this week in sydney…

This week has certainly been eventful!  We managed to make time to go see the musical Spring Awakening and attend Tropfest Film Festival…

Spring Awakening is a rock musical adaptation of the controversial 1891 German play of the same title by Frank Wedekind. It features music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater. Set in late-nineteenth century Germany, it concerns teenagers who are discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality. The original play was banned in Germany, for about a century, due to its portrayal of masturbationabortion,rapebondagechild abuse and suicide. In the musical, alternative rock is employed as part of the folk-infused rock score. Spring Awakeningreceived eleven 2007 Tony Award nominations, winning eight, including Tonys for best musical, direction, book, score and featured actor. The show also won four Drama Desk Awards.

source: Wikipedia

My interest in Spring Awakening began in a History of Musical of Theatre class… The professor showed our class this clip (above) from the 2007 Tony Awards.  Spring Awakening also managed to win 8 of the 11 Tony awards it was nominated for this night – not bad!

The play showcases alternative rock music by Duncan Sheik, whom you may or may not remember from his debut hit single in 1996 “Barely Breathing”…. So when this play came to Sydney Theatre Company we decided to see what all the hype was about.

As expected, the music rocked (hehe) & so did the Australian accents. However, I was not braced for the plays dark themes and devastating story-line.  It certainly was not a feel good musical experience… In-fact, post show we were temporarily depressed (luckily cured by a brownie).

Despite the controversial material, I recommend Spring Awakening to all lovers of the theater…  After all, isn’t the whole point of watching a live performance to evoke feelings (upbeat or somber)… and to get people thinking…


Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival.  The event actually originated in the Tropicana Cafe in Darlinghurst!!!! (This is literally a 20 second walk from where i live) The event has grown (this year 150,000 people attended) so they have moved this free event to the Domain.  Imagine picnicking & boozing with friends and family on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  My pictures don’t really do the event justice but you get the idea!

This youtube channel broadcasts the videos – I think Fish Lips was my favorite.

Toni Collette & Elijah Wood judged the finals…

Movie Extra Tropfest is Australia’s most prestigious short film festival and one of its most iconic cultural events. It is also the largest short film festival in the world. At home, Tropfest is recognised for its enormous contribution to the development of the Australian film industry by providing unique platforms for emerging filmmakers through its events and initiatives, and new and expanded audiences for their work.

John Polson, the ‘Tropicana Short Film Festival’ [as it was originally known] started as an informal short film screening for cast, crew and friends at the Tropicana Cafe in Sydney’s Darlinghurst. More than 200 people showed up for that first screening. Inspired by the turn out, John decided that a full-fledged short film festival was the next step.Eighteen years on, Movie Extra Tropfest in Australia attracts a live national audience of more than 150,000 people on a single night. The event is hosted at Sydney’s Domain in the Royal Botanic Gardens, with live satellite links to outdoor locations in Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and Surfer’s Paradise.

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