INTERVIEW WITH ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ALI McGREGOR AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

Scenestr83I have been very fortunate to score the work of putting together another cover story for Scenestr magazine. Featured on the cover is cabaret star Natalie Gamsu who is bringing the highly anticipated Carmen, Live or Dead to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival but my interview was with the Festival’s Artistic Director Ali McGregor who additionally is debuting her new show Yma Sumac about the Peruvian songbird as well there. Scenestr86

We skyped and when it was over I realised I had just conducted my longest interview, at least since I started working for Scenestr. McGregor in addition to being a remarkable talent, was passionate about the art form of cabaret, full of praise for Adelaide crowds and came with her own fascinating back story about moving from a career in opera to one that is more diverse. It was a pleasure to get to speak to her and talk about the largest cabaret festival in the world. You can read the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/adelaide-cabaret-festival-explores-the-possibilities-of-the-art-form

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland every month. The interview with Ali McGregor is the cover story for this month’s South Australia magazine featuring on pages 8 and 9. You can read a digital version of the printed Western Australia edition here http://scenestr.com.au/read/SA/2018/39-SA/scenestr-SA-39.html#p=8

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A cover story interview with a person so creative and articulate you only hope to give some justice to them on the page. You can’t ask for a better gig than that and I count myself very fortunate.

-Lloyd Marken

 

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INTERVIEW WITH, THE GENIE OF ‘ALADDIN’, GARETH JACOBS AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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A  very cool thing happened a few weeks ago thanks to working for Scenestr. A call went out for people to interview a lead cast member from Aladdin – The Musical. Our Arts/Comedy Editor had already written a fantastic review of the show and so I was lucky enough to get the gig. So the next day on the 28th of February Karen and I went to see Aladdin – The Musical at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, an unusual occurrence for an interview since the magazine had already reviewed the show. I’ve seen some great shows in my day Les Miserables, Wicked, Avenue Q and The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Aladdin is a feat in live theatre, there is no other way to put it. Maybe the stories of those shows speak to me more but for sheer energy, pizazz and spirit you won’t find anything that wants to entertain you more than Aladdin. Moving props, forget it – moving sets, fight choreography, dance ensembles, glittering jewels and treasures, jokes and pyrotechnics galore and yes one beautifully moving magic carpet ride. Simply put, if Aladdin comes to your town – it is the show to see.

I went by now knowing I would be interviewing Gareth Jacobs who has taken over the role of The Genie from American Michael James Scott. Before we went in I was asked if I would like to briefly meet Gareth after the show in anticipation of our interview. After the show as adviced we waited patiently as everybody filed out, a stage hand came up to the row in front of us where two people had stayed in their seats and even a few metres away I could hear him ask “Are you Lloyd?”. “Nah.” was the gentleman’s reply which I think gives us all some advice for what to say when we’re in a similar situation. The stage hand came up to me next and I said yes and we were taken down to a stage door and brought through the wings onto the stage behind the now drawn curtains. On the stage stood Aladdin (Ainsley Melham), Princess Jasmine (Hiba Elchikhe) and Genie (Gareth Jacobs). We walked forward and shook hands with everyone and I introduced Karen to everybody who then shook hands. We were asked “If we enjoyed the show?” of  which we assured them all we had. We then posed for pictures before thanking each other once again as Karen and I left. As we reached the wings we heard the next set of VIPs (for lack of a better term) being introduced. Of course that was a nice thing done to give us a good feeling and part of my job is I like to think to be cool about such things and focus on the work. You can be the judge if I do but having seen the show and enjoyed it I was grateful for the opportunity and pleased to get to share it with my wife. The next day I interviewed Mr Jacobs who was great to talk to and you can read the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/aladdin-the-musical-gareth-jacobs-takes-on-the-role-of-genie

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Every opportunity with Scenestr has been a privilege and joy that I do not take for granted and have gotten something out of that you can’t put a price on. Some have been highlights and this was one of them. Around about the time of the interview marked a year since my first published post with Scenestr.

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. This interview was published in print in the April Queensland edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2018/1103-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1103.html#p=45 with the interview on page 44.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

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INTERVIEW WITH ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL DIRECTOR PHILIPPE PLATEL AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Another great opportunity to interview a film festival director came up at Scenestr magazine. The French Film Festival with its tour around Australia through various Palace Cinemas is now in its 29th year. I was lucky enough to interview Palace CEO Benjamin Zeccola last year in anticipation of their Italian Film Festival and now I got to talk to Mr Platel who is is the Festival Director of the French Film Festival which is run by Alliance Francaise with Palace Cinemas being their exhibition partner.

