What’s on – 276

Boomalli Mardi Gras

Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-Operative is holding an exhibition celebrating the Mardi Gras season, called Alterity. The show is dedicated to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQI community, exploring themes of self-expression and unified otherness.

Curated by Jessica Johnson and Margaret Ross, Alterity will include the works of First Nations artists Dave Long, Ella Bancroft, Jasmine Sarin, Clinton Nain and many more artists, including co-founder of Boomalli, Jeffrey Samuels, featured on our cover (picture above).

Samuels is a Ngemba painter, printmaker and installation artist whose paintings were used in the opening of the Sydney Olympic Games and are displayed in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Museum of Australia.

Alterity’s opening night is 6.30pm Wednesday 24th February, and the show will run till April 10th at 55-59 Flood Street Leichhardt.


Shen Yun

For just one week in March, Sydney Lyric Theatre will be graced with the performers of Shen Yun, a New York-based performance company whose revival of 5000 years of Chinese culture earned them international acclaim.

Shen Yun uses a pairing of intricate special effects and luscious costuming to evoke China’s ancient past, recreating the myths and legends which were the foundation of the world’s oldest continuing history. Aside from lavish historical revival, Shen Yun contains heavily spiritual undertones, delving into China’s religious past and present.

The dance performance is at times refreshingly modern, drawing heavily on classical ballet, yet the traditional dances of Tibet and Mongolia are seamlessly interspersed. Combine this with operatic vocal performances and a live orchestra, it’s easy to see how Shen Yun has received standing ovations at theatres across the globe.

Ciao is giving away two premium tickets to Shen Yun valued at $320. See our Giveaways page for details.

Tickets are $89-$159. Book your seats at ticketmaster.com.au.
Sydney Lyric Theatre, Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont, 8th – 13th March.


Mon 22nd Feb – Fri 4th Mar, 7pm

After a critically acclaimed run at the M2 Gallery last year, Kaleidoscope will return to the stage for Mardi Gras. Written by Inner Westie and transman Charlie O’Grady, the show runs every night from 22nd Fed to 4th March and depicts the protagonist’s one-sided conversation with his reflection as he attempts to leave the house. According to O’Grady, representation of trans issues is largely absent from the public sphere, rendering shows like Kaleidoscope an essential addition to Mardi Gras. “There is even less representation of transness and gender identity in theatre than there is in film and television,” O’Grady says.

Where: Kings Cross Theatre, Kings Cross Hotel, 244 William St. Tickets are $16-22.


Sat 20th Feb, 12:15pm-2:15pm
Free self-defence workshop

Sydney Mardi Gras have organised a free self-defence workshop to help you keep safe during the festival. Focusing on the early prediction and prevention of violence, it’s full of easy, useful and applicable tips to ensure your safety. Drop in for this fun short course to suit all people of all ages.

Where: Upstairs Newtown Library, 10 Brown St, Newtown.


Thur 3rd & Fri 4th March
Sydney Writers’ Mini March Festival

Acclaimed international writers Simon Winchester, Andrew O’Hagan, Alexander McCall Smith and Elizabeth Gilbert are bestowing their wisdom on Sydney for two nights in March: at Carriageworks on the 3rd and the Seymour Centre on the 4th. This special event is part of the Sydney Writers’ Mini March Festival, a lead-up to the main festival in May. Come to hear these celebrated figures discuss their upcoming works and the creative process. The festival’s Artistic Director Jemma Birnell says that the speakers will impart “a range of stories that are moving, informative and incredibly entertaining.”

Where: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, and the Seymour Centre, corner of City Rd and Cleveland St, Chippendale. Book at www.swf.org.au/events.


Sat 5th March
Women and Words

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Stanmore Library will be host to a panel of prominent female authors: Zoe Norton-Lodge, Fiona Katauskas and Mireille Juchau. The event will be convened by the Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP, and focus on isues surrounding gender and its influence on creativity. Mayor of Marrickville Sam Iskandar says “the event brings together smart and inspirational women who use words… to encourage others and spur social change.”

Where: Stanmore Library, Douglas St, Stanmore. Book on 9335 2173 or www.marrickvillelibrary.eventbrite.com.au.


Fri 26th – Sun 28th Feb
Queer Provocations Festival

This two-day festival will hit Marrickville at the end of February, bringing a tide of intensely political panel discussions. On Friday “Rebelious Words” will feature the voices of Indigenous and POC activists, while Saturday will bring political film screenings and Sunday ‘5 Minutes of Infamy’ and the closing night party. Panel topics over the weekend will cover everything from queer eco-activism and nighttime venue closures to healthcare, disability and housing precarity – all with a focus on how these affect the LGBT community. Tickets range from $5 for a single pass to $50 for the entire festival.

Where: Red Rattler Theatre, 6 Faversham St, Marrickville. Book at www.trybooking.com/181565.


Mon 29th Feb
Tella Ball Dessert Bar

This is not a drill. There is a Nutella dessert bar opening this month in Dulwich Hill. The geniuses behind the Nutella-stuffed doughnut and the Nutella doughnut placed on top of a Nutella milkshake are opening an entire venue where you can eat Nutella and various other edibles smothered in Nutella in the open, without fear of judgement, all the time. Doors open at 6:31pm. Be there of be bereft of sweet chocolatey-hazelnut goodness.

Where: 362-372 New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill


Sat 20th – Sun 21st Feb, 12pm-12am
Day for Night: 24HRS

Performance Space are back for their most ambitious Day for Night program yet. This weekend will bring you an array of astonishing performances from the most prominent queer Australian and international artists, including legendary Sydney drag queen Cindy Pastel and ‘How to be Beyonce’ creator Madison Moore. Finish with a bang at the Sunday night after party. Tickets are $50 for both days or $15 for entry between 5-8pm on Sunday.

Where: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Everleigh. Book at ticketmaster.com.au.