Under the Influence

A tribute to the singers, the songwriters and the seminal moments that have inspired Shortis and Simpson

John Shortis and Moya Simpson are known for their quirky originality, developed over a long career, culminating this June in an OAM each. But what were the catalysts that shaped and inspired them? Who were their most influential writers and singers? What were the turning points in their remarkable journeys?

In Under the Influence, Shortis and Simpson blend specially written originals with songs that represent those artists and seminal moments. Getting much more than honourable mentions will be the likes of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Barbra Streisand, Leonard Cohen, Elvis, Erik Satie, Spike Milligan, The Beatles and many more. Then there are the stories- like Simpson being thrown out of the school choir- her first hearing of Bulgarian singing- Shortis being told he was tone deaf- his father’s church choir rehearsing in the lounge room etc etc etc.

Funny, surprising, touching, full of stunning musical moments, Under the Influence is not to be missed. You’ve seen the duo, now visit the world that made them.

AINSLIE ARTS CENTRE, Elouera St, Braddon. Friday August 11, 8pm. $35/$30.                                                      Bookings 6182 0000, or in person at Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Ave, Braddon, or on-line at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/under-the-influence-tickets-35906075037 (there is a small booking fee applicable for on-line bookings).

CURTAIN CALL- Vivaldi’s Last Season

After 14 years, Canberra’s favourite cabaret venue, Teatro Vivaldi, will have to close its doors forever in June. The ANU Arts Centre is to be razed to the ground to make way for a health and well being centre.

Before coming to Vivaldi’s, current owners Mark Santos and Anthony Hill, were running a B&B in Noel Coward’s house in London until Anthony was offered a position at the ANU. Their passion for music-theatre saw them buying an established restaurant and converting it into a performance and dining venue that has found its way into the hearts of many Canberrans.

For local cabaret artists, Shortis and Simpson, it has become a spiritual home, scene of many of their shows over 10 years. So it’s with great love for this venue and sadness for its demise that they are honoured to create and perform the very last Vivaldi show – Curtain Call.

For this last hurrah they will be joined by special guest artist, Peter J Casey, flown in at great expense from Wagga Wagga. Shortis and Simpson have performed many shows with him at Teatro Vivaldi.

Expect anything from Noel Coward to original songs, highlights of past shows, new material, stories, plenty of laughs and the inevitable tear. Don’t miss this memorable event. Saturday night booked out!

Teatro Vivaldi, ANU campus, Thurs-Sat June 8/9/10, 7pm.

3 course dinner and show $75/$85/$95 (depending on seating). Show only, 8.30pm, $35/$45/$55. Book 6257 2718 or enquiries@vivaldirestaurant.com.au

 

50 Years Ago Today- marking the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

1967, the year Harold Holt disappeared, the Vietnam War was raging, and a landmark LP hit the shops. It was Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and its songs were a mixture of hippy philosophy and British entertainment of a bygone era. There were characters like Billy Shears, Lucy in the Sky, Mr Kite and Rita the meter maid, and the tracks played through as if part of a single work. Then there was the cover artwork, lyrics on the sleeve for the first time ever, cardboard cut-outs, a psychedelic inner sleeve. The Summer of Love had a soundtrack, and the world of popular music was changed forever.

Shortis and Simpson pay tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of this groundbreaking piece of vinyl in a show that tells the story of the album and the songs set against the political and social climate of the era. Of course all the songs will be there, and the show will be presented in the usual Shortis and Simpson style that is well-researched, humorous, poignant, informative and above all, entertaining.

Tilba Valley Wines, 947 Old Highway, Narooma (signposted off main highway, 12kms south of Narooma, 4kms north of Tilba), Sat April 29, 7.30 pm. $25
Bookings  4473 7308. Doors open 5.30 pm, food available to order until 7pm

 

 

Fifty Years Ago Today

Marking the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

1967, the year Harold Holt disappeared, the Vietnam War was raging, and a landmark LP hit the shops. It was Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and its songs were a mixture of hippy philosophy and British entertainment of a bygone era. There were characters like Billy Shears, Lucy in the Sky, Mr Kite and Rita the meter maid, and the tracks played through as if part of a single work. Then there was the cover artwork, lyrics on the sleeve for the first time ever, cardboard cut-outs, a psychedelic inner sleeve. The Summer of Love had a soundtrack, and the world of popular music was changed forever.

Shortis and Simpson pay tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of this groundbreaking piece of vinyl in a show that tells the story of the album and the songs set against the political and social climate of the era. Of course all the songs will be there, and the show will be presented in the usual Shortis and Simpson style that is well-researched, humorous, poignant, informative and above all, entertaining.

Joining Shortis and Simpson will be Worldly Goods Choir, and a hot band made up of Dave O’Neill, Jon Jones, Ian Blake, Bob Rodgers, and Andrew Purdam.

Fifty Years Ago Today will be presented in the Bicentennial Hall, next to the Q in Queanbeyan.  Seating is tables and chairs. Bring a picnic. Bar is open in the venue.

Sat Mar 18, 8pm. Bicentennial Hall, Queanbeyan (enter via Q foyer)$52/ $46 conc. /groups (8+) $45, student $25. To book 6285 6290, or

http://www.theq.net.au/buy-tickets/

 

The Year Of Voting Dangerously- a satirical look at the events of 2016

Christmas is coming, time to look back at the year of 2016 with all its perils and pitfalls. And what a year it’s been- the double D election, the Brexit vote, the dwindling prospect of an orange President of the USA, and much, much more! Now Turnbull’s struggling to look like a winner, Abbott’s backbench smirk says he would have done better, and Shorten’s carrying on as if he’d been the victor. And in the Senate, Hinch and Hanson are happy, Lambie and Leyonhjelm are laughing, Bernardi and Brandis are beaming, and Abetz is antsy.

As Malcolm himself says, there’s no more exciting time than right now to satirise the lot of them, so that is exactly what Shortis and Simpson, will do in their brand new show The Year of Voting Dangerously. Yes, just when you thought you could forget how ludicrous our political climate has become, this hilarious cabaret duo will have you laughing and crying as they look at not-quite-a-year of the foibles and follies of our political leaders. It’s funny, poignant, informative, entertaining, and very dangerous. So strap on your seat belt, slap on your helmet, and don’t miss The Year of Voting Dangerously.

CATCH IT AT…

Bungendore Bowling Club, Turallo Terrace, Bungendore Sat Nov 5, 8pm, bar open from 7pm, $30/$25 concession (plus booking fee). Bring your own picnic (no BYO alcohol, full bar service). For bookings go to  https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-year-of-voting-dangerously-a-satirical-look-at-2016-tickets-28026347560

OR…

In the lounge room of Keith and Jenny McKenry, 121 Fenton Drive,Harcourt North, (near Castlemaine, Vic). Sat 12 Nov 2pm, $20.Bookings fangedwombat@bigpond.com or (03) 5439 6525

OR…

St Thomas’ Church Hall, Beaconsfield Rd, O’Connell (near Bathurst), Sat Nov 19, 8pm, $30/$25. BYO picnic/drinks. Book 0421 060973

OR…

Teatro Vivaldi, ANU campus, Fri Dec 2, 7pm. 3 course dinner and show $70/$80/$90 (depending on seating). Show only, 8.30pm, $30/$40/$50. Book 6257 2718 or enquiries@vivaldirestaurant.com.au

StringSing 2

After an extremely successful event 2 years ago, the strings of Canberra Mandolin Orchestra and the singers of Worldly Goods Choir are joining forces once again in StringSing 2.

Compéred by Moya Simpson, the concert will feature a host of new material and Shortis arrangements.

A couple of themes will run through the concert, one of which is a tribute to some of the notable figures of the musical world we have lost in the last year- David Bowie, Glenn Frey (The Eagles), Stevie Wright (The Easybeats), and George Martin (the legendary Beatles producer and arranger).

Another is seafaring- which will see a mandolin journey through the Mediterranean, and a vocal voyage from Finland to Argentina and back.

And more- South American, Vietnamese, Zimbabwean, Eastern European, US Gospel, and an original John Shortis song, all while day becomes night over beautiful Lake Ginninderra.

Worldly Goods is a community choir of eighteen years, is open to anyone and requires no previous experience or music-reading skills. The choir is run by Moya Simpson, with arrangements and original material by John Shortis

Canberra Mandolin Orchestra, formed in 2003, brings together players of mandolin, mandola, mandocello, mandobass, guitar and double bass. The musical director is Michael Sollis.

Belconnen Arts Centre, Emu Bank, Belconnen, Sunday Sept 18, 5pm, $25/$20 (plus booking fee). To book

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/stringsing-2-tickets-27209384000

Also…

Braidwood Goes Balkan- The bent rhythms and spine-tingling harmonies of Bulgaria and Georgia, in a 4-hour workshop led by Moya Simpson. Anyone is welcome, singers and non-singers alike. Brag Hall, Wallace St. Braidwood, Sun Sept 11, 10am-2pm, $25/$20 conc.

Bookings essential: 6238 1827 or email moyajohn@shortisandsimpson.com

StringSing 2

 

After an extremely successful event 2 years ago, the strings of Canberra Mandolin Orchestra and the singers of Worldly Goods Choir are joining forces once again in StringSing 2.

Compéred by Moya Simpson, the concert will feature a host of new material and Shortis arrangements.

A couple of themes will run through the concert, one of which is a tribute to some of the notable figures of the musical world we have lost in the last year- David Bowie, Glenn Frey (The Eagles), Stevie Wright (The Easybeats), and George Martin (the legendary Beatles producer and arranger).

