CATALOGUE OF DREAMS

Commissioned by the Centenary of Canberra, award-winning theatre company Urban Theatre Projects has collaborated with local Canberra artists to create this bold and compelling new work. And Moya Simpson is one of those local artists, along with Jeremy Broom, Casey Keed and Benjamin Slabb, being led out of their comfort zones by co-directors Rosie Dennis and Alicia Talbot.

Catalogue of Dreams tells a multi-faceted story of the lives of young people at risk in the ACT.

The Sydney Morning Herald has called Urban Theatre Projects ‘…refreshingly honest, unpatronising and bullshit free…’

It’s on at The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre London Circuit, Canberra, from Wed 17 July to Sat 27 July. Bookings 6275 2700, or at Canberra Theatre box office, or www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au

 

..and also…. ONE RIVER

One River is a Centenary of Canberra project in which 10 artists in communities within the Murray Darling Basin facilitate community engagement and story sharing towards creating exceptional works of art around the river theme.

Shortis and Simpson are leading the Canberra component of the project, involving a massed choir (based around the Worldly Goods Choir), massed ukuleles (the Ukulele Republic of Canberra), a community songwriting group, and the National Carillon.

The result will be a broadcast to be aired on ArtSound FM and other community stations after August 2013.

You can witness the recording of the One River theme song written by John Shortis for choir and carillon on Sun Aug 18 at Aspen Island (recording at 10am, world premiere performance as part of the regular carillon recital between 12.30 and 1.20pm.)

Then on Sat Aug 24, representatives from all 10 communities will be converging on Canberra for a gala event at Belconnen Arts Centre. More details soon.

OUT OF THE CABINET

Bob Hawke meets Cyndi Lauper

Our annual performance at the National Archives, to accompany the release of 1984-5 Cabinet papers.  Historian Dr Jim Stokes presents a wry look at the records themselves, while we set the social, political and musical scene. And what years they were- elections in Australia and US, Howard replaces Peacock as Opposition Leader, Keating flexes his muscle. It’s the era of Live Aid, We Are the World, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Halleluiah, Like a Virgin, and much more. National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes, Sat/Sun Feb 2/3, 11am/2pm, free. Bookings naa.gov.au/visit-us/events. More information 6212 3956

ALSO……… 

PRIME TIME- the songs

John Shortis has written 52 songs about all 27 of our PMs (it is election year, so that number is up for review). We are currently recording them all, and creating weekly segments to be played on national community radio throughout 2013. In Canberra you can catch them on Artsound FM 92.7, each Monday, just after the 6 o’clock news

 

PRIME TIME- the show

27 PMs at their best and worst

With John Shortis as researcher/songwriter and John Romeril as writer/ dramaturg, Catherine Langman as director, Prime Time is an original musical/ theatrical production, part of the Centenary of Canberra, performed by a cast of thousands, including Shortis and Simpson, two other actor/singers, and Worldly Goods Choir. Cabaret, comedy, drama, community involvement, archival sound and images collide in this epic tale of public and private lives, of a populous responding to dramatic and fast-changing events, and of an evolving capital city. Funny, moving, informative, entertaining. Bookings open now. The Q Theatre, Queanbeyan, May 23-June 1. $39/$34 concession and groups, $29 matinees. www.theq.net.au, 6285 6290

                   

Out of the Cabinet Room

Coming up February 2nd and 3rd to accompany the release of 1984-85 Cabinet documents at the National Archives.

Details Soon.

