LATEST

THEATRE: 05 DECEMBER 2016 | Lighten Up ... Overall, appalling groanworthy puns aside? Definitely a thumbs up. MORE

THEATRE: 05 DECEMBER 2016 | Relatively Speaking ... A hugely fun show with magnificently professional cast. MORE

THEATRE: 04 DECEMBER 2016 | Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ... Albee’s play continues to jab at the blurring and redefining of the lines between illusion and reality. MORE

TRAVEL: 02 DECEMBER 2016 | Latest deals & news include a midweek special at The Retreat Port Stephens. MORE

COOKING BOOKS: 01 DECEMBER 2016 | China Doll … delectable recipes from Woolloomooloo’s Finger Wharf. MORE

COOKING BOOKS: 29 NOVEMBER 2016 | The power of gluten-free flour. MORE

WINE: 29 NOVEMBER 2016 | Windowrie … beautiful fruit first and foremost in Canowindra’s award-winning shiraz. MORE

TRAVEL: 29 NOVEMBER 2016 | Melbourne … making sense of a collection of villages. MORE

TRAVEL: 28 NOVEMBER 2016 | Latest deals & news include booking a summer escape at the Whitsundays’ Daydream Island Resort and Spa and staying four nights for the price of two. MORE

TRAVEL: 28 NOVEMBER 2016 | Destination Tasmania | JOHN ROZENTALS revisits some favourite Hobart dining haunts and reports that's all well on the tooth in Australia's southernmost metropolis. MORE

TRAVEL: 25 NOVEMBER 2016 | Destination NSW South Coast | JOHN ROZENTALS finds a tranquil spot between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay. MORE

TRAVEL: 25 NOVEMBER 2016 | Latest deals & news include the opening for diving of the Navy Pier, at Exmouth on Western Australia’s Coral Coast. MORE

FASHION NEWS: 24 NOVEMBER 2016 | Retro jumpers. MORE

COCKTAILS: POSTED 24 NOVEMBER 2016 | Shake, muddle, stir. MORE

TRAVEL: 23 NOVEMBER 2016 | Hot August Nights with Neil Diamond on board the Murray Princess. MORE

THEATRE: 22 NOVEMBER 2016 | Summer Rain ... an unashamedly Australian bush musical from the pen of the late, great local playwright Nick Enright. MORE

TRAVEL: 22 NOVEMBER 2016 | Destination Singapore | JOHN ROZENTALS takes a bus on a culinary adventure and spends an evening eating like a Singapore local. MORE

THEATRE: 18 NOVEMBER 2016 | The Shadow Box ... a provocative insight into where we’re all heading. MORE

THEATRE: 17 NOVEMBER 2016 | Speed-the-Plow ... a relic of a bygone era and thus worth seeing for its historical significance. MORE

MUSIC FOR CATS: 07 NOVEMBER 2016 | David Teie takes a break from playing for humans. MORE

THEATRE: 07 NOVEMBER 2016 | My Father's Left Testicle ... this deeply subversive play delves where few productions have the courage to go. MORE

THEATRE: 06 NOVEMBER 2016 | A Flea in Her Ear ... was written primarily to amuse and amuse it does. MORE

WINE: 01 NOVEMBER 2016 | Angullong shows its class with a spectacular lunch in the vineyard. MORE

THEATRE: 31 OCTOBER 2016 | Othello ... Michael Hawkins’ set is a perfect canvas for Peter Evans’ direction, and expresses the light/dark dichotomy explored in the play beautifully. MORE

DINING: 27 OCTOBER 2016 | Celebrate the good food feeling with the return of Melbourne Good Food Month. MORE

TRAVEL: 24 OCTOBER 2016 | Destination Tasmania | JOHN ROZENTALS discovers that getting to Australia's island state can be very much part of the holiday experience. MORE

THEATRE: 23 OCTOBER 2016 | The Turquoise Elephant ... dark, humorous writing, directed superbly by Gale Edwards, and acted wonderfully. MORE

THEATRE: 23 OCTOBER 2016 | e-baby ... the two women do encounter plenty of speed humps on their journey. MORE

THEATRE: 23 OCTOBER 2016 | The Days Are as Grass ... offers a mix of humour and drama with a number of touching and inspirational nuggets. MORE

THEATRE: 23 OCTOBER 2016 | The Wharf Review 2016: Back to Bite You ... the evidence of this performance suggests that there’s plenty of life in the old dog. MORE

THEATRE: 18 OCTOBER 2016 | Title and Deed ... It’s less that he is delivering a monologue than having a conversation with each and every audience member. MORE

TRAVEL: 16 OCTOBER 2016 | Latest deals & news include a discount at Crown Lanta Resort & Spa, on the island of Koh Lanta in southern Thailand. MORE

TRAVEL: 16 OCTOBER 2016 | Destination Vietnam | JOHN ROZENTALS undertakes a journey to Sapa ... land of rugged beauty in Vietnam's north-west. MORE

THEATRE: 16 OCTOBER 2016 | The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant ... This is a play of operatic proportions that journeys into obsessive infatuation resulting in the devastating agony of rejection. MORE

TRAVEL: 12 OCTOBER 2016 | Latest deals & news include Cruise1st's nine-night exploration of South-East Asia on a fly-stay-and-cruise holiday. MORE

