Milk Bar Milk Bar is your cultural and creative guide to the best of Melbourne Sun, 23 Jul 2017 20:00:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Coronation of Poppea Sun, 23 Jul 2017 20:00:24 +0000 If you’re in the market for opera, The Coronation of Poppea is not one to be missed. Brought to you by Lyric Opera Melbourne, the show features an all-star cast of opera singers from Melbourne and across the country.

Stretching back to Renaissance Italy, The Coronation of Poppea was written by Claudio Monteverdi in 1643 and was one of the very first operas ever to be performed. It follows the story of Poppea and her lover Nero who is the married emperor of Rome. We watch as Amor, Virtue and Fortune impact the characters on stage in this story of love conquering all.

Although this opera is originally set in Ancient Rome, Lyric Opera sets the story with a modern and minimalist vibe, freeing itself of a set time period and an abundance of props.

The Coronation of Poppea is filled with beautiful scores with incredible voices to match. The orchestra didn’t miss a note and each musician played impeccably. With an old school soundtrack sung all in Italian, the talent really did shine through.

This all-star cast is in good hands with experienced director Tyran Parke — whose track record includes on over 80 professional productions since graduating from WAAPA — who manages to bring together an array of people with various theatrical backgrounds.

The Coronation of Poppea is an opera that truly has stood the test of time and has never been done the way Lyric Opera has presented it.

The Coronation of Poppea 
Chapel off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran

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LuxBite Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:00:44 +0000 Since opening up shop seven years ago, director Yen Yee and head chef Bernard Chu have encouraged customers of their small South Yarra store to challenge their tastebuds with their eclectic range of desserts all infused with an Asian influence, creating new and memorable flavours as well as visually inspired edible works of art. Now turning their hands to Viennoiserie, LuxBite have come forward with a new selection of traditional and unique offerings, creative spins on some of their favourite Asian dishes merged with delicate French pastries.

For those wishing to be a bit adventurous, highlights of the new menu include Le Hong Kong, a bamboo charcoal cruffin inspired by one of Chu’s favourite Yum Cha dishes, with golden lava salted yolk that oozes out from its centre when cut, balancing the delicate and buttery texture of the pastry with the rich aromas and flavours of the salted yolk. Or for something completely different there is Le Taiwan, a spring onion croissant topped with a strip of seaweed, merging sweet and savoury in a perfectly layered pastry with surprising flavours and results.

Their selection of Le Canele’s includes two offerings, the ‘OG’ Vanilla and the Pong Dong. These small, almost bite sized pastries, the perfect size for the richness of their flavours, have a soft custard centre surrounded by a thick caramelized crust offering a completely different texture to their range of croissants and cruffins, ensuring that there is a taste for everyone.

With their new range of Viennoiserie, old favourites and experimental creations of the week, there is always a good reason to head to South Yarra and treat yourself to new flavours and new desserts.

38 Toorak Road, South Yarra
Open 7 days, 8am to 7pm

]]> 0 Gertrude Street Projection Festival Wed, 19 Jul 2017 20:00:31 +0000 Fitzroy gets lit as the Gertrude Street Projection festival celebrates its first double-digit anniversary.

Setting shopfronts, laneways and footpaths aglow, this community-driven event is worth the venture into the cold. ‘Unfurling Futures’ is the theme for 2017 and a diverse range of artists — young to old, local to international, emerging to established — tackle the social, political and environmental issues of our times. Curator Fiona Hillary says, ‘Unfurling Futures is an invitation to artists and audiences to explore notions of the past and present and how they shape the possibility of multiple futures’.

For ten years the festival has enchanted Melburnians with inspired works from formidable artists. Festival Director Nicky Pastore says, ‘As a non-for-profit organisation, the success of Gertrude Street Projection Festival and its 10th Anniversary is undeniably thanks to the ongoing support from the local traders and community organisations. Each year we are amazed by the enthusiasm and willingness of our artists and supporters to turn the street into a living artwork, encouraging audiences to explore and celebrate the diversity of the neighbourhood’.