All Our Worldly Goods

CD launch
It’s taken a while, but Worldly Goods Choir has made its first CD, Sombamba.
It’s a community choir CD with a difference! There are special guests, all of whom have some connection to our choir, and each has recorded a track with the choir. Margret RoadKnight, Frankie Armstrong, Valanga and Andrea Khoza, (who took many choir members to South Africa) Su Hart and Ian Moss (yes – the Cold Chisel guitarist) have all generously helped to make the CD a very special one.
The launch of Sombamba will be in the form of an amazing concert featuring the choir, with Shortis and Simpson and special guests from Melbourne, Valanga and Andrea Khoza, who specialise in the music of South Africa.
And for secret shower singers, or confident warblers, Valanga and Andrea are running a workshop open to anyone the day before the launch. All welcome.
CD LAUNCH- Sun Nov 25, 5.30pm, $30/$25 conc./$15 children
WORKSHOP- Sat Nov 24, 2pm to 5pm, $45/$35 conc.
Bookings 6173 3300. More info www.belconnenartscentre.com.au
info@belconnenartscentre.com.au

The act you’ve known for all these years – 50 years with the Beatles

Teatro Vivaldi and Shortis and Simpson present

Fri Nov 2/Sat Nov 3
7pm (show starts 8.30pm)
Dinner and show $65/$75/$85
Show only $30/$40/$50

Sun Nov 4, 5.30pm
Canapés, glass of champagne
$40/$50/$60
Bookings 6257 2718
For more information
vivaldirestaurant.com.au
shortisandsimpson.com
or 6230 4868

 

Can you believe it is 50 years since The Beatles signed with Parlophone Records and released their first single, Love Me Do?

To celebrate this important anniversary, avid researcher John Shortis and extraordinary singer Moya Simpson will once again combine to give their quirky and personal take on this amazing group, its impact on the world, and on them. Your favourite Beatles songs will all be there (Please Please Me, I Want To Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, If I Fell, And I love Her, Eight Days a Week, Yesterday, Help, Nowhere Man, Eleanor Rigby, A Day in the Life, Blackbird, Let It Be, Something, and many, many more), as well as surprising rarities, and stories that are both familiar and little-known. From Liverpool to Hamburg, London to the world, with a special segment on The Beatles in Australia (did you know that Molly Meldrum was removed from a Beatles concert in Melbourne for screaming too enthusiastically?) Be touched, have a laugh, relive memories, discover something new. Start growing your hair, and book now!

 

 

 

Woody – One night only!

 

This year there are many celebrations around the world to mark the centenary of American folk songwriter Woody Guthrie (born July 14 1912).

To celebrate this landmark anniversary here in Canberra, Shortis and Simpson present Woody– the songs, the life and the influence of this legendary minstrel.

In his imitable fashion, John Shortis has researched Woody’s life story, found the quotes, the quirky anecdotes, the surprising tidbits, and the grand moments that define his life and work.

The stars of the show, though, are Woody’s extraordinary songs- dust bowl ballads, work songs, union songs, hobo songs, talking blues, children’s songs, love songs, songs that mark milestones in the story of America in the early and mid twentieth century, songs that have influenced generations of singer/songwriters.

In Woody, Shortis tells the stories, plays keyboard and guitar. Moya Simpson breathes new life into the Guthrie songbook with her amazing range, vocal versatility, and comic flair. And Dave O’Neill, steeped in the folk tradition, brings an incredible authenticity to the show with his virtuosic fiddle/guitar/mandolin playing, not to mention a good dose of singing.

The well-known Woody songs will be there- This Land Is Your Land, So Long It’s Been Good To Know You, Deportee, Do-Re-Mi, Pretty Boy Floyd, Union Maid, Pastures of Plenty, Riding in My Car etc, as well as lesser known gems from his prolific typewriter, the songs that influenced him.

For a moving, musical, informative, and quite often humorous tribute to the great Woody Guthrie, don’t miss Woody.

Quenbeyan Artists Shed, 14 Foster Street Quenbeyan. Ph. 0412 463388

1942

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of an important year in our history

It was the year that war came to our doorstep, the year our alliance switched to the USA, the year that American military bands visited our shores. Inside these
bands were hot jazz players who influenced our local musicians and changed the nature of jazz in Australia. In 1942, Shortis and Simpson take you through the stories, the songs, the characters of that year, with their usual mix of humour and poignancy, and with their own hot band made up of Ian Blake, Dave O’Neill, Jon Jones and Peter J Casey. As jazz meets hillbilly and vaudeville, be transported to the days of the Tivoli, smoky nightclubs, dance halls, radio studios and much more.