READING: 12 OCTOBER 2016 | Harry Bosch uncovers LA’s darkest secrets in this new gripping thriller. MORE

ARTS: 11 OCTOBER 2016 | Empty: Rone’s beauty in neglect. MORE

THEATRE: 10 OCTOBER 2016 | Do Something Else ... no matter how fine the individual performances, the show was simply a series of interesting but empty moments. MORE

THEATRE: 10 OCTOBER 2016 | The Bodyguard destined for Australia. MORE

TRAVEL: 09 OCTOBER 2016 | Destination Tasmania | JOHN ROZENTALS discovers that paradise exists ... and it's at Lemonthyme, in the wilderness of Central Tasmania. MORE

THEATRE: 09 OCTOBER 2016 | Cymbeline ... takes a weighty historical play and makes it enjoyably accessible for a modern Australian audience. MORE

THEATRE: 09 OCTOBER 2016 | Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical ... a fine musical, well worth riding the Light Rail to Sydney’s Star City to see. MORE

THEATRE: 09 OCTOBER 2016 | Marat/Sade ... I’ll just urge you to go see it. It rates among the best theatre I’ve seen. Very much thumbs up. MORE

ARTS & THEATRE: OCTOBER 2016 Crossing borders in Melbourne. MORE

ON THE GO: 03 OCTOBER 2016 | Latest deals & news include On Foot Holidays self-guided, seven-night, inn-to-inn walk in the Catalan region of La Garrotxa in Spain. MORE

TRAVEL: 03 OCTOBER 2016 | Destination Tasmania | JOHN ROZENTALS discovers 10 really good things to do on Tasmania's West Coast. MORE

COOKING BOOKS: 29 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Murphy shares the pride of the Texan way of life. MORE

READING: 29 SEPTEMBER 2016 | The corgi with the floppy ear charms the Queen. MORE

TRAVEL: 29 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Plan 52 perfect weekends in the world's tastiest destinations. MORE

OL '55: 26 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Get rockin’ with this double-CD compilation. MORE

ON THE GO: 26 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Latest deals & news include archaeological tour specialist Peter Sommer Travels irst tours in Britain. MORE

TRAVEL: 26 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Destination Sydney | JOHN ROZENTALS ventures back to the Sydney suburb of Chippendale ... and finds a very different world to the one in which he worked so many years ago. MORE

WINE: 22 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Renewing a winemaking friendship on Tasmania’s East Coast. MORE

THEATRE: 21 SEPTEMBER 2016 | A Midsummer Night's Dream ... for me this production is invigorating and exhilarating, and all future productions will pale by comparison. MORE

BEER: 21 SEPTEMBER 2016 | High Country Brewers celebrate expanded region-wide trail. MORE

DINING: 21 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar at the Hotel Realm receives top gong at Restaurant Industry Awards. MORE

DINING: 20 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Abode Bistro & Bar dazzles at 2016 NSW Savour Awards. MORE

THEATRE: 17 SEPTEMBER 2016 | The Giant Worm Show! ... I’m so very glad Rowston unearthed it. MORE

THEATRE: 06 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Barefoot in the Park ... Alicia Clements’ set design is worth the price of admission alone. MORE

THEATRE: 06 SEPTEMBER 2016 | Tragédie ... a brave and deceptively complex production. MORE

INDULGING: 22 AUGUST 2016 | A decadent way to indulge yourself. MORE

THEATRE: 19 AUGUST 2016 | Never Did Me Any Harm ... check it out, whether you’re a parent or not. MORE

READING: 17 AUGUST 2016 | An alternative ending for Jane Eyre in Van Diemen’s Land. MORE

TRAVEL: 15 AUGUST 2016 | JOHN ROZENTALS has a fine time strolling Parklands' former fairways. MORE

READING: 15 AUGUST 2016 | Finding the safest place in London when the air-raid siren sounds. MORE

THEATRE: 15 AUGUST 2016 | House of Games ... an Australian production of an American film script with an English theatre script. MORE

WINE REVIEWS: 11 AUGUST 2016 | Chapel Hill 2016 Chardonnay | Cassegrain 2015 Edition Noir Durif | Toolangi 2014 Pinot Noir | Willow Creek 2014 Vineyard Pinot Noir. MORE

THEATRE: 12 AUGUST 2016 | The Post-Haste Histories ... a fun night with actors and audience (and crew) going along with the spirit of fun and adventure. MORE

THEATRE: 07 AUGUST 2016 | Broken ... takes my attention from the instant it begins and holds it until the final applause. MORE

THEATRE: 07 AUGUST 2016 | Those Who Fall in Love like Anchors Dropped upon the Ocean Floor ... a brilliant 75-minute production of heart-warming stories. MORE

WINE: Let's hear if for riesling ... a great Australian drink ... new releases from Leo Buring highlight the variety's charm ... plus new releases from Pipers Brook. MORE

READING: 05 AUGUST 2016 | The definitive biography of Phillip Schuler, one of Australia's greatest war correspondents. MORE

THEATRE: 03 AUGUST 2016 | The Hanging ... exploring the Australian gothic motif of lost children and loss of innocence. MORE