Beginning at Nicholson Street, scour the darkness to chance on illuminated wonders in every nook and cranny as you make your way down to Smith Street junction. This year, you can experience 30 artworks in the most spectacular way. For the dreamers amongst you, Prativa Tamang’s Fall Into The Skies will tickle your inner whimsy. If that’s not enough, Ash Coates, Mycolinguistics (Rubico-Sterolosis or Oneness) fluctuates between realism and fantasy. For the brave, there’s Omagatoki — the Hour of Meeting Monsters, by Kyoko Imazu. For those seeking a more hands-on experience, look no further than Telekinetik’s Luminance Laboratory, where your inner artist can play with light-emitting brushes, rollers, spray cans and stencils to create glowing masterpieces on a photoluminescence canvas.

The much-anticipated light spectacular kicks off from Friday, 21 July, so rug up and take a stroll down a psychedelic rabbit hole.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival 
Friday, 21 to Sunday, 30 July 2017, 6pm to midnight

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Paris Can Wait ticket giveaway Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:00:13 +0000 Are you feeling sad that you’ve missed out on the European summer this year? Is your news feed full of I-left-my-heart-in-Paris posts with a strategically positioned Eiffel Tower in the background? Don’t fret, Milk Bar Mag is here to soothe those wintery blues by giving away 10 FREE double-passes to see the idyllic romantic comedy Paris Can Wait, starring Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin and Arnaud Viard. 

In her directorial and screenwriting debut, Eleanor Coppola – mother of superstar director Sofia Coppola (Marie AntoinetteLost in TranslationThe Beguiled) – draws from her experiences of a past visit to create Paris Can Wait. The film follows a woman at a crossroads in her life and her journey of self-discovery. Losing her daughter to college and neglected by a husband focused on his career, Anne (Lane) longs for attention, adventure, and that spark. 

As Michael (Baldwin) and Anne prepare to board an impromptu flight to Budapest for business, the pilot suggests Anne not fly due to her earache. Michael’s film producer colleague Jacques (Viard) offers to drive Anne to Paris, so Michael can meet her later and resume their vacation. A straightforward drive is met with detours, delays and distractions at the hands of Jacques in his attempts to woo Anne. 

Paris Can Wait is the ultimate postcard movie: immerse yourself with seascapes of southern France; lose yourself down the winding streets of stunning Vaucluse; fall in love with the rolling meadows of the French countryside; and witness love blossom between Anne and Jacques. 

To score yourself a double pass, all you need to do is email with the subject line ‘Paris Can Wait ticket giveaway’ with your name and postal address, and we’ll let you know if the tickets are yours. 

Paris can wait, but don’t wait to get your hands on a film full of fine food, wine, humour, wisdom, and the beauty of having a connection with a stranger.

Paris Can Wait  
In cinemas Thursday, 20 July
View Trailer

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Paris – A Rock Odyssey Sun, 16 Jul 2017 20:00:16 +0000 There are few stories as famous the world over as the story of the decade long Trojan War, and the forbidden love affair that caused it. Now, for just four nights only, Melbournian’s can experience the epic love story, and the war that followed, through the music of one of Australia’s most iconic stars of the stage, the late Jon English.

Beginning life as a concept album in 1990 written by Jon English and David Mackay, Music Theatre Melbourne’s production of Paris marks the first professional performance of the musical and brings with it an amazing cast, anchored by some of Australia’s most decorated stars and bolstered by an exciting array of new talent. Stars of the stage and screen John Waters and Ben Mingay lead the cast as Greek heroes Ulysses and Achilles, along with Tim Freedman as Agamemnon and Brian Mannix as Sinon. Reliably great, these Australian icons are nonetheless outshone by a host of newcomers, predominantly Mathew Manahan as the naïve yet charismatic Paris, Madeleine Featherby as his love, the graceful Helen, and Kerrie Anne Greenland as the cursed prophet Cassandra in all her punk rock glory.

For a telling of the mythical war, Paris is suitably epic in scope and scale. With little in the way of set design, the story is instead told via a screen hanging in the air above the on-stage band, punctuating the action with graphics and narration, taking us from the wild seas between Troy and Greece to the bloody battlefield outside the besieged city gates. An effective way of progressing the narrative, it lends the show a cinematic air. While the stage design is minimal, the costumes are eclectic, combining the styles of Ancient Greece with the flair and attitude of rock ‘n’ roll, paying homage to the history of much of its famous cast.

On the whole, Paris is a triumph and a fitting tribute to the memory of its creator.

