Dr Sugar's performance venue is almost as elusive as its owner. Tucked away at 48 Clifton Street (Corner of Clifton and King street) Prahran, it's exciting to know there's a new kid on the block at such a convenient spot in this popular and thriving suburb. There'll be something a little more than just pubs and clubs to add to your nightlife with Dr Sugar around.
Stage on the right, bar straight ahead, plus a slightly elevated level with more seating
Hosting shows over the upcoming Fringe Festival, make sure you check out Ich bin ein Belinda (17 to 20 Sept @ 8pm) presented by Belinda Hanne Reid (winner of the 2014 Melbourne Broadway Unplugged Project X Competition), who has been described as a mix of Lotte Lenya and Rebel Wilson.
Performance Management - in Cabaret (24 - 25 Sept @ 8pm) with ringmaster Scott Hollingsworth , he'll crack the whip and reveal that every office is indeed a circus. Scott performed on Broadway and as he put it, lived in a 'cat suit' for five years performing in Andrew Lloyd Webber's world-famous, family-favourite musical 'Cats'.
If the VIP Launch is anything to go by, be prepared to be entertained. Cabaret is alive and kicking and will live on at this new venue thanks to the 'Doctor'. With a good sized stage, there's enough room for performers to kick their heels up. The room itself is scattered with some amazing graffiti artwork, living happily alongside velvet and leopard skin furnishings and golden crates. Intrigued?
Stephen Dorrington and Mark Pengilly (this is a collaged image)
In one corner of the room is an ornate winged back chair, complete with animal print 'pimp' hat hanging off it. This provides endless hours of selfies, not to mention pose-downs for the patrons.
The launch began at 8pm and the entertainment at 9, leaving plenty of time to socialise and get a few drinks at the bar. The TRiPLe8FuNk Dance Company kicked off the show with their trio of flexible talented dancers followed by our host Jan Van de Stool who MC'd the entire night and intermittently entertained us with her jokes and vocals. She taught us a few moves like 'release the dove', 'wash that man out of my hair' and so on, so we could accompany her in song.
Caleb Jago-Ward from The Voice accompanied by David Butler on keyboard & by Becky Rhodes in 2nd image
Stephen Dorrington had a special song written for launch night called 'You'll always be cooler than me'. A Queensland based singer, songwriter, actor and musician, make sure you catch him at his upcoming show.
Mark Pengilly's humour may not be everyones cuppa tea; however, considering the guffawing from across the room, there are some people that just 'get it'.
The next entertainer Geraldine Quinn, is a self-taught songwriter, comedian, guitarist, and singer. Sexy, sassy and a surprisingly great vocalist, you just didn't want the moment to end. You can catch Geraldine at the Fringe Festival where shes got a couple of shows running.
Not having read the 'event page' for the day, last minute guest Caleb Jago-Ward from The Voice 2015 was a wonderful complete surprise to me. Accompanied by David Butler on keyboard he smashed out a few, including the one he sang at the audition when Delta Goodrem chose him on The Voice. The Queen anthem, Somebody to Love.
The beautiful talented Chelsea Gibb and the incomparable Dolly Diamond
Becky Rhodes, a Melbourne based performer who trained at and graduated from The Queensland Conservatorium of Music also joined Caleb in song. Becky and her fellow performer and friend Caitlin Mathieson who has extensive experience in musical theatre will be joining together along with 3 others later in the year to bring us The Wannabees - Spice Girls Tribute Show so make sure you have your eyes peeled for them.
On the left, Managing Director Rukmal De Silva and Theresa Winters from The Plus Ones media company, and on the right, guests engrossed in the entertainment.
Introduced as the 'festival slut' because she's been in umpteen festivals, the incomparable Dolly Diamond has been aptly described as 'dripping in warmth, charm, guts, talent and energy… with a voice like honey over gravel'. This skilled and compelling performer wiped the floor with everyone, and if you're sitting up the front, you could very well be at the receiving end from someone who doesn't mince their words.
Caleb Jago-Ward and David Butler, Geraldine Quinn with a fan, Becky Rhodes with Belinda Hanne Reid - 'Ich Bin Ein Belinda' (on the right) and Becky Rhodes again, flanked by Caleb and Caitlin Mathieson
Chelsea Gibb was the final act for the night. Hailing from a background of musical theatre, she's best known for playing the lead role of 'Roxie Hart' in the hugely successful Australasian revival of 'Chicago'. Needless to say her vocals were amazing. She was later joined by Dolly Diamond who with her gravelly vocals, held her own in what could have been a 'sing-off'.
Make sure you 'like' Dr Sugar's Facebook Page to stay updated about upcoming events. Head over to the website to become a member. Just $39.99 for the year, you get concession prices on all tickets booked via the website, $1 off your drinks, invitations to members only free events and VIP shows, plus a gold membership card with your personal pimp name bestowed by Dr Sugar himself. If you're an entertainer and you think you've got what it takes, contact the Doctor.
Sneaking up on the official photographer from 3 Fates Media and the videographer while Caleb and Co do a pose-down on the infamous corner winged back chair complete with pimp hat
A good night had by all, the launch was a resounding success thanks to Dr Sugar's posse Natasha York and Robert Taylor. Talented entertainers themselves, it was the hands on approach for this posse this time around. Natasha handled the publicity and Robert and his 'drummer' son Jack worked as a team to build everything at the venue. They should be very proud of themselves as I'm sure Dr Sugar is very happy with the results.
As mentioned before, you can catch Natasha in A Lady's Guide to being a Wingman by The Desperettes (1 - 4 Oct @ 8pm). This posse is not just a pretty face. Start booking and be the first to show off to your friends, your discovery of a new venue right here in Prahran!