THEATRE: 03 AUGUST 2016 | STC appoints Kip Williams as Interim Artistic Director. MORE

REVIEW: 02 AUGUST 2016 | Twelfth Night or What You Will ... at once captures the original essence of this play in its entirety, while rooting it firmly within our contemporary sensibility. MORE

RETRO: 29 JULY 2016 | Ol’ 55 releases 2CD anthology. MORE

THEATRE: 29 JULY 2016 | The Hansard Monologues: The Age of Entitlement ... something that all Australians should see as part of their political education. MORE

WINE: Louisa Rose ... working magic at Yalumba with the exotic viognier ... plus new releases from Orange's Brangayne. MORE

THEATRE: 24 JULY 2016 | Betrayal ... really is worth seeing, even down to the scene changes. MORE

THEATRE: 21 JULY 2016 | Cristina in the Cupboard | What a fine young actor Emily McGowan shows herself to be in this extremely difficult role. MORE

THEATRE: 21 JULY 2016 | STC and Williams explore Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. MORE

THEATRE: Othello ... As with most Shakespearean works, the themes and ideas have relevance regardless of place and time. MORE

THEATRE: Low Level Panic ... this is an important work, well worth seeing and pondering. MORE

MUSIC: 18 JULY 2016 | Attention all David Bowie fans. MORE

TRAVEL: 18 JULY 2016 | Ten really good things to do in White Cliffs and Wilcannia. MORE

READING: 18 JULY 2016 | The hilarious inside story of life on the road as a 60 Minutes cameraman. MORE

THEATRE: A History of Falling Things ... a welcome, quirky tale that investigates, in depth, the times that we live in. MORE

THEATRE: Singin' in the Rain ... a stunning show that demonstrates just how good a classical musical can be. MORE

THEATRE: Hurt ... If you get the chance, climb those black stairs and see this. MORE

THEATRE: All My Sons ... Dated somewhat in tone and language, the prevalence of greed in the world today keeps this work relevant. MORE

MUSIC: 07 JUNE 2016 | If it ain't loud you're just not doing it right. MORE

TRAVEL: 07 JUNE 2016 | Vivid Sydney ... the little festival that grew into the world's largest explosion of light, music and ideas. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include Abercrombie & Kent’s 2017 collection of cruise tours. MORE

THEATRE: Bad Jews ... is good Jews. MORE

THEATRE: Howie the Rookie ... This is not the lyrical Dublin of James Joyce, but O’Rowe’s dialogue is just as vivid and visceral. MORE

THEATRE: As We Forgive ... his words invented a world you could certainly inhabit in your mind’s eye. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include Royal Caribbean International offering four new cruises next January and February out of Sydney. MORE

WINE: Wolf Blass ... a genuine, larger-than-life Australian wine-industry legend. Plus reviews of Blass and Bremerton wines. MORE

TRAVEL: Take time to drive the Great Western Highway ... a dozen fine places to stop. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include free flights to Lord Howe Island’s Capella Lodge. MORE

THEATRE: Blonde Poison ... Belinda Giblin physically fits the role perfectly. MORE

COOKING: By ROBERTA MUIR ... Mocha Self-Saucing Pudding. MORE

THEATRE: Belleville ... Art imitates life. Once again Red Line Productions nails it. Don’t miss it. MORE

REVIEW: Good People ... There are no weak links in this outstanding cast. MORE

READING: A remarkable true tale of love, loss and family. MORE

THEATRE: Lake Disappointment ... an extraordinarily layered and complex performance. MORE

WINE REVIEWS: Toolangi 2013 Pauls Lane Shiraz; Shaw Vineyard 2015 Winemaker’s Selection Semillon Sauvignon Blanc; Cassegrain 2015 Seasons Autumn Merlot; Cassegrain 2015 Edition Noir Three Tiers. MORE

JOHN'S TRAVEL BLOG: A day of absolutely sheer indulgence in the Southern Highlands. MORE

READING: Finding yourself ... and love ... in the Eternal City. MORE

WINE NOTES: Reviews include Yellowglen Yellow Rainbow Celebration Brut Cuvée and Centennial 2014 Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir. MORE

COOKING: Toast and salads ... simple foods that need not be boring. MORE

READING: The Last Painting of Sara de Vos ... intrigue in the art world. MORE

READING: Castle of Dreams ... a story of love, secrets, lies. MORE

JOHN'S TRAVEL BLOG: Taking a few steps back in time at The Robertson Hotel. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include a visit to South Australia’s idyllic Kangaroo Island. MORE

THEATRE: Hay Fever ... A masterful production of Noel Coward's masterpiece. MORE

ON THE GO: Latest deals & news include a program of kayak and whale-watching tours in Baja California. MORE

REVIEW: Packed Lunch ... What a fun night out! MORE

THEATRE: Replay ... As an audience we are very much positioned to rely on intuition. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include Cruise Express’s 26-day ‘Treasures of the Orient and China’. MORE

THEATRE: Savages ... Despite its grim premise has a strong suspenseful, humorous and humane undercurrent. MORE

THEATRE: Charles III ... Worth your time and will leave you wondering about your position in the debate. MORE

THEATRE: That Eye, the Sky ... An energetic ensemble cast worked well together on a physically demanding production. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include a wine-themed cruise to New Zealand in April next year aboard Celebrity Solstice. MORE

READING: From Siberia to Australia, three years alone in the wilderness on foot. MORE

THEATRE: I Did It My Way — in Yiddish — Deb Filler is a one-off well worth catching whenever she’s visiting. MORE

TRAVEL: Tigerair Australia’s latest sale offers customers the chance to snap up a bargain airfare. MORE

TRAVEL: Tigerair’s inaugural Bali flights take off today. MORE

THEATRE: Swansong ... de Vanny is a genuine talent — a young actor with a huge future on the stage. MORE

THEATRE: Golem ... Is this possibly the future face of the theatre? A must see! Thumbs up! MORE

THEATRE: Deb Filler is back with fantastic stories to tell! MORE

THEATRE: Machu Picchu ... success really rests squarely with Gilshenan and McCune. MORE

READING: Uncovering the story behind Australia's gum-nut babies. MORE

THEATRE: All My Love ... audience left in tears by Lawson and Gilmore's secret love story. MORE

THEATRE: Romeo and Juliet ... this play is, of course, a commentary on parenting and all the pitfalls therein. MORE

THEATRE: The Ritz ... chock full of snappy one liners, wonderful characters & timeless slapstick. MORE

THEATRE: The Blind Giant Is Dancing ... provides twist upon twist to a cleverly conceived plot. MORE

THEATRE: Arcadia ... do go and see this theatrical gem in the flesh. MORE

THEATRE: The Pride ... has me from the opening dialogue. MORE

THEATRE: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Reimagined ... potentially a highly entertaining palette of wit, tragedy, philosophy and modern quips. MORE

THEATRE: The Secret River ... An epic story that transcends theatre. I urge you to go and see it. MORE

THEATRE: Jack of Hearts ... hearty congratulations David on a very fine achievement in notching up a half century. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include the reopening of one of Australia’s greatest bushwalks, the Overland Track in the Tasmanian World Heritage wilderness. MORE

THEATRE: The Whale ... an uncomfortable performance to watch but it is also multi-faceted and totally captivating. MORE

DINING: Saskia Beer to bring a real taste of the region to Novotel Barossa Valley Resort. MORE

THEATRE: The lost love story of Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore told at Glen Street Theatre. MORE

TRAVEL: John Rozentals tries out Melbourne's Victoria Hotel and finds a splendid location right in the heart of the city. MORE

WINE: Pipers Brook 2013 Pinot Noir; Yering Station 2013 Chardonnay; Hamelin Bay 2015 Rosé; Hamelin Bay 2012 Rampant Red. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include getting into your ’60s, ’70s and ’80s grooves on Captain Cook's inaugural Murray River music cruise. MORE

THEATRE: Blanchett and Roxburgh to take STC's The Present to Broadway. MORE MUSIC: You might need to buy this ... Various artists, Jazz and ’80s ... The NYC Series. MORE

THEATRE: The Tribe ... Shamma charms us with his recollections, charismatically and compassionately sharing events. MORE THEATRE: The Good Doctor ... the end of an era for Sydney theatre. MORE

THEATRE: The Golden Age ... not an easy play to watch but it is totally absorbing and a most important work. MORE THEATRE: Thomas Murray and the Upside Down River ... a serious-minded and ambitious saga, intelligently and strikingly crafted. MORE

COOKING: Top chef responds to diabetic challenge. MORE DINING: Jupiters launches fresh new restaurant Garden Kitchen & Bar. MORE

BOOKS: In pursuit of Bill ... a history of the quest for world rugby supremacy. MORE

READING: Finding a path through grief, love and loss. MORE

THE SUITE LIFE: QT Sydney — slick inner-city hotel with a huge difference but also the mod-cons. MORE WINE: Location spot on, but John Cassegrain seeks grapes from cooler climes. MORE

WINE: Latest reviews include four wines from Cassegrain. MORE THEATRE: Jasper Jones ... distilling the essence and concerns of the lengthy novel into a manageable theatrical experience. MORE

CIRCUS REVIEW: Slapstick and mishaps belie the strength, grace, control of Circus Oz's latest production. MORE WINE: Latest reviews include three wines from Brown Brothers. MORE

WINE: The Australian wine industry really knows how to play the name game. MORE WINE: Latest reviews include four reds from Western Australia's Houghton. MORE

NEWS: Big-hearted and fiercely funny The Whale makes its Australian premiere at the Old Fitz for Mardi Gras. MORE THEATRE: Critically acclaimed The Pride to premiere in Sydney. MORE

THEATRE: The Sound of Music ... If you do only see one musical over the next 12 months or so, this would be a fine one to select. MORE MUSIC: New album from The Cat Empire to be released on 11 March ... pre-order now. MORE

BOOKS: Tim Johnston's Descent heralds the arrival of a master storyteller. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include the much anticipated, cliff-hugging Three Capes Track in southern Tasmania. MORE

GALLERY WATCH: Get on your bike for the NGV's summer blockbuster. MORE REVIEW: Dropped ... It sounds grim but it is a most rewarding theatrical experience. MORE

DINING: Saké Restaurant & Bar is sizzling with summertime specials. MORE COOKING: Fowlers Vacola marks century as Gen X and Y lead food-preserving resurgence. MORE

THEATRE: A Riff on Keef: The Human Myth ... a thoroughly delightful and stimulating aural and visual experience. MORE THEATRE: Violet ... has a dimension that lifts if from a simple musical to one that touches both the intellect and the emotional. MORE

REVIEW: King Lear ... Steering away from majestic pomp, this is indeed Lear stripped bare. MORE GALLERY WATCH: Concrete poet cements his place in Melbourne art. MORE

THEATRE: Good Works ... the six-person cast holds the line magnificently, never wavering in the telling of this complex, intricate story. MORE THEATRE: Orlando ... Within a few minutes of curtain up I knew that we the audience – and Woolfe – were in good hands. MORE

THEATRE: West Side Story ... This is quality musical theatre. Well done Chatswood Musical Society. MORE THEATRE: Mortido ... as with much modern crime writing, there’s real flesh and complexity to the tale. MORE

THEATRE: Blood Bank ... provides a refreshing and exciting change of style for The Ensemble. MORE GALLERY WATCH: Melbourne’s NGV gets the blues this summer. MORE

THEATRE: A Rabbit for Kim Jong-Il ... an “odd but interesting” play. MORE THEATRE: My Zinc Bed ... The Ensemble is a perfect venue for the intimate nature of this work. MORE

THEATRE: The Real Thing ... Where Dylan Thomas wrote linguistic symphonies, Stoppard writes a linguistic Bohemian Rhapsody. MORE BALLET: Sleeping Beauty ... It certainly is a visual feast, and the company seemed to comprise consummate professionals. MORE

REVIEW: Dumy Moyi ... a fast-forward compilation of a much greater theme. MORE THEATRE: A Steady Rain ... When the lights went out, the silence was deafening. MORE

THEATRE: Arms and the Man ... This fabulously professional cast is tight and energetic, and shares impeccable timing. MORE THEATRE: Slut ... a mixture of uncomfortably spot-on observances and underdeveloped ideas. MORE

THEATRE: Britannia Rules the Waves ... Apart from the setting, it’s not an especially new idea — yet it works. MORE REVIEW: 6 Degrees of Ned Kelly ... As a bonus, I have now established where my next holiday is going to be. MORE

REVIEW: Death and the Maiden ... after 25 years has lost none of its resonance. MORE REVIEW: La Traviata ... an ambitious and well intentioned production. MORE

REVIEW: Mothers and Sons ... An eloquent exploration of the guilt, grief, rage and resentment that comes with loss. MORE THEATRE: The Tempest ... In his last tilt at directing for Bell Shakespeare, Bell puts the emphasis on spectacle, movement and fun. MORE

THEATRE: The Women ... amid all the frivolity of consumerism, gossip and social-climbing there remains a society defined by men. MORE THEATRE: Seventeen ... There was so much potential for this ... with this cast, but unfortunately the opportunity was missed. MORE

THEATRE: not just an outstandingly impressive collaborative work of art, but also a vehicle for radical change. A must see! MORE REVIEW: Metafour ... These four pieces showcase Beckett’s theatrical genius to maximum effect. MORE

THEATRE: Detroit ... This production is first-rate — physically resourceful, satirical and very funny. MORE REVIEW: Hamlet ... Modern costumes, devices and setting in no way detract from Shakespeare’s most famous play. MORE

THEATRE: Ladies in Lavender ... The great thing about the Ensemble Theatre is that you know you’re in safe hands. MORE THEATRE: The Dapto Chaser ... explores the cycle of intergenerational poverty and how our society seems to be geared to maintain it. MORE

THEATRE: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) ... Get thee to the Genesian. MORE REVIEW: This might be funny, light-hearted stuff, but it is also clever, poignant and sharp. MORE

MUSICALS: Reception: The Musical ... It’s not surprising that it’s funny, because it’s true. I recognised it all. MORE CABARET: Hair to the Throne ... provides an onslaught of bad puns, cheap jokes, novelty songs and plenty of audience participation. MORE

THEATRE: Mother Courage and Her Children ... Everyone seemed to want to get out of the theatre, including the actors. MORE THEATRE: The Diary of Anne Frank ... It is an important story to tell and New Theatre tell it well. MORE

THEATRE: The Battle of Waterloo ... This is theatre that will make you stop and reflect. MORE REVIEW: Venus in Fur ... Grace Barnes’ competent direction steers these admirable performances. MORE

THEATRE: Educating Rita ... there really are no surprises in this tale — and that’s perfectly okay. MORE THEATRE: The House on the Lake ... If you only see one thing this year make it this. MORE

THEATRE: Shoehorn Sonata ... Bates and Bayly are a skilful partnership and capture the unique relationship that is at the heart of this drama. MORE THEATRE: Summer of the Seventeenth Doll ... memories flood back, but Catherine Miller is left a little disappointed. MORE

THEATRE: The Three Muskateers ... overall a fun night out and great entertainment. MORE THEATRE: Samson ... Lewis’s naturalistic dialogue is well crafted and expertly delivered by this excellent cast. MORE

THEATRE: The House of Ramon Iglesia ... Nicholas Papademetriou is especially good as the husband — old-fashioned, emotional and ineffectual. MORE THEATRE: The Wizard of Oz ... an extraordinary journey of devised theatre, but definitely not for children. MORE

REVIEW: Fly Away Peter ... There is no glorification or romanticising of war here. Instead there is a palpable feeling of loss. MORE TRAVEL: John Rozentals is awe-struck by the phoenix-like resurgence of the Hydro Majestic. MORE

REVIEW: The School for Scandal ... David Burrowes makes an impressive attempt to create a fresh, stylised and pertinent production. MORE THEATRE: Chainmale ... this audit probably needed an independent body to step in and sort through the excavation site. MORE

THEATRE: Orphans ... enough unpredictability and emotional appeal to transition the decades and deliver thoughtful theatre. MORE THEATRE: This strange journey remains as much fun as it was in 1974, and this current version still manages to push the boundaries. MORE

THEATRE: The Anzac Project ... This is compelling viewing. A must see. Thumbs up! MORE THEATRE: Songs in the Key of Black ... Maunder has a fabulous voice ... defined, clear and impeccable in delivery. MORE

THEATRE: Les Misérables ... This latest version is exceptional. I didn’t get to the end without sobbing. MORE THEATRE: Jumpy ... at its core this is a feminist drama that attempts much and has a great deal to say. MORE

REVIEW: When the Rain Stops Falling ... the final music was perfect, haunting me out into the foyer where I couldn’t speak for several minutes. MORE THEATRE: Elecktra/Orestes ... an examination of the psychological states of a family fragmented by misery, fury and guilt. MORE

THEATRE: Freak Winds ... I have a feeling that Alfred Hitchcock, that absolute master of suspense, would approve deeply. MORE THEATRE: Caress/Ache ... has huge potential to be integrated into the senior school curriculum, so rich is it in all sorts of content. MORE

DANCE: The Red Dress ... a sedate and wistful look at the elegance of China’s folk culture. MORE THEATRE: As You Like It ... this current Bell Shakespeare production holds few surprises, but it’s a fun start to the 2015 season. MORE

THEATRE: Blue Alien ... Coyle is a compelling fusion of energy, charm, versatility and humour. MORE THEATRE: Mother Clap's Molly House ... rousing ensemble musical numbers, wonderfully exuberant characterisations, moments of hilarity. MORE

THEATRE: Kill the Messenger ... a powerful piece of writing offering both the personal and political urban Indigenous experience. MORE TRAVEL: The Jasper is game-on for Melbourne visitors with a sense of fun and adventure. MORE

THEATRE: Peace Train ... Toni Carroll ends up whooping and stomping almost as fervently as the rest of the crowd. MORE THEATRE: Through a Distant Lens ... assembles a chorus of ghosts who people the proceedings with an eerie, but benign presence. MORE

THEATRE: Cock ... The three actors at the points of the love triangle take the dialogue and run with it, giving it great timing and depth. MORE THEATRE: Dream Home ... entertaining but void of any larger social or political message. MORE

TRAVEL: Destination Antarctica ... John Rozentals heads south ... very south indeed ... to ring in the New Year. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include holistic natural therapies on Norfolk Island. MORE

THEATRE: Oz Baby Boomers regular theatre reviewers choose their best shows for 2014. MORE THEATRE: Absent Friends ... successfully walks the fine line between genuine drama and farcical humour-laden caricature. MORE

THEATRE: Dirty Dancing ... Geraldine Worthington finds a great deal of energy and talent on stage ... and has a good time. MORE WINE: De Salis 2013 Wild Fumé ... I reckon that this wine represents the future of Aussie sauv blanc — so, so food friendly. MORE

WINE: The Crater Rim 2012 Canterbury Pinot Noir ... comes very, very close to being the best pinot I've tried for less than $30. MORE THEATRE: Sweeney Todd ... an ambitious project for New Theatre and a sharp note on which to end a most impressive year of theatre. MORE

THEATRE: Cyrano de Bergerac ... a fine finale to another outstanding year for Sydney Theatre Company. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include a 20-night fly-and-cruise holiday that starts with a flight to Shanghai. MORE

THEATRE: Emerald City ... tense satirical drama with lashings of very funny lines, from a mature writer at the height of his powers. MORE WINE: Houghton 2013 Crofters Frankland River Shiraz ... Peppery nuances add intrigue to the underlying flavours of dark berry fruits. MORE

WINE: Houghton 2013 Crofters Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ... A mouthful of fresh, crunchy flavour. MORE THEATRE: A Christmas Carol ... Geraldine Worthington reckons the afterglow of this timely production will see her through the silly season. MORE

TRAVEL: John Rozentals thoroughly enjoys a reintroduction to Adelaide Central Market and his first stay in beachside Glenelg. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include enjoying the Top End’s ‘green season’ with specials at Kakadu National Park. MORE

BOOKS: Based on a True Story ... The Devil Wears Prada meets Absolutely Fabulous and Bridget Jones’s Diary. MORE THEATRE: Switzerland ... a rare production whose shadows remain in your peripheral vision well after the house lights have come up. MORE

WINE: The Orange I grew up in during the 1950s and 60s was a very different place to the one I visited recently for the district’s annual wine festival. MORE WINE: Angullong 2013 Orange Shiraz ... As with a pup, look at the size of the feet it will eventually grow into. MORE