Paris – A Rock Odyssey 
Melbourne Recital Centre

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The House of Food and Wine Sat, 15 Jul 2017 01:02:43 +0000 Popular Port Melbourne eatery The House of Wine and Food will say bonjour, bon soir and bon appetit to kick off the inaugural Bastille Festival. Running till Sunday, 16 July, the festival not only celebrates France’s national day, but the delicious food, produce and dishes that the country is famous for. Champagne anyone?

To coincide with the French-themed events, Sunday is all about owner Alan Giles’ famous seafood bouillabaisse. This is one meal that I could honestly it was an experience eating — it really is quite the production. The rich fish stew is based on a recipe picked up in Marseilles in the late 1960s and Giles has spent much time perfecting his technique. The mouth-watering dish is served with an assortment of fresh seafood — prawns, clams, scallops, mussels plus a few surprises — and a superb rouille with croutons. 

‘Many things changed in France because of the Revolution, but from a perspective of food and wine lovers it was all benefit. Many of the talented chefs that had worked in aristocratic households eventually started their own restaurants and these new eating houses were the birthplaces of much of the great cuisine that has existed since,’ says Giles.

Vive le France

The House of Food and Wine  
65 Cruikshank Street, Port Melbourne
Open Wednesday to Sunday, Wednesday to Friday, 12pm to late, Saturday, 5pm to late, Sunday, 12pm to late

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Tragedy! (a new comedy) Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:00:53 +0000 We live in an era captivated by social media, smart phones and pop culture. People are famous for their food/fashion/travel photos on Instagram selling their lifestyle brand. And kids can’t sit still without the hypnotising help of games like Angry Birds. It’s such a huge problem that movements such as ‘slow living’ are popping up, designed to get people off their phones and savouring a simpler lifestyle. What would the ancient Greek gods have to say about all this? Tragedy! (a new comedy) is a humorous look at people’s addictions to everything from Facebook to frappuccinos from the point of view of a Greek god looking down on today’s selfie-obsessed, consumer culture.

Elizabeth Scales’ cabaret show is playing at the iconic The Butterfly Club as part of the Melbourne Cabaret Ring Festival, which was premiered to many crowds at the 2016 Anywhere Festival in Brisbane. It pokes fun at modern society with a production inspired by Greek tragic texts, combining songs and original modern chorus works.

Scales believes people’s obsession with social media and their phones is tragic and that it detracts from their ability to interact with one another in a genuine and present sense. ‘It is sad that society is becoming more and more self-absorbed where image is more important than integrity,’ says Scales.

Opening up about what the audience will get out of the show, Scales divulges that ‘the audience will definitely get the chance to have a good laugh at themselves and the struggle we all have in our privileged lives living in a first world country.’

This comical, satirical, tongue-in-cheek show is for anyone wanting to reflect on how ridiculous some aspects of modern culture have become. The pop culture references and re-lyricised pop songs revolve around the story of ancient gods having to restructure in order to become relevant to the modern day world. It’s not every day a Greek god asks you to attend a meeting regarding their redundancy. And it will give you a great reason to get off your phone, if only for the duration of the show.

Tragedy! (a new comedy) 
The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, off Little Collins Street
Friday, 14 to Sunday, 16 July 2017, 7pm to 10pm

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Majestic Hawker Wed, 12 Jul 2017 11:49:42 +0000 Picture this: BBQ chicken wings, stingray cooked in banana leaf, and frothy beers. The boys behind Palms Springs-inspired Good Heavens and Fancy Hank’s are launching Majestic Hawker, a pop-up located in Abbotsford for one weekend only. Located opposite Dr Morse on Johnston Street, the culinary genius behind Hank’s — Kent Bell, Mike Patrick, Daragh Kan and Myles Munro — will serve up a sweet sleuth of Singaporean and Malaysian hawker-style dishes.

Jumping on board for the hawker-style barbecue feast is Hank’s former head chef and Singaporean Alicia Cheong, who now works at Par Andre, ranked fourteenth at World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The wok dish that will have tongues wagging is Singapore’s hero noodle dish Char Kway Teow (flat rice noodles with Chinese sausage, fishcake and egg) followed by the traditional Asian dessert fried banana fritters with panda coconut ice-cream. A $30 ticket will provide you with a three-course dinner and a $50 ticket includes drinks.