Canberra Southern Cross Club, Woden, Friday, 12 October, 2012,
8.30pm, show only $28. Dinner and show $62.
Bookings 6283 7288

Woody- the Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie

WOODY- the life and songs of Woody Guthrie

To celebrate the centenary of American folk legend Woody Guthrie, Shortis
and Simpson, in association with Music For Everyone, present Woody.
In his imitable fashion, John Shortis has researched Woody’s life story, found
the quotes, the quirky anecdotes, the surprising tidbits, and the grand moments
that define his life and work. And Moya Simpson’s extraordinary voice will
breathe new life into the amazing Guthrie catalogue- dust bowl ballads, work
songs, union songs, hobo songs, children’s songs, love songs, songs that mark
milestones in the story of America in the early and mid twentieth century,
songs that have influenced generations of singer/songwriters. Accompanying
Shortis & Simpson is the virtuosic Dave O’Neill on fiddle/guitar/mandolin.

The well-known Woody songs will be there- This Land Is Your Land, So Long It’s Been Good To Know You, Deportee,
Do-Re-Mi, Pretty Boy Floyd, Union Maid, Pastures of Plenty, Riding in My Car

etc. So will lesser known gems from his prolific typewriter, the songs that
influenced him, and songs by the artists inspired by the man- Bob Dylan, Billy
Bragg, and of course his son, Arlo Guthrie. For a moving, musical, informative,
and quite often humorous tribute to the great Woody Guthrie, don’t miss Woody.

Friday August 10,
8.30pm, Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera Street, Braddon, $30/$25 concession.
Bookings 6230 7190, 12-6pm Mon-Fri.

Smart Arses, Bums and Short Arses

Up-to-date political
satire comes to the National Press Club when
Shortis &
Simpson join forces with the House Howlers and the Shiny Bum Singers

in

SMART ARSES, BUMS AND
SHORT ARSES

Friday June 29, 8.30pm, $32

 

The surplus has been ignored, the carbon tax ads that don’t mention the carbon tax
have hit our screens, leadership rumblings abound, cabcharges and union credit
cards are dirty words, a Green Milne walks in Brown footsteps, the opposition
is in campaign mode even though there’s no election.
It must be time for the annual gathering of satirical minds in Smart
Arses, Bums and Short Arses
, up-to-date political satire from three
perspectives.

The House Howlers (parliamentary journalists, the Smart Arses) fresh from their annual spot at the Mid-Winter Ball), combine with The Shiny Bum Singers (public servants, the Bums), and Shortis & Simpson(cabaret artists, the Short Arses), in this feast of wit, irreverence, insight and hilarity.

Politics and bureaucracy have never been this funny.

Book now http://www.npc.org.au or 6121 2199

National Press Club, 16 National Circuit, Barton, live jazz from 5.30pm, tapas from 6pm, restaurant from 7pm

 

 

 

Satire at Vivaldi’s

Shortis and Simpson’s first satire show of the year was Satire at Vivaldi’s on Sat May 12 2012. The political highlights and lowlights of the year so far were sung about- from the Lobby shoe incident (Julia’s Shoe), to the Rudd challenge (Battle Hymn of the Repoublic), the Thomson affair (Craig), the Slipper Affair (Magic Cabcharge Ride), the permanent leadership talk (Leaders’ Round Number 3 by Franz Short-Liszt), Kevin Rudd’s silence (Too Quiet There, Mr Rudd), the budget (The Surplus is Coming to Town), Tony Abbott’s policies (A Thought Bubble Waiting for Ideas), and Christine Milne (Bob’s Job). ,And the show was booked out.

 

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