Concert to ease the blues
Set to feature the stars of recent stage hits like Jersey Boys, A Chorus Line and Fame, a special fundraising concert in Sydney this month will help raise funds and awareness for Beyondblue and people experiencing depression and anxiety.
The one-off Pants Off! Concert to take place at Slide on Monday, February 18 has been inspired by the long-running Hats Off annual concerts that raise funds for services to help people living with HIV.
Cast members from reality tv contest Dancing With The Stars, Jersey Boys, A Chorus Line, Fame, and Wicked will join Tara Morice, Marney McQueen, Ben Mingay, Stephen Mahy, Jeremy Brennan, Ana Maria Belo, Belinda Wollaston and, according to producers, even the star of the Optifast television commercials for the eagerly anticipated event.
Mahy (pictured, left), who has recently been seen in I Will Survive and Jersey Boys, told SX his involvement in the concert had a personal dimension.
“Depression and anxiety is something a family member went through. My sister was diagnosed with bipolar. She had the best support around her at the time and years on she is fully recovered,” he said.
“I see too many people without support and have dealt with the downside to losing someone through depression. RUOK Day is something I do every day.”
Fame and Hair star Belo told SX the community needs to be made more aware that there exists avenues to seek help and assistance for people, or their friends and families, so that those experiencing depression or anxiety need not suffer in silence, or worse.
“A cute image of a kitten with a Buddhist quote on your Facebook page isn’t going to change everything. People need tangible strategies and in some cases medication,” she says.
“Beyondblue is a brilliant organisation that not only offers immediate help in desperate circumstances but also puts funding into research for long term solution. I am so very proud to be a part of this concert and I hope that it will help ease the burden for some.”
Producer Trent Kidd, from Just Kidd’n Productions, has previously told SX he was inspired to put on a benefit show after seeing the impact of the annual Hats Off concerts.
“We believe mental health illnesses such as depression are not really spoken about, yet it is hugely prevalent within the gay community,” he said. “So we’re trying our best to get the message out there.”
Pants Off! is on 6.30pm, Monday, February 18 at Slide, Darlinghurst. Tickets $30 ($35 on the door). To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.slide.com.au