The hawker-style barbecue idea has brewed in their collective minds for a number of years. ‘Singapore has been a favourite destination for Mike and I to visit over the last couple of years and we have been really inspired by their barbecue cooking techniques’, says Bell. Kan added, ‘My dad was born in Malaysia, so my childhood holidays were mainly spent having satay eating competitions with my brothers at hawker centres.’

Fancy sitting in a toasty warehouse listening to cool tunes behind while an open-charcoal kitchen cooks up a storm? Then we’ll see you at Majestic Hawker this weekend.

Majestic Hawker 
274 Johnston Street, Abbotsford
Friday, 14 to Sunday, 16 July 2017, 7pm to 10pm

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Scandinavian Film Festival 2017 ticket giveaway Sat, 08 Jul 2017 00:54:40 +0000 The Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival rolls into selected Palace Cinemas in Melbourne from Tuesday, 11 July to Wednesday, 2 August presenting the very best in contemporary Nordic cinema. What better way to spend the grizzly depths of winter by ‘going north’ and immersing yourself with compelling dramas, witty black comedies, and full-bloodied epic films.

Some highlights of the festival include: The King’s Choice, a Norwegian historical drama that brilliantly depicts the machinations, principles and personal fallout of conflict; Tom of Finland, an outstanding biographical film following a Finnish homoerotic artistic and the tribulations he faced in pursuing freedom and sexual liberation; and the superb Danish One-Two-Three Go!, a romantic film based on Jesper Wung-Sung’s best-selling novel.

For television fans, the acclaimed 1864 – and arguably one of the most popular Danish TV series ever made – is brought to the big screen, in a newly released theatrical cut, starring Lars Mikkelsen. The cinematic masterpiece is one movie not to be missed!

To celebrate, Milk Bar Mag offers our devoted readers 10 FREE double passes to take your significant other, a friend, or that date you are trying to lock down. All you need to do is send an email to with your full name and address to register your interest. If successful, we shall let you know if the tickets are yours!

Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival 2017 
Tuesday, 11 July to Sunday, 6 August 2017

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First Girl I Loved Thu, 06 Jul 2017 20:00:31 +0000 Falling in love for the first time can be wonderful. Hormones and feelings run wild, and the thought of finding an everlasting companion has the heart and mind racing. Often, falling in love for the first time can be bittersweet, cringe-worthy and ultimately devastating. In the 2016 romantic drama film First Girl I Loved, teenage love is explored through the lives of Anne, Clifton and Sasha.

Set in sunny California, the film opens with misfit yearbook editor Anne taking photos of the high school softball game, her lens fixated on the team superstar Sasha. For Anne, developing feelings for another girl does not scare her, but opening up to her best friend Clifton – who harbours feelings for Anne himself – turns sour when he mistakes Sasha for a boy who plays baseball. Realising Sasha plays softball instead of baseball, Clifton calls Anne a dyke and forces himself on her.

Betrayed by a person she considered a best friend, Anne pursues Sasha and fake French accents, in-jokes and incessant texting consume the pair. During a school-night sleepover at Sasha’s house – interrupted sporadically by Sasha’s mother’s chirpy personality – their bubbling sexual tension reaches new heights. Anne and Sasha get into a bar, drink and flirt with older men, then come home and finally give into their desires. When they arrive at school the next morning, Sasha is aloof, and begins texting Clifton, asking if they would like to go on a date. Anne, clueless, calls Sasha out on her unusual behaviour only to discover Sasha is denying any acknowledgement of their friendship or any other involvement, leaving Anne devastated.

Winner of the Best of NEXT Audience Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, First Girl I Loved is a coming-of-age tale that explores the anxiety, bravery and heart-break of first love while presenting a contemporary and fresh context. Does it do this? Yes, but to a point.

Easy to watch and comical at times, First Girl I Loved is let down by a watered-down representation of LGBTIQ issues and poor plot choices. Several moments in the story leave you screaming for nuance, a backstory, or even plausible and credible dialogue. In pivotal scenes, the easy option to villainise characters, namely Sasha’s parents, is pursued. However, the film handles the area of sexual consent well, with Anne, Sasha and Clifton each grappling with the consequences of their actions.

Despite her Lorde vibes, Dylan Gelula delivers a captivating performance of a teenager experiencing the highs and lows of falling in love for the first time. If you can take anything from the story, it is Anne’s journey and discovery of self.

Although misguided, First Girl I Loved is a touching and daring film that will make you reminisce about your own teenage years and the struggle to discover identity.

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