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Lou Reed
A walk on the wild side

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In a rare sunny mood, Lou Reed talks about rap, his cache of weapons and performing his masterpiece - also branded 'the most depressing album ever' - in Sydney.

Richard Abowitz, writing for Gadfly online, once called Lou Reed "the most mean-spirited troll in the music industry" ...
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Patti Smith
From punk poet to cover girl

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At 60, Patti Smith has released an album of cover songs. Sharon Verghis finds out why.

YOU hear the voice, and instantly you're snared. ...
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Geoffrey Rush tackles King Lear with Sydney Theatre Company

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Geoffrey Rush mimes cracking open and swallowing a raw egg. His Adam's apple bobs up and down, his long neck undulates. ...

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The sahib of cinema: Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan

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IT'S almost midnight in sticky, monsoonal Mumbai and the car containing arguably the world's most famous actor is racing a fat yellow moon reflected in the serene Arabian Sea. ...
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NY salutes Cate

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THE standing ovation began slowly, then gathered pace. Row by row, patrons took to their feet last night in the weathered bowl of New York's 850-seat Harvey Theatre to salute Cate Blanchett and the Sydney Theatre Company. ...
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Bjork’s Vivid Sydney show at Carriageworks a homage to pop provocateur

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A pixie voice tiptoes down the line — breathless, singsong, studded with r’s rolled so extravagantly they stretch words into strange and ­baroque shapes. ...

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Maids of Dishonour

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Cate Blanchett and Elizabeth Debicki are eating lunch in a private room overlooking a bright blue slice of Sydney's Walsh Bay. ...
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The Defiant One

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The staffer at the Chelsea skating rink in Manhattan said it'd be a cinch to spot Tim Robbins on the ice ...
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Two for the Road

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Kasey Chambers' house is at the end of a serpentine road that climbs up from the isolated surfside hamlet of Copacabana on the New South Wales central coast...

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Triumph of the Will

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There was no degree of separation between work and family on Will Smith's latest film. He talks to Sharon Verghis about co-starring with his son, Jaden.

Will Smith is standing in front of me with a Rubik's Cube, his face in deep pleats of concentration as he nimbly fingers its brightly coloured surfaces. ...
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Woman In Black

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If you could measure the breadth of a life by the number of artefacts accumulated over time, Rosanne Cash has lived a very big life indeed. ...
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Jeff Koons

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Jeff Koons - eminent provocateur, seminal 1980s pop-art personality and mastermind behind all manner of giant puppies...
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Ms Dionne and the boyz

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After 40 years of entertaining, you might expect this songstress to slow down, but her latest collaboration is set to send her star into the next orbit, writes Sharon Verghis.

This is a diva story in a class of its own. Dionne Warwick - queen of the easy-listening format, seller of 20 million albums, gold-plated matriarch of pop - goes on the warpath, armed with a very big stick. ...
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Bette and all that brass

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There are a lot of noisy people crammed into Bette Midler's tiny frame: Jewish American princess and impassioned political liberal, Grammy award-winning diva and urban renewal activist. Throw in a "quite shy" bookworm. ...
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Angel and beast

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AS her famous book Tracks is filmed in the Australian desert, Robyn Davidson reveals her many faces. ...
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Lang Lang is China’s first crossover classical superstar pianist

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Lang Lang’s energy is a formidable thing. Classical music’s $US20 million man is speaking to Review just before midnight, fresh from a three-hour concert recital in Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, but despite the late hour and marathon performance, he is all spark and snap. ...
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William Forsythe, choreographer extraordinaire, brings Quintett to Sydney

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It is snowing heavily in Vermont when William Forsythe answers the phone in his rural home “out in the middle of nowhere”. A chuckle ripples down the line when he’s told it’s sunny and 30C in Sydney. “We’ve had a metre of snow up here, and it was -35C the other day, so there you go. I believe it’s what they call polar opposites.” ...
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Australian Ballet's lightning conductor, Nicolette Fraillon

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IT'S a sultry summer evening and the slim, whippety figure of Nicolette Fraillon is silhouetted in the dark belly of the Sydney Opera House's orchestra pit. ...
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A man of many cantankerous parts

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There's no talking to Warren Mitchell without a cast of characters intervening, writes Sharon Verghis.

