Parties, Tassie & Money raised for charity

unnamedWe’ve had a wonderful few weeks and we’re pretty thrilled about the weeks to come. We write a lot asking for support, but we were thrilled to be able to support LGBTQI charity, The Aurora Group, by performing at their Annual Ball at Sydney Town Hall and offering private performances as auction prizes. Two attendees were sufficiently wooed by our Disney/Sondheim medley (the theme was Once Upon a Time) that they purchased the private gigs, raising more than $5000 for Aurora, an organisation that supports LGBTQI community groups including Twenty10 and the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service. The whole evening raised more than $70,000!

Libby, Hayden and MaeveFor photos of the Aurora Ball make sure you check out the Star Observer and SX albums. Luckily they didn’t capture Maeve’s drunk Snow White arguing with a bouncer at an unnamed Newtown Hotel, but they DID get some snaps of Hayden’s army of handsome fans who trailed him throughout the night.

We realise we’ve launched our Patreon crowdfunding site and promised all sorts of new projects but haven’t told you what they are so a few are outlined below. We are up to $609 per month but we need to hit $1000 per month in order to finish our EP. If enough people pledge $1 (or more if you can), we’ll get there and send some of our favourite tunes to your earholes! Other projects include:

Mother’s Ruin
Maeve & Libby are working hard with Musical Director, Jeremy Brennan to write a history about the cabaret of gin. That doesn’t sound right…but you get the picture! It’ll be a departure from Lady Sings it Better, equal parts historical and hysterical, complete with a gin tasting experience with The Ginstress, Elly Clough.
Costs we need to cover: We need to pay a dramaturg and director, we need to get costumes made and photos taken.
What you get if you donate: Downloads of some of our songs, discount tickets to shows once they’re announced, warm glow of giving! Donate here.
Pushy Women
We’re bringing Catherine Deveny’s wonderful Melbourne comedy+women+cycling event to Sydney! One afternoon only for the Sydney Fringe, you can catch Tracey Spicer, Wendy Harmer, Dee Madigan, Mariam Veiszadeh, Nakkiah Lui and Zoe Norton-Lodge telling tales of their life on two wheels.
Costs we need to cover: Regular event costs like marketing, tech equipment and artist fees.
What you get if you donate: Discount codes for the show! Anyone who pledges over $8US (ie $10AUS) per month gets discount codes to our shows, including this one! We’ll offer reserved seating to all Patreon donors.
Supported by The Squeaky Wheel in Melbourne!
Late Night Library
We’re curating a season of Late Night Library in Kings Cross for the City of Sydney. We’re got 6 amazing shows including Queerstories (a killer line up of local LGBTQI leaders), Library Love Songs with Maxine Kauter, Archer: In Conversation, a Mother’s Ruin work-in-progress showing and more. Feat. Matthew Mitcham, Zoe Coombs Marr, Georgia Rose Cranko, Annaliese Constable, Jeeves Verma, Penny Greenhalgh, Jekyll X James, Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Liz Duck-Chong, the list goes on…
Costs we need the cover: City of Sydney have actually contracted us to do this! Amazing! But Patreon support helps with our company’s ongoing costs.
What you get if you donate: The shows are already free for the audience, but City of Sydney have agreed to let us reserve premium seating for our Patreon supporters.Please consider pledging to support our growing work. If everyone who subscribed to this enews pledged $1 per month, we would reach our next target! Click here

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

unnamed (3)We got the old gang back together to sing a few tunes for Maeve’s mum, Teresa’s 60th birthday party, themed Mods vs. Rockers! The night was a crazy queer celebration with far too many amusing tales to fit here, so read Maeve’s Happy Birthday blog!

Lord knows if any of you are still reading! This Saturday we’re road tripping to Canberra to play a sold out show at Bungendore Woodworks Gallery, then next week we’re off to freezing, wonderful TASMANIA for our Festival of Voices debut. We can’t wait! Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for silly photos and tales from the road.

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Auditions: WANT TO BE A LADY?

We are seeking expressions of interest for auditions to join the Lady family. In the hope of performing more in 2015, we are growing our family of singers to 5 or 6 (depending on how amazing the potentials are). Auditions will be in August, but at this stage we ask that interested singers send us:

  • A CV of your performance and creative work, along with a short statement about why you want to join the gang
  • A video of you singing (you can sing any song, but we’d encourage you to sing a song written by a man in your own style to demonstrate your ability to reinterpret popular songs – also, make sure it’s a song that shows off your range and skills. Also – don’t forget we are a comedy act!)
  • A headshot

Important information about performing with Lady Sings it Better: We are an ensemble, so we are particularly looking for singers who want to work on their vocal style and performance in a group context, who have a dedication to their craft, can take direction and are creatively collaborative. We all do everything – plan & execute costumes, write script, plan photoshoots, choose songs etc. We do loads of our own arrangements, but we also commission arrangements so an ability to read music really helps. We rehearse regularly (weekly or fortnightly) throughout the year, in Sydney city or the inner west. Unfortunately, rehearsals are unpaid. We always make tea, though, and sometimes have snacks. We perform as often as we can and will be scheduling shows throughout 2015. Performances are all paid, but with a large group our rates are low so if you are auditioning in the hopes of making piles of cash…well…don’t. We are hoping to do some interstate touring in 2015 but nothing is confirmed at this stage. If touring interstate for 1-2 weeks would be impossible for you, please don’t send in an expression of interest as we are looking for people with some flexibility in terms of their availability.

Any questions, email maeve@blackcatproductions.com.au

DEADLINE: July 25 (the sooner the better)

If you haven’t seen us before, come along to see us perform at the Hayes Theatre, August 3 or 10.

