21

Movie 101** Grudge Match review

Grudge Match is based on a story of two boxing rivals who had a couple of fights that ended in a draw. Just before the big rematch Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp, played by Sylvester Stallone, suddenly retires. This is to the anger of Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen, played by Robert De Niro. The Kid goes on to be famous and rich while Razor chooses to take a normal every job.

30 years go by, then there is a program on tv discussing the old fight. Everyone wonders who would win. Then Dante Slate Jr, played by Kevin Hart, decides this is the chance to make a name for himself by promoting the fight that never happened. But they will both need to help him with promoting the fight to give it that extra excitement. They always fail at promoting the fight but their arguments with one another and anyone else who gets in their way, starts to turn heads.

Kim Basinger plays the love interest as the one time girlfriend who has come back in to their life. I have not seen Kim is a film for many years, was strange to see her looking so old. The final piece of cast goes to Alan Arkin who plays Louis ‘Lightening’ Conlon. He adds a lot of the humour as Razor’s old constantly moaning trainer.

This film gave Stallone a good opportunity get back in to the ring after his famous Rocky trillogy. (Some of my favourite films). It was also a chance to see De Niro back in the ring after the also famous but one off film, Raging Bull. There were many nods towards the old films, more so on the Rocky front. The famous training scene in the freezer and the running scene where he tries to beat his tainer on a bike. Except here Stallone is trying to outrun his trainer on a mobile scooter. These pull out some of the funniest moments, for those who get them.

De Niro seems to take on the bad guy role in this film but I am sure everyone will have a favourite. If you like the high profile cast then I think that you would enjoy this film for the warm hearted comedy it is.

Sydney Social101 gives ‘Grudge Match’ 6.5/10. Just remember to stick around after the credits. A couple of surprise people come in and produce the biggest laughs of all.

Grudge Match was reviewed by SS101’s movie reviewer Syrus Wynne.

Social Spy** Flickerfest Opening Night – Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach

Last Friday Flickerfest Opening night was held at the Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach. The who’s who of film and TV filled the room, including award winning film director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom, The Rover), Matilda Brown, Rachel Ward, Mirrah Foulkes, Miranda Tapsell, Henry Roth and celebrity trainer Luke Hines.


A balmy night and the beachside amphitheatre proved the perfect setting for guests to be treated to a selection of short films. Talk of David Michôd and the much anticipated release of his latest film The Rover which stars Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce also filled the room. At the after party, guests enjoyed a selection of Crystal head Vodka cocktails, Phoenix Organic Juices, Rosnay Organic Wines and Little Creatures beer.

Flickerfest 2014 Opening Night_Damian De Montemas, Annelise Huyser


Flickerfest 2014 Opening Night - Luke Hines


Flickerfest 2014 Opening Night - Michael Cody, Mirrah Foulkes, David Michod,

GUESTS: Luke Hines (trainer Luke), Matilda Brown, Rachel Ward, David Michôd (Director – Animal Kingdom, The Rover), Mirrah Foulkes (actor), Michael Cody (Producer), Jeff Lack (stylist), Dr Nikki Goldstein, Alyssa McLelland (actor) and her partner Adrian Mazzaferro, Bronwyn Kidd (Flickerfest festival director) and Gillian Armstrong (Director – Little Women, Oscar and Lucinda).






Peroni Nastro Azzurro, number one premium Italian beer, has again resumed their role as a major sponsor of the annual St George OpenAir Cinema for the 5th year running. This year will see Peroni celebrate the brand’s heritage and indulge in their love of Italian film with a special preview screening of Paolo Sorrentino’s greatest film yet, La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty).


Peroni is set to host some of Sydney’s most stylish crowd at the exclusive VIP event to be held on Tuesday 21 January at the iconic cinema venue overlooking the spectacular Sydney Harbour.


The event will see guests treated to pre-screening drinks where they can enjoy Collezione Peroni, crisp and refreshing Peroni Nastro Azzurro and 3.5% alcohol Peroni Leggera, accompanied by the brand’s delicious signature aperitivo including Beef carpaccio on crostini, Forest mushroom and mozzarella arancini as well as fried Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and parmesan.

Confirmed guests for the VIP event include Kate Waterhouse, Nick Smith, Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman, Carla Zampatti, Pip Edwards, Romy Frydman, Martin and Michelle Walsh and Nicola Finetti.

Movie 101** The one you’ve been waiting for: The Wolf of Wall Street review

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 7.54.07 pm

Sydney Social 101 was invited to the Sydney premiere of The Wolf of Wall Street last night and was absolutely privileged to be one of the first people in Australia to see the complete film.

The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the most sought after movies for quite some time! Whilst monitoring Sydney Social 101’s  traffic, there has been a significant number of visitors coming to Sydney Social 101 via Google looking for information on Leo’s sixth pairing with Martin Scorsese.

I have often entered into debate with my friends about Leonardo DiCaprio and how it is quite shocking that he has never won an Oscar – I stand by this claim even more so now than ever before. Leonardo’s performance in this film in nothing short of amazing, if he doesn’t get the recognition from the Academy that he is so deservedly of, I might have something to say – and it wont be nice…

For any of you who have read the book, I’m sure you’re intrigued to see how the story of Jordan Belfort can transcend from pages of  a book to the silver screen. An anti-climax for many on so may occasions when a great read that sets your imagination on fire crumbles as it plays out on the big screen.

“Who would you have playing you in a film of your life?!” is question many are asked throughout your lifetime (Blake Lively or Jennifer Lawrence just incase you were wondering), I can only imagine that in his wildest dreams would Jordan Belfort have expected that Leo, one of the best actors of his generation, would depict his story from rags to riches and him stepping on anyone and everyone to get there.

I won’t spoil the plot for those of you who haven’t read the book, however I will provide you with a succinct synopsis: “The best film of the 2000s by a long way!”. Complete with every 522 F-bomb and a storyline that will leave you feeling a mixture of awe and hatred for Jordan Belfort, it is a film that should absolutely be in your calendar for its official release on 23.1.14.

It is sometimes hard to believe that Jordan Belfort is a real person as you follow the real-life story of his ambition and realisation of becoming a successful stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, ego, corruption and selfishness that is beyond comprehension.

Funny, whitty, cringeworthy and gripping – the film evokes many emotions in the 1-minute-shy of three hours epic. Sterling performances by Aussie’s own Margot Robbie, who plays Jordan’s Duchess-wife, Jonah Hill is wonderful at playing the rage educing Donnie Azoff and Rob Reiner portrays Jordan’s Dad Max wonderfully.

This soon-to-be classic already has a 8.7 rating on IMDB, impressive to say the least.

Sydney Social 101 gives the Wolf of Wall Street 9.5/10 as nothing is perfect – but this film comes pretty bloody close!

Lisa Hollinshead.

Echoer – Featured Blogger


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