Jazz diva (played by Nichaud Fitzgibbon) and her impresario husband (played by Mark Cutler) have devised a stage show based on her life to revive her flagging career. Against his better judgement and at her insistence, he has hired her former musical partner, lover and now struggling blues musician (Doc White) to play himself in the show. She’s trying to make Mark jealous, and it’s working. Doc finds himself caught in the crossfire. The audience picks up the show one week into rehearsal.
Over the journey the Lowdown Hokum Orchestra and Burlesque Revue has featured some of the finest musicians, actors and dancers in the country. Among their number are:
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Nichaud is recognised as Australia's premier jazz stylist. Her natural charisma and feisty elegance brings sophistication to performances. Her sound is sultry and warm and she always leaves you wanting more from her selection of swing and grooves to bossa and blues. She performs regularly with her band at various venues and is in demand for corporate events and major concerts. She works with some of Melbourne's finest musicians in a variety of line-ups from duo to big band.
Doc grew up in Adelaide before moving to Melbourne in 1989 where he quickly became involved in the vibrant local music scene. Doc has appeared at major festivals and tours Australia solo or with his band Si Compadres. Doc’s music has been played on ABC & community radio and he has been featured on The Planet and in Rhythms Magazine. Doc won Song of the Year at the 2004 VicTas Blues Awards. As an actor, Doc has appeared in the film Emily with Alison White and Diana Glenn and TV show House Husbands.
At the tender age of four Tony was thrust into a talent quest at the Woodside Pub and his love of music was born. Graduating to the drums, he led a marching band at age 10 and at 15 had his first formal instruction. Tony’s musical influence stretch from Elvin Bishop to the Glaser Brothers with a little bit of Ry Cooder in between.
Mark Cutler has been involved in theatre, television and radio for over thirty years, including seminal Australian TV comedy show Let The Blood Run Free with Peter Rosethorne, Marg Down, and Brian Nankervis. Of late Mark is a question writer on Rockwiz (SBS) and is Station Manager at Edge Radio in Hobart where he now lives with his family.
Miss Bettie Bombshell blasted onto the scene as an exciting, mischievous dancing machine.
Grabbing Australia by the scruff of the neck she travelled the sunburnt country showcasing her unique brand of burlesque and causing quite a stir. To date Bettie has had the pleasure of headlining the Twisted Vaudeville Circus at the 2015 Perth Fringe Festival, won a title at the 2014 Australian Burlesque Festival, appeared as a special guest performer at the Miss Burlesque Australia Grand final, became a regular in the Australian burlesque scene, drank champagne with the best of them and captivated audiences.
This bombshell brings a veritable smorgasbord of disciplines to the stage; ballet, acrobatics, music theatre, and after 20 years of dancing her performances are polished and beautiful to watch. Combine this with her quirky comedic style and her Hollywood vixen good looks, curvy package and perfect hair, you will not be able to avert your eyes, and nor should you want to!
Bombshell by name, Bombshell by nature.
Having initially begun in music with church Brass Bands, Howard strummed his way through the folk music of the late 60's, university in the 70's, and eventually found his way to playing in the Sydney "new wave" music scene, in "Wildlife Documentaries -with ex Saint Ivor Hay during the mid 80's.
Unexpectedly, this in turn led him to delving into popular music history where Howard became interested in "roots" music". Joining the hard working Sydney Band , the "Eddys", was the catalyst in moving to Melbourne where Howard found work with the " Dancehall Racketeers", the "Yarra Yarra Jazz Band", the "Red Onions", Allan Brownes' "New Orleans Rascalls", the "James Sherlock Trio", the "Ross Hannaford Trio", "Michelle Nicolle Quartet" and recently "Way Out West".
Paul has toured with English rock group Dire Straits. The initial tour of Australia was extended with the invitation to accompany them to New Zealand, where the band performed 2 concerts, to in excess of, 200,000 people. Then continued with the band for an extensive tour of Japan. On returning to Australia, he began to freelance- mainly as a jazz musician with artists such as Vince Jones, Jane Clifton, The Black Sorrows, Men At Work and Stephen Cummings.
Andy Baylor, Australian musician of renown, has his roots in the inner- urban art movement of seventies’ Melbourne – a time of musical experimentation, freedom and folk clubs. He has spent the last thirty years honing his unique musical talents.