Long time, no blog

We’ve taken a little break from the blogging. Not for any particular reason, just being busy, going overseas, not feeling particularly wordy (for a change). But we’re back and we’re gigging all over the place!

We made the quite sad and hard decision at the end of last year to cancel two interstate tours – to Adelaide and Perth. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to go to these fabulous cities. We just can’t afford it anymore. We do pretty well at Fringe festivals. We get great reviews, the odd full house, ticket sales that make it sound like we’re rather successful. But when you divide those ‘profits’ up among tech hires, flights, accommodation, insurance, marketing… at best, we break even. At worst, Phoebe and I lose more and more money. If we weren’t selling tickets and making audiences happy, I’d say it was all our fault, for not making a good enough show. But I think the issue is that the Fringe model doesn’t work for a group like ours. I don’t want to dig into the Fringe as an institution or a concept, because there is loads about Fringe that is just marvellous. We love that it’s open access, we love the energy created at Fringe festivals, the chance to meet and perform with other artists, and to see such diverse work. We just wish it wasn’t always the artists themselves footing the bill.

We’ve pursued Fringe touring for a few years and it’s led to amazing experiences. Those of us that were in Edinburgh will attest that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it made us better artists (it also helped a great deal with patience, living in those close quarters!). Thank you to everyone, in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Edinburgh, who has been so supportive of our touring efforts.

Newsagency Lady Sings it BetterThe upside to all this is that Sydney are going to see a lot more of us! We plan to do more creative and varied shows, play new venues, and try out more new material. We kicked off the year with two lovely nights at The Newsagency, playing unplugged for 40 overheated smiling faces. We loved it and will definitely be coming back to the Newsagency later in the year for some more acoustic times.

Next up, we’re performing February 13 & 14 at The Factory Floor, with our full band and a new boyband medley that makes us deliriously happy. We’ll be joined by the terrifyingly funny Kelfi & Fikel. You can book tickets here.

We’ve got some exciting guest spots at other shows in March in the pipeline and more to come later in the year. Remember to follow us on facebook and twitter (and instagram – @lady_sings_it_better) for gig updates, ridiculous rehearsal photos and random musings.

We’re also keen to film some of our songs for YouTube, so if you own a camera and have some free time, please get in touch!

Melbourne Food, Bar and Fringe Recommendations

We can’t wait to get to Melbourne next week, not because we are touring our (totally amazing) cabaret to Victoria for the first time ever, but because of all the eating, drinking and Fringe-show-watching we’ll be able to do. So, we’re coming to you – people of Melbourne – for your recommendations!

Maeve and Phoebe drinking gin

Maeve and Phoebe drinking gin

Our fearless leader, Phoebe, is after great locations for gin & tonic and chicken schnitzel, and she tells me she likes shows that are “good,” so really honing in on a specific genre there…

Maeve (me!) likes restaurants with good vegetarian dishes on the menu, amazing cocktails with gin in them and attractive lesbian comedians (it’s a niche market).

A be-tutu-ed Anna eats gelato in Adelaide

A be-tutu-ed Anna eats gelato in Adelaide

Drummer, Lauren, is a fan of Asian/Australian fusion, oysters and cocktails, and she wants to see puppetry, stand up and funk music!

Anna was really specific in her request. She likes Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Lebanese, Vietnamese and Japanese. Also ice cream.

Our dapper soundy, Liam, like single malt whiskey, dumplings and good stand up.

Libby’s first response was MacDonald’s and Jean Claude Van Damme films. Then she remembered she is performing at the Fringe with Serious Artists so she said Mexican food, cider and musicals.

Here is a picture of Libby eating wedges with chopsticks:

Libby Wood

So, good people of Melbourne, hit us up with your bar, food and Fringe recommendations.

Oh, and once you’ve done that, book tickets to our season at the Fringe Hub, Sept 28 – Oct 5. See what I did there?

Calling all Marrickville Artists

blackcat productions are thrilled to be producing an exciting event, Cabaret in the ‘ville, for the Open Marrickville Festival. Cabaret in the ‘ville will bring together all walks of life for an evening for music, food, storytelling, comedy and magic, on June 28 at the Red Rattler.

We are calling all artists living or working in the Marrickville Local Govt Area (check your local govt area here) to submit proposals to perform or exhibit their work as part of the event. This is a paid opportunity for both emerging and established artists. Details are below. Please email proposals to maeve@blackcatproductions.com.au by Friday May 3rd 2013.Cabaret in the 'ville_landscape

Who we are looking for: Musicians, comedians, magicians, circus performers, dancers, choirs, cooks, storytellers, crafters, activists and visual artists who live or work in the Marrickville Local Govt Area.

What we want you to do: Perform or exhibit work at Cabaret in the ‘ville that demonstrates your experiences of living in contemporary Marrickville. We are casting a wide net, seeking submissions from all sorts of artists. but we are particularly keen on artists who embody the cabaret spirit, a fusion of music, comedy, politics and story telling.

What we need from you: You will need to fill out this Application form and submit a one page proposal, explaining what your performance, exhibition or participation in the event would involve. We know that applications can be a beast, so we aren’t going to stipulate loads of guidelines, but please answer the following in your submission:

  • What is your artform and your experience performing or exhibiting your work?
  • How will your performance / exhibition / story / presentation relate to the theme of living and working in contemporary Marrickville?
  • How does your work relate to the traditions of cabaret?
  • How long would your work take to perform or set up in the space?

You can also submit photos, audio or video of your work.

In summary, send in the Application form, a one page proposal and any support material (photos, video, audio) by Friday May 3rd.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch on maeve@blackcatproductions.com.au

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Marrickville Council logo