Another is seafaring- which will see a mandolin journey through the Mediterranean, and a vocal voyage from Finland to Argentina and back.

And more- South American, Vietnamese, Zimbabwean, Eastern European, US Gospel, and an original John Shortis song, all while day becomes night over beautiful Lake Ginninderra.

Worldly Goods is a community choir of eighteen years, is open to anyone and requires no previous experience or music-reading skills. The choir is run by Moya Simpson, with arrangements and original material by John Shortis

Canberra Mandolin Orchestra, formed in 2003, brings together players of mandolin, mandola, mandocello, mandobass, guitar and double bass. The musical director is Michael Sollis.

Belconnen Arts Centre, Emu Bank, Belconnen, Sunday Sept 18, 5pm, $25/$20 (plus booking fee). To book–

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/stringsing-2-tickets-27209384000

Also…

Braidwood Goes Balkan- The bent rhythms and spine-tingling harmonies of Bulgaria and Georgia, in a 4-hour workshop led by Moya Simpson. Anyone is welcome, singers and non-singers alike. Brag Hall, Wallace St. Braidwood, Sun Sept 11, 10am-2pm, $25/$20 conc. Bookings essential: 6238 1827 or contact moyajohn@shortisandsimpson.com

 

 

Stop the Votes (We want to get off)

Election Night Special at Teatro Vivaldi

On Saturday July 2 it will all be over. After 8 long weeks the promises, black holes, gaffes, missteps, bluff and bluster, the long-winded election campaign will come to an end. The votes will stop.

To celebrate, Shortis and Simpson are creating a mini tally room at Teatro Vivaldi, with election coverage, as well as comedy, cabaret, quizzes and karaoke.

The bar at Teatro Vivaldi will be open for food and drinks.

Teatro Vivaldi, ANU campus, Sat July 2, 7pm, $25/$30/$35 Bookings 6257 2718 or enquiries@vivaldirestaurant.com.au

Out of the Cabinet 1990 and 1991

OUT OF THE CABINET

For the very last time, Shortis & Simpson present their annual show that accompanies the release of the cabinet documents, this time of 1990/91- when we had the recession we had to have, when Keating became PM, and Hewson made it to Opposition leader. Milli Vanilli were caught miming, Nirvana were smelling like teen spirit, Freddie Mercury died, Sinead O’Connor burst on the scene, and the Wiggles were born. Once again, Shortis & Simpson will be joined by Dr Nicholas Brown, who will give his take on the cabinet documents. And it’s the Enlighten Festival, so come and bathe in the warm glow of illuminated public buildings, and be entertained and informed at the same time. National Archives, Sat Mar 5/12, 6.30/8.30pm, $15.29 (plus small delivery fee) To book.

http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=OUTOFTHE16

Political satire with mirrors

It’s the post-Abbott era, Turnbull is walking the thin line between liberal and Liberal, and Shorten is no longer anyone but Abbott. In this election year, S&S have put everything on the table to present songs and stories so up-to-date that the ink will be drying on the page, as well as reminding you of some of the highlights and lowlights of the budget fumbles and poll tumbles of the Abbott years. All you can do is laugh, and what better way to do that than with the songs and comedy, quirkiness and poignancy of Shortis and Simpson. The Famous Spiegeltent, Civic Square. Sun Feb 21, 6.30pm, $35/$30. To book go to:  canberratheatrecentre.com.au/show/shortis-and-simpson/

OUT OF THE CABINET                                                                   For the very last time, Shortis and Simspon present their annual show that accompanies the release of the cabinet documents, this time of 1990/91- when we had the recession we had to have, when Keating became PM, and Hewson made it to Opposition leader. Milli Vanilli were caught miming, Nirvana were smelling like teen spirit, Freddie Mercury died, Sinead O’Connor burst on the scene, and the Wiggles were born. Once again, S&S will be joined by Dr Nicholas Brown, who will give his take on the cabinet documents. And it’s the Enlighten Festival, so come and bathe in the warm glow of illuminated public buildings, and be entertained and informed at the same time. National Archives, Sat Mar 5/12, 6.30/8.30pm, $15.29 (plus small delivery fee) To book.http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=OUTOFTHE16

 Also coming up….                                                                -Worldly Goods Au Naturel! Worldly Goods Choir at National Archives to accompany Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, National Archives, Fri Mar 4/11, 7.30pm. Free.

-Shortis and Simpson at the Cobargo Folk Festival- Cobargo Showground, Feb 26-29, cobargofolkfestival.com

-The Power and the Passion-Accompanying the Midnight Oil exhibition, Shortis and Simpson give their unique musical take on the music and politics and social history of this important Aussie band.. Fri Mar 18, Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Details soon.

 

 

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