Over the years, Andy has traveled the back roads of popular culture seeking knowledge and inspiration from many forgotten sources . He has drawn on America’s great 20th century legacy of popular music and his own Australian roots, creating a new individual voice combining instrumental virtuosity on several instruments with a strong sense of place and history.
He was even hand-picked by Bob Dylan to support some of his shows in ’92 with the Baylor Brothers Band (Dylan was given a copy of Andy’s first CD….”where’d you guys learn to play like that ?” was all Bob could say). Robert Plant was brought to a gig in Sydney’s Graphic Arts Club in the mid ‘80’s and saw the Dancehall Racketeers in full-flight .He subsequently used the band on his ’86 tour . Not only that ,but he was so inspired by the rootsy sounds that he went back to England and cut an album of rhythm ’n’ blues under the Honeydrippers’ name!
Andy has also toured with artists as diverse as Taj Mahal; John Mayall; Slim Whitman; New Orleans Soul singer, Betty Harris; Zydeco greats-Queen Ida and Rockin’ Dopsie Snr ; Steve Riley’s Mamou Playboys ; Cajun band Balfa Toujours and he has played fiddle with Cajun accordionist Ray Abshire. He has played concerts with bluegrass greats such as banjoist Bill Keith, fiddler Mark O’Connor and guitarist Dan Crary.
As for Australia’s great legacy of artists, Andy has always been a busy working musician with unmatched versatility. Over the years he has played with many artists –country, folk and rock with Slim Dusty, Anne Kirkpatrick, Redgum; blues with Chris Wilson, Kerri Simpson, Continental Robert, Rick Dempster, Lil Fi, Leslie Avril and others; he has continually collaborated with his equally well-known brothers, guitarist Peter Baylor and fiddler Donal Baylor on many projects.
Mike is a living Australian rock legend responsible for composing and recording some of the most iconic and progressive Australian music including the smash hit ‘I'll Be Gone’.
Trent’s directing credits include A Man For All Seasons (Melbourne Theatre Company), Brilliant Traces (Red Stitch Actors Theatre), Knives in Hens (V.C.A) True West, The Love of the Nightingale, The Crucible, Love Play, The Visit, Burn This, Road, The Joss Adams Show, Romeo and Juliet and as co-artistic director of Winterfall Theatre, As You Like It, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Cherry Orchard and A Kind of Alaska. In 2015 he will be directing Michael John LaChiusa’s Broadway musical The Wild Party for the V.C.A Musical Theatre Program. He studied at V.C.A as a director and W.A.A.P.A. as an actor before assistant directing to various directors such as Rob Meldrum (Mad Forrest), Simon Phillips (Festen and Scarlett O’Hara at the Crimson Parrot, both for MTC) and Tom Gutteridge on the Australian National Tour of Yes Prime Minister. As an actor Trent has toured nationally with Bell Shakespeare, Hit Productions, Shakespeare In The Vines and MTC Education playing the title role in MacBeth. He has appeared as an actor at MTC, Playbox, La Mama, The Australian Shakespeare Company, 45 Downstairs and Chapel off Chapel. He is a founding member of Red Stitch Actors Theatre in Melbourne and a fellow of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre London, where he trained and performed in 2011.
Lover of red lipstick, old hollywood films, coffee, Italy, comedy, 1950s pop, glitter, vintage costumes, dry martinis and men that are bad for her.
Lyra la Belle shimmied her way into the burlesque scene in 2010, producing her very first show, Burlesque Beauties, to sold out crowds at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. She has been dazzling sold-out crowds every since. Launching her solo career in 2010 she took out the title of Miss Burlesque Adelaide at the MBA South Australian heat with her understated glamour, quirky humour and strong dance ability.
Lyra la Belle has been dancing professionally around the world for more than 15 years. Starting her career in Adelaide as a podium dancer, she moved to London as a back up dancer in early 2000 and worked for a myriad of pop stars and high profile DJs.
Lyra's other profession is arts and entertainment publicity, working predominantly in comedy. Her style has been honed from her experience working with comedians and is a surprising mix of classic and neo. Lyra never takes herself too seriously and believes burlesque is about self-expression, fun and owning your sensuality.
