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Come one, come all to Come From Away at HOTA

Come From Away (image supplied)
Come From Away (image supplied)

Remember those moments when life completely stopped? Like when you met your soulmate or tasted your very first chilli margarita? There are also those history-making moments when everybody’s world came grinding to a halt, like the incomprehensible chain of events surrounding September 11, 2001. We all remember where we were and how we felt, and the unification stemming from such a collective life-changing experience that followed… and this is precisely why you M.U.S.T see hit musical Come From Away at HOTA, Home of the Arts, starting Thursday 7th July. The other reason is obvs; it’s a Tony® and Olivier Award winner and a global phenomenon, and whether you’re a musical fan or not, trust us – this is something special.

Whilst the core subject matter is undeniably heavy, this timeless piece of ground-breaking art presents an inspirational story of compassion, hope and goodwill. Telling the true story of the immediate aftermath of 9/11, it follows the incredible real-life journey of 7,000 air passengers whose flights were diverted due to the incident. These 38 planes were forced to land in the remote town of Gander, in Newfoundland, Canada, almost doubling the modest population. Come From Away provides a stirring insight into how this small community welcomed the ‘come from aways’ into their lives, providing hope and compassion to those in need. Whilst cultures clash and nerves run high, the uneasiness turns into trust, music soars into the night, and gratitude grows into enduring friendships.

Come From Away (image supplied)
Come From Away (image supplied)

Among its endless accolades are the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Christopher Ashley) and four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Sound Design, and Outstanding Achievement in Music. Since its Australian premiere in 2019, the smash hit production has added five Green Room gongs to its award tally. These include Best Production and Best Ensemble, along with being voted Ticketmaster’s ‘Ticket of the Year’ by Australian audiences, and we are so many levels of sold!

To create the book, music and lyrics, Tony and Grammy award nominated husband and wife duo Irene Sankoff and David Hein went straight to the source, traveling to Newfoundland to interview thousands of locals for the 10th Anniversary commemoration of that fateful week. They collected hundreds of hours of interviews that have now been distilled into the 100-minute show, telling an inspirational story of hope and humanity. Many of the characters are based on real people and the final result is nothing short of breathtaking. Oh and the name? Native Newfoundlanders refer to those not born on the island – like the people who arrived on the diverted flights – as “Come From Aways”.

Come From Away (image supplied)
Come From Away (image supplied)

Australian Producer Rodney Rigby and the stellar Aussie cast present this portrait of heroic hospitality exactly as it appeared on Broadway and London’s West End. The outstanding ensemble includes Kyle Brown, Zoe Gertz, Manon Gunderson-Briggs, Douglas Hansell, Kat Harrison, Joe Kosky, Phillip Lowe, Joseph Naim, Sarah Nairne, Natalie O’Donnell, Emma Powell, David Silvestri, together with Kaya Byrne, Jeremy Carver-James, Noni McCallum, Michael Lee Porter, Alana Tranter and Jasmine Vaughns.

So get ready to laugh and cry (code for pack the Kleenex) and see this unforgettable story of friendship, and the unwavering strength of the human spirit. Book now!

Where: HOTA, Home of The Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
When: Thursday 7 July – Sunday 31 July

Words by Bianca Trathen.

STORY SPONSORED BY COME FROM AWAY AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

HOTA (image supplied)
HOTA (image supplied)

Pop the Champagne, Blanc de Blanc Encore is here!

Blanc de Blanc Encore - The Spiegeltent (image courtesy of Rebekah Ryan)
Blanc de Blanc Encore - The Spiegeltent (image courtesy of Rebekah Ryan)

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been crossing off the days on your calendar like a kid counting down til Christmas, because this IS Christmas….for adults! And, it’s HERE! Yes entertainment lovers, it’s time to pop those bottles and head for the one and only Spiegeltent at Broadwater Parklands for OPENING WEEK of the hotly anticipated (emphasis on the ‘hotly’ part) Blanc de Blanc Encore! *grabs something to fan oneself* Because, well, Blanc de Blanc people!!! If the mere thought of this doesn’t give you ‘dem raunchy feels, then you’re clearly not across the risqué spectacle that is Blanc de Blanc Encore and for goodness sakes, read on and thank us later.