WINE: Angullong 2014 Fossil Hill Vermentino ... lots of fresh citrus and tropical fruit flavours that will suit it for many simple seafood dishes. MORE TRAVEL: A leisurely few hours in Port Stephens aboard Australia's only genuine Chinese junk. MORE

WINE: Patina 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ... the tannins have softened and the wine goes perfectly with pink roast lamb. MORE WINE: Patina 2014 Riesling ... a clean, linear thread of crisp acidity balancing quite generous limey fruit flavours. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include Cruise1st’s 10-night voyage from Singapore to Tokyo on board Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. MORE WINE: Moet et Chandon's Yarra Valley outpost pays some real dividends. MORE

WINE: Domaine Chandon NV Sparkling Pinot Shiraz ... Save a couple of bottles for Xmas lunch, when they will sit perfectly alongside roast turkey. MORE WINE: Domaine Chandon NV Cuvée Riche ... Opulent is the first word to spring to mind about this richly flavoured sweeter style of bubbly. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include an indulgent four-day ‘Sydney Rocks’ Christmas cruise on board True North. MORE WINE: Blue Pyrenees 2010 Midnight Cuvée ... A delightful bubbly with a strong, fine bead and lovely bready, yeasty characters. MORE

WINE: Blue Pyrenees 2012 Shiraz ... You can almost taste the gumtrees that dominate the landscape in Victoria’s Pyrenees district. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include A&K's new, hosted small-group journey in November next year to Turkey. MORE

WINE & FOOD EVENTS: Go hunting for fine wine and food at Sydney's Balmoral Beach. MORE THEATRE: The 2014 Wharf Review: Open for Business ... splendidly satirical and sophisticated. MORE

WINE: Taste your way through the best of NSW. MORE COOKING: Sepia ... enjoy the glamour and sophistication of an award-winning restaurant’s Japanese-influenced food. MORE

BOOMER BLOG: A mighty evening of mighty fine wine and food at the Orange Wine Show dinner. MORE WINE: Rymill ... For the love of horses and very fine wine. MORE

WINE: Rymill 2012 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon ... Some real backbone and the potential to grow into a Coonawarra classic. MORE WINE: Rymill 2012 Coonawarra MC2 ... A well balanced match for a thin-based pizza with lots of pepperoni. MORE

WINE: Krinklewood 2014 Francesca Rosé ... Enjoy as an aperitif or with a plate of antipasto. MORE WINE: Krinklewood 2013 Wild Red ... Love the packaging of this Hunter dry red, and I reckon the contents of the bottle are pretty nifty too. MORE

COOKING: Make your own wood-fired pizza oven and create the perfect pizza. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include sailing the waters of Port Stephens aboard Shaolin, an authentic three-masted Chinese junk. MORE

FAREWELL: RIP Gough Whitlam. You were seriously a one-off and a very good one at that. MORE WINE: Drumborg's windy isolation paves the way for some of our greatest wines. MORE

WINE: Seppelt 2013 Drumborg Chardonnay ... The sunny 2013 vintage has produced a sunny chardonnay that oozes complex flavours. MORE WINE: Seppelt 2014 Drumborg Riesling ... shows aromas of lime zest and frangipani, and a steely palate that is a guarantee of longevity. MORE

WINE: Oxford Landing 2013 Shiraz ... Dark berryfruits, plums and cherries are all present in this straightforward quaffer. MORE WINE: Oxford Landing 2014 Pinot Grigio ... a classic Italian-style pinot grigio — simple, refreshing and crunchy. MORE

WINE: Ben joins Dominique and takes Portet family to ten generations of winemakers. MORE WINE: Dominique Portet 2014 Fontaine Rosé ... It seems to do a tango on your tongue and then finishes completely dry. Quite perfect really. MORE

ART/FASHION: Gaultier shows off his style in Melbourne. MORE TRAVEL: Africa ... a fresh reason to be in the pink. MORE

WINE: The Winesmiths 2013 Chardonnay ... This is a good middle-of-the-road chardy showing fresh melony and stonefruit flavours. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include two new wellness packages at The Peninsula Bangkok Spa. MORE

WINE: Witches Falls 2011 Merlot ... rich cherry and plum flavours, some judicious oak treatment, and a completely dry, lingering finish. MORE WINE: Witches Falls 2013 Wild Ferment Chardonnay ... I really like this wine’s melony fruit flavours and complexity. MORE

WINE: Daniel Binet uses his skills ... and charms ... to great effect. MORE THEATRE: Mandy McElhinney returns to Belvoir as a very modern Cinderella. MORE

THEATRE: Harvest ... There is so much to admire in this ambitious production and the dedication of the cast and crew is to be applauded. MORE THEATRE: STC 2015 tix go public. The priority booking period for existing subscribers has now ended. MORE

TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include Worldwide Cruise Centres’ 17-day ‘Glaciers and the Great Bear Rainforest’ package next May. MORE BOOMER BLOG: Love seems to draw me increasingly to Epping these days and I’m certainly enjoying the discovery of a diverse food culture. MORE