"I'll end in the same way the show did: dwelling on the amazing artistry of Bella de Jac... her 30s inspired outfit and performance were one of the most amazing moments of burlesque I've seen in a while. The whole showcase was wonderful, but de Jac was a showstopper in every sense of the word." Max Cooper, Adelaide University Union Review
Former member of The Bushwackers, Peter has toured with Brownie McGhee, Bert Jaensch, Josh White jnr, Margaret Roadknight, Dutch Tilders and Phil Manning to name but a few. He has played on over 80 albums in a 43 year career. Regarded by his peers as the premier blues and roots bass player in the country.
Mimi began her career as an international ballroom dancer and represented Russia and Italy all around the globe. She was trained by the best dance teachers in the World and created her own, unique style of burlesque, which is a combination of flamboyant dance and a seductive tease.
Sophia is an accomplished ‘ doubler’, playing sax, clarinet and flute. More recently she has been performing as a lead vocalist and back-up vocalist.
She is a composer and lyricist of songs in the jazz, pop and cabaret style.
She is a versatile musician, who is able to read and sight-transpose music fluently, as well as ‘play by ear’ and improvise in a variety of styles.
Sophia studied music at the University of Adelaide, gaining her Bachelor of Music (Performance) Honours in 1995, and Graduate Diploma of Jazz Studies in 1996.
From 1992-94 she was employed as a musician for the Band of the South Australia Police. She left this position to undertake music studies at Indiana University, Bloomington IN as part of her Honours degree.
Returning to Australia in 1995, she completed her studies and worked in professional musical theatre, moving to Melbourne in 1997. There she worked as a freelance jazz musician until commencing in the international cruise industry as a showband musician in 2001 -2003.
She then joined Los Krokodillos in Barcelona, a Dixieland jazz band that made many recordings and toured around Spain and Europe.
In 2008 she returned to South Australia with her son, combining study, family duties and the role of Councillor for Norwood Payneham & St Peters while gradually rebuilding her base of music work in Adelaide.
She has performed regularly or as a guest with Ellington’s Heirs, Bill Polain Allstars, Cocktail Society, Ready Set Jazz, Chico’s Combo, Trio Montagne, the Bluescasters, Let it Roll and Chris Finnen.
In June 2014 Sophia produced her first original cabaret show ‘Barcelona to the Britannia’ for the Cabaret Fringe Festival, and also shared the stage with New York cabaret star Mark Nadler as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Paul was accepted to the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium to study an Associate Diploma of Jazz. While attending the course, he made strong friendships with other musicians from around Australia, and often plays with many of the players he studied with. He left the course in 2001 to develop his own playing style.
It was also during his time at university that he began playing in musical theatre productions around Adelaide. He has played numerous shows with Northern Light Theatre Company, Hills Musical Company, Marie Clarke Theatre Company, and has also played in the two 24-Hour Shows presented in Adelaide. Shows he has been involved in include: The Mikado; Bye Bye Birdie; Finian’s Rainbow; Guys & Dolls; HMS Pinafore; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Jesus Christ Superstar; Copacabana; South Pacific (24 Hours); Once Upon A Mattress; A Fractured G&S Trilogy; Scrooge – The Musical!; Mack & Mabel; Man of La Mancha; 42nd Street; Guys & Dolls (24 Hours); The Rocky Horror Picture Show; and Grease.
He was awarded the Jarvis Payne Memorial Award in 2000 by the Southern Jazz Club, and has also won the Ray Clarke Young Musician Award, awarded by the Moe Jazz Festival.
Alex is a versatile, seasoned and engaging violin/mandolin player and arranger.
Over the last 30 years he has played, toured and recorded with many well known acts including John Schumann.
Alex is also a live and studio sound engineer, music teacher, bass player, Apple Service Technician, all-round computer/audio geek and is also pretty good at faking it on mandolin and guitar.
Minnie Monroe fell in love with the art of tease in the city of love. Circus performer and Aerialist, she performed on the streets of Paris before returning to Australia with a touch of France. She now specialises in burlesque fan dancing and loves to bring her unique style to the stage.
© Copyright 2015 Lowdown Hokum Orchestra