Kicking off Thursday 12th May running until Sunday 19th June in the lavish traditional Dutch Spiegeltent, we’re talking decadence and debauchery of the highest order. Think of a circus. Mix in some serious glamour, live jazz, side-splitting comedy, astounding acrobatics, big dance numbers and a healthy dose of all things risqué and you’ve just described the Blanc de Blanc Encore champagne cabaret experience. Just add vintage French flare and voila, it’s the hedonistic eye-popping show that will leave you gagging for more…and buying tickets to go again because one night just isn’t enough.

Blanc de Blanc Encore - The Spiegeltent (image courtesy of Rebekah Ryan)
Blanc de Blanc Encore - The Spiegeltent (image courtesy of Rebekah Ryan)

The ultimate five-star experience featuring the very best international award-winning performers, it’s the show on everyone’s lips for good reason. Promising more wow and feverishly fabulous action than you can poke a stiletto at, the Gatsby-esque vibe is intoxicating (and so are the bubbles and you won’t know which to blame for your giddiness). Self-indulgence at its finest, the sequel to the runaway success Blanc de Blanc is every bit as titillating as its predecessor, and we think we need to start fanning ourselves again!

Also kicking off tonight is the special new addition to The Spiegeltent precinct, Maho Magic Bar. A bespoke Japanese venue and show setting the night ablaze like a neon-lit happy snap of Shinjuku, consummate master magicians will perform your own exclusive magic show – at your table! This is an immersive, interactive and multi-sensory experience like no other, and something else to be added immediately to the social calendar before it finishes on Sunday 19th June.

Blanc de Blanc Encore - The Spiegeltent (image courtesy of Rebekah Ryan)

So, it’s time to get your fancy pants out folks and prepare to be left chanting “ENCORE!” with this once-in-a-lifetime, edge-of-your-seat entertainment.

Get your tickets to both Blanc de Blanc Encore and/or (we say ‘and’!!) Maho Magic Bar here. Don’t miss out because it’s something you’ll tell your grandkids about one day….or umm, maybe not…. #TskTsk.

Where: Spiegeltent Gold Coast, Bathing Pavilion Lawn, Broadwater Parklands, Southport
When: Thursday 12th May – Sunday 19th June 2022

Words by Bianca Trathen.

STORY SPONSORED BY THE SPIEGELTENT GOLD COAST

Blanc De Blanc Encore (photo courtesy of Prudence Upton)
Blanc De Blanc Encore (photo courtesy of Prudence Upton)

HOTA Gallery is now officially open

HOTA Gallery Exterior (image supplied)

It’s the moment the arts community, and indeed the public of the Gold Coast have been waiting a little while for (drum roll) the shiny new Home of the Arts (HOTA) Gallery is now open! And what a great complement to an already incredible arts precinct this is going to be!

While the tickets to access the gallery this weekend were already sold out, the opening weekend is set to make you excited. There will be artworks both indoors and out that celebrate the diversity, richness and ambition of the Gold Coast. Coinciding with live music across both the Saturday and Sunday daytimes, the experience — even for those without access to the gallery (for now) — is set to be a great one-off experience still.

On Saturday 8th May, the music program will serve as a vibrant soundtrack to the buzz of excitement and anticipation at the Gallery and its surroundings. Music will kick off from 11am to 3.30pm with a line up on the Outdoor Stage featuring the fiery instrumentation from Hussy Hicks, dreamy psych-pop from Echo Wave, the colourful sounds of Samba, Bossa Nova from Augusta Street, the hip hop and traditional rhythms from young First Nations band, Jarulah and Blackline Band and the funky, disco vibes from DJ Felix.

On Sunday 9th May, you’re encouraged to experience ‘Echoes of Gold’, featuring performances by: Eliza & The Delusionals, Donny Love, DENNIS. and DJ sets by VICES to name a few. All hosted by Kate Baggerson and Zac Fahey, with live on-stage interviews with artists, musos, and industry movers & shakers, the line-up will be nothing short of exciting.

HOTA Art Gallery entrance (image supplied)
HOTA Art Gallery entrance (image supplied)

And to amplify that local Gold Coast flavour, even more, The Design Collective Markets will be on-site showcasing a selection of Gold Coast and Queensland artisan makers and retailers for a pop-up market of boutique wares and gifts! Not forgetting the mix of food trucks/outlets, local beers, it’s lining up to be solid Sunday in our eyes. On a picnic blanket or standing with a cold one in hand — either way, it’s an unmissable Gold Coast event.

If you did secure tickets to the opening, in the opening exhibition, titled Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise, be sure to keep an eye out for local artist Aaron Chapman’s inclusion — we have it on good authority it will be big and bright! You simply can’t miss it.

Internationally, the Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection exhibition (13 November 2021 – 27 February 2022) will be showcased in the new 1000m2 main exhibition gallery a stunning space featuring approximately 70 works from some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists including Andy Warhol.

And if you decide to hold off on visiting the Gallery until after Friday 14th May, you can then check out the incredible new Palette Restaurant and Exhibitionist Bar. Both of which where you will find deftly put-together food and tantalising cocktails await with enigmatic views of our skyline and hinterland.

The Gold Coast art scene is set to flourish, folks!

Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
When: Opening weekend – Saturday 8 May & Sunday 9 May 2021

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

The Rainforest by Australian painter William Robinson, the first piece of art hung in Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)
The Rainforest by Australian painter William Robinson, the first piece of art hung in Gallery at HOTA (image supplied)

Check out the Gold Coast’s newest rooftop bar

The Exhibitionist Bar at HOTA Gallery (image supplied)
The Exhibitionist Bar at HOTA Gallery (image supplied)

Sipping a cocktail in sophisticated surroundings on an elevated balcony with dazzling views of a world-class skyline might sound like you’d frequent in international cities. But hold that thought. Because as of now, it is a firm reality on the Gold Coast with the exciting new opening of HOTA Gallery’s Exhibitionist Bar!

There has been much excitement around the opening of HOTA’s new multi-million-dollar attraction for some time, fully cementing the Gold Coast’s legitimate claim as an arts hub here in Australia. Arts aside though, this beautifully fitted out bar nestled on the 5th floor with unhindered views of the Surfers Paradise skyline and our beloved hinterland, is set to become your new favourite drinks and tapas hangout.

The space is the ideal scene — at any time of the day — to mull over and discuss the pieces of artwork you’ve just seen and enjoy a drink. Take note: should you have any out-of-towners coming to visit and you feel the burning need to impress them with what we have here, this must be on your list.

As there are no other buildings like it nearby, the terrace area of the bar takes in an entirely new perspective of Surfers Paradise from a raised north-westerly perspective. And even if you’ve lived here for years, it is guaranteed to still impress. While the view is spectacular at any time, we highly recommend visiting at sunset for a colourful light show like no other.

Signature Cocktails at The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)
Signature Cocktails at The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)

The drinks offering is an incredibly thought-out affair headed up by Bar Manager Tom Angel. Tom’s a Gold Coast veteran when it comes to conceiving and pouring only the finest alcoholic libations (you may be familiar with his previous work at Fig + Frankie’s, Old Tom or Kiyomi). In conjunction with the gallery and like Palette, his cocktail list mirrors and complements the art installations. Meaning once you have taken note of your favourite piece of art, you can then head upstairs and drink its cocktail equivalent.

Expect big and complex flavours from signature drinks like the tequila-based Cloud Drive and vodka-based Steal the Sunshine. The connection to art pieces is both complex and exciting, to say the least. In the menu, you will find a description revealing how the drink was envisaged and came to be — providing excellent replay value and painfully forcing your hand to come back and try them all!

Classic and new world wines join house-made sodas and local craft beers to round out an impressive selection to quench your thirst.

The Exhibitionist Bar Skyline Views (image supplied)
The Exhibitionist Bar Skyline Views (image supplied)

Taking in all this culture will no doubt put you on your way to feeling hungry. But be assured the sophisticated tapas-style snack menu is something to behold. Grazing your way through the afternoon has never been so easy with a glass of champagne in hand and a Soft-Shell Australian Bay Lobster Roll, or perhaps a crisp white wine and the Oven-Roasted Gold Coast Prawns with Finger Lime, served in Foraged Beach Leaves. There’s also the fanciest of sausage rolls and pies you just have to try. Ideal for those with a more classic taste!

Like the gallery installations, the food and drinks menu will change and evolve over time to work in harmony with the art and its associated themes. Nothing will remain stationary here, and much like our beloved city will be a continued evolution — for all the senses!

Where: Level 5/135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Hours: Seven days 10am – 10pm (Fri & Sat till midnight)

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Signature Cocktails at The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)
Signature Cocktails at The Exhibitionist Bar (image supplied)
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