WINE: Domaine de Binet 2013 Hunter Valley Tempranillo ... has a soft, gentle earthiness to it — a very good food wine. MORE WINE: Domaine de Binet 2013 Hunter Valley Semillon ... combines traditional Hunter freshness and leanness with a degree of complexity. MORE

WINE: Hardys 2012 The Chronicles Butcher's Gold Shiraz ... aromas of dark berries and spice, and rich, velvety softness on the palate. MORE WINE: Hardys 2014 The Chronicles The Gamble Chardonnay ... delightful fresh stonefruit and melon flavours. MORE

COOKING: The Kitchen Therapist ... Jo Richardson investigates the endless list of chicken possibilities. MORE COOKING: Tasmanian Trail ... Ben Milbourne showcases the produce of a thriving foodie paradise. MORE

BOOKS: Retro Melbourne ... Fred Mitchell leads a colourful walk down memory lane. MORE WINE: Murray Tyrrell ... memories of one of the greatest Hunter Valley champions. MORE

WINE: Tyrrells 2009 Vat 1 Semillon has become the absolute benchmark for Hunter semillon over the years. MORE WINE: Tyrrells 2009 HVD Semillon ... just starting to emerge from its cocoon and an absolute joy to drink. MORE

WINE: Lowe 2013 Nullo Mountain Late-Harvest Riesling ... shows perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, and also some botrytised character. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include experiencing the real Africa with Bench International’s volunteer program. MORE

COOKING: Recipes from a destination of zany deliciousness in North Hobart. MORE BOOKS: Fool's Assassin ... 20 years after Assassin’s Apprentice, Robin Hobb returns to her best-loved characters. MORE

THEATRE: The Glass Menagerie ...has been added to a very short list of best plays I have seen this year. It really is that good. MORE THEATRE: The Motherf**ker with the Hat ... loud and brash and generously sprinkled with foul language, violence and drug use, but it’s fun. MORE

THEATRE: Through These Lines ... a poignant piece of drama, with lashings of humour, romance, desperate sadness, heroics and frustration. MORE THEATRE: The Witches ... Kidnap your grandkids and head to the Stables Theatre in Darlinghurst. MORE

THEATRE: The Last Confession ... a wonderful whodunit of which Christie herself would have been proud. MORE TRAVEL: MSC really does know how to stretch things. It's increasing the length of Armonia and three other ships by 24 metres. MORE

TRAVEL: Fly between the east coast and South Australia in November and December with Tigerair fares from $39. MORE TRAVEL: Latest deals & news include Backyard Travel's five-night tour to the mountainous Chinese province of Sichuan. MORE

BOOMER BLOG: A day well spent with masters of American drama and Italian cuisine. MORE WINE: Zema Estate's hands-on approach pays rich dividends in Coonawarra. MORE

WINE: Catherine Vale 2013 Arneis ... a gentler, just-as-aromatic but less pungent alternative to sauvignon blanc. MORE WINE: Zema Estate 2006 Saluti ... Combine with a slow-roasted leg of lamb and some steamed spring vegetables and you’ll be close to nirvana. MORE

WINE: Zema Estate 2008 Family Selection Cabernet Sauvignon ... even at more than six years of age, this dry red has considerable life ahead of it. MORE WINE: Zema Estate 2009 Cluny Cabernet Merlot ... This is a wine I respect almost as much as the actor of the same name. MORE

THEATRE: Wicked ... a spectacular production, slick and extravagant and hugely entertaining. MORE WINE: Lowe 2012 Mudgee Blue Cabernet Shiraz ... the two grape varieties complement each other perfectly. MORE

THEATRE: The Dream is for real, really good theatre. MORE THEATRE: Charitable Intentions ... such an unpleasant bully that I found it difficult to include her in my hearty applause at the end of the performance. MORE

THEATRE: Kryptonite ... both actors are superb throughout 90 uninterrupted minutes of intense, challenging performance. MORE THEATRE: Children of the Sun ... humorous, but the dark undercurrent of revolt cannot be held back. MORE

THEATRE: Lovebites ... a lovely piece of theatre that will, I’m sure, take anyone and everyone back to some point in their love life. MORE THEATRE: Other Desert Cities ... if I had to single anyone out it would be Ken Shorter. MORE

THEATRE: A Conversation ... shows exactly how masterful Williamson can be in getting under characters’ skins. MORE ARTS & THEATRE: The Melbourne Festival ... purity of tradition and the boldness of the contemporary. MORE

THEATRE: Waking Up Dead ... betrayal unravelled in charcoal. MORE OLIVE OIL: Cobram Estate delivers the good oil at Sydney Royal Spring Fine Food Show. MORE

THEATRE: Toward the Crimson Sky ... at least as much about spectacle, precision and athleticism as it is about the virtuosity of the sound. MORE FASHION: A charming coming-of-age memoir in which every dress tells a story. MORE

WINE: Best's Great Western ... generations of great red wine. MORE WINE: Best’s 2012 White Gravel Hills Shiraz ... retains that savoury character that so clearly differentiates Great Western shiraz. MORE

WINE: Best’s Great Western 2013 Bin 1 Shiraz ... a definite savoury edge that makes it such a good wine with foods like roasted meats. MORE WINE: Berton 2010 Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon ... you would expect to pay more than this for a good-quality Coonawarra cab. MORE