Warren Mitchell sits down to a plate of sushi with barely concealed relief. Two hip replacements, advancing years - he celebrated his 78th birthday in Sydney two weeks ago - residual jet lag, the buzz of a surprise nomination for a prestigious theatre award, and hectic all-day rehearsals look to be taking their toll. ...
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Ballet dancer Chengwu Guo is a Chinese cracker on fire

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IT'S an unseasonably warm April evening in Sydney and there's a full house for the Australian Ballet's 444th performance of Rudolf Nureyev's 1970 production of Marius Petipa's Don Quixote. ...
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Black ballet superstar Misty Copeland on Swan Lake and racial prejudice

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SHE is one of ballet’s unlikeliest stars, an accidental prodigy who rose to a glittering stage career from a life of food stamps, custody battles and grubby motel rooms as one of six children to a battling single mother. ...
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Not easy being Green

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Beneath the gorgeous Bond girl glamour lies thoughtful starlet Eva Green.

Waiting to meet the new Bond girl, Eva Green, I am busy imagining what she'd be like in real life - spectacular cleavage, smouldering siren pout? - when the woman herself walks into the room. You couldn't imagine someone less like the 007 vixen: . ...
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Gloria Steinem talks feminism, Donald Trump and life on the road

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At the stroke of noon, Sydney time, the phone rings. Gloria Steinem’s voice curls down the line, warm and resonant and a little hesitant: “Hel-lo?” You’re very punctual, I tell her, and there’s a small, puzzled laugh: why wouldn’t she be? ...
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Sylvie Guillem swaps ballet for environmental activism

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Sylvie Guillem, typically, isn’t mincing words. Speaking toReview on the phone from London, the world’s most famous ballerina is in full verbal flight. In her sights? ...
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Bollywood star Aamir Khan on cinema, stardom and social justice

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AAMIR Khan — Bollywood superstar, social activist, father of three and member of Time magazine’s 100 most influential list — slips into the room, past two bodyguards and a small public relations army, with the air of an interloper. “Who me?” his cocked eyebrow seems to ask a roomful of international journalists at the Taj Land’s End Hotel in Bandra, Mumbai. ...
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Li Cunxin shows the power of one with Queensland Ballet

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IN an airy, converted 19th-century shoe factory in Brisbane, Li Cunxin is moving two stately Queensland Ballet principal dancers, Chinese husband and wife team Hao Bin and Meng Ningning, like giant chess pieces across the polished floor. ...
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Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter raises the bow at the Sydney Opera House

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AT nine, she played her first public concert. At 13, she made her international debut in Lucerne with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. At 15, she made her first recordings for the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label. ...
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Miriam Margolyes: the ultimate character actress for Dickens

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MIRIAM Margolyes limps down bustling Quay Street in Sydney's Haymarket district, trundling a little suitcase on wheels. ...
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Natalie Imbruglia's dark beauty

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Natalie Imbruglia is a mass of contradictions - a headstrong hippie, a down-to-earth diva. ...
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Star chanteuse turns on glamour

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The '60s were great for Petula Clarke but she has done a lot of things since, writes Sharon Verghis.

As she takes a short cut across Star City's main gambling floor, Petula Clark retrieves a memory of a very different casino from the past. ...
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Beauty can be beastly

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Her looks smoulder, her fans love her but can Penelope Cruz beguile Hollywood, asks Sharon Verghis.

IN the middle of his press conference at Central Park South's elegant Essex House hotel in New York, Pedro Almodovar causes a buzz when he airily proffers one theory as to why his leading lady, Penelope Cruz, has struggled so mightily to establish herself as a respected actor in Hollywood. ...
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Jacqueline Mckenzie puts her feline heart into Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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IN the winter of 1994, a small group of actors gathered at a cold, draughty church in Darlinghurst, in inner-city Sydney.
They were there to rehearse Hamlet under the direction of Neil Armfield. The troupe included some of the biggest names of the contemporary Australian stage: Geoffrey Rush, David Wenham, Richard Roxburgh and Gillian Jones - "perhaps one of Australia's greatest actresses," recounts Jacqueline McKenzie...
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Neil Armfield: director’s busy schedule spans stage and screen

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NEIL Armfield is waiting to place his lunch order — lentil salad, hold the chicken — and patting Grace, his plump cream labrador, when a burly security guard steps up. “Is that your dog, sir?” the guard asks. Armfield nods. The guard frowns: “Can you take it away, please? No dogs allowed on the grounds, sir.” ...