This conversation was illuminating for how films get chosen and some of the hidden gems of the festival were cited. You can read the piece here http://scenestr.com.au/movies/alliance-francaise-french-film-festival-keeps-on-rolling

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises, Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH ‘I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE’ DIRECTOR GABRIELLA FLOWERS AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I was lucky enough to interview director Gabriella Flowers for Scenestr Magazine where she talked about directing the musical revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. The show is the longest running off Broadway musical and captures relationships right from their beginnings to the poignancy of romance later on in life. Presented by the Savoyards Musical Comedy Society Inc. it is playing at the Star Theatre in Manly this month. I really enjoyed the chat with Gabriella which touched on mentors, dating apps, support and respect in the workforce and the relevance of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to popular culture. You can check out the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/i-love-you-you-re-perfect-now-change-exploring-relationships

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. This interview was published in print in the March Queensland edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2018/1102-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1102.html#p=53 with the interview on page 53.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

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INTERVIEW WITH COMEDIAN DEANNE SMITH AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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DeAnne Smith is a Canadian-American stand-up comedian who has taken the world by storm and is now returning to Australia with her new show Worth It. When I spoke to her in late January it capped off a week where I had interviewed for Scenestr Magazine fellow comedians Arj Barker and Michael Che and where the bulk of my recent interviews had been with stand-ups. I feel enormously privileged to have spoken to everybody I’ve gotten to interview. These interviews have been the scariest and most fulfilling things I’ve gotten to do in the past year. So I don’t say this lightly, DeAnne Smith was one of my favourite interviews and part of why is the same reason she is a successful comedian.

Open, unapologetically herself but friendly and warm she constantly gets audiences to laugh at things that may have challenged them or threatened some in another context. Worth It deals with money and the value we place on wealth and during our talk a few threads of conversation came from this. It can be painful sometimes to have someone say some truly fascinating things that you have to cut out in service of sticking to a word count. There was a lot of that with the interview I did with DeAnne but hopefully you still enjoy the piece over here at http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/deanne-smith-her-show-is-totally-worth-it Speaking with sincere love for her profession and audiences those who attend, her upcoming tour should be in for a treat.

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. This interview was published in print in the February Queensland edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2018/1101-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1101.html#p=60 with the interview on page 60.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH COMEDIAN ARJ BARKER AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It was a very interesting week, an opportunity came up to interview comedian Arj Barker for Scenestr magazine in the lead up to his new show We Need To Talk at the Adelaide Fringe. I was lucky enough to get that gig and prepared for it. I’ve been watching Arj Barker for years on Australian television with panel shows and telecasts from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Along with Heath Franklin and Randy Feltface here was someone whom I could mention to my friends and they would know who I was talking about. By the end of the week I had spoken to Arj Barker, Michael Che and DeAnne Smith. It was a lot of work, a bit scary and a lot of fun and it all started with Arj.

It’s very surreal to get to interview these people after years of being a fan, Arj answered all my questions and reflected on a few things that will feature in his show. It was a thrill to do the interview which you can read here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/arj-barker-needs-to-talk-with-us-in-his-new-show

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. This interview was published in print in the February South Australian edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/SA/2018/36-SA/scenestr-SA-36.html#p=75 with the interview on page 74.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

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INTERVIEW WITH MICHEAL CHE AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Michael Che is the co-head writer of Saturday Night Live and the co-anchor of the bit Weekend Update that features on that show. In 2009 he started doing stand-up, in 2012 he performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, a year later he was a writer on Saturday Night Live, following highly renowned bits as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart he was made co-anchor of Weekend Update in late 2014. Just over three years later he is head co-writer of SNL, he has released a Netflix special Michael Che Matters and he is touring throughout the world. When I began writing for Scenestr a little less than a year ago I never thought it possible I would get to interview someone like Che who had performed on Letterman or SNL. The fact that it was someone whose comedy I enjoy as much as Che was a real treat. I’m tickled pink that I was put through by a PA for the interview and then told to wrap it up by the PA as well. That’s a new level of fame. 🙂 A personal indulgence on my part became the central focus of the interview for me. I asked Che what it was like to perform on Letterman. His answer I believe is first and foremost an interesting behind the scenes story, but it also reflects something about comedians. Muhammed Ali would move faster when he sparred later in life with Parkinsons then when he walked. Fighters fight. Stand-ups do live comedy. You are your craft and it always comes back to that. I’m very grateful for speaking to Michael Che and to Scenestr and to you all for reading. I hope you enjoy http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/michael-che-using-humour-to-identify-humanity-with-his-australian-tour

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland every month. The interview with Michael Che is the cover story for this month’s Western Australia magazine featuring on pages 10 and 11. You can read a digital version of the printed Western Australia edition here http://scenestr.com.au/read/WA/2018/11-WA/scenestr-WA-11.html#p=11 Scenestr65The Western Australia edition only started up in May 2017 and only with such an expansion I guess could such an opportunity had been made possible. I have now done two cover stories for the Western Australia edition and one for the Queensland edition for which I’m very grateful. If you’re into music Scenestr are a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken