Festival of Arts is going down swinging

Published: 14 Jul 2021

When a feast of pastries and gourmet delicacies melds with a smorgasbord of musical theatre classics, it can only mean one thing – it’s Friends of the MECC Jazz Brunch time!

The Mackay Festival of Arts is going down swinging thanks to this year’s Brunch, held on the last day of the festival – Sunday, July 25.

Running from 11am to 1pm, the legendary event will feature plenty of smooth moves thanks to Dale Pengelly’s The Lounge Suite, a show full of timeless swing music and musical theatre classics.

With help from his showgirls, The Loungin' Ladies, Pengelly will deliver an all singing, all dancing storytelling revue.

He describes the show as stories on stage, about people he has shared the stage with.

“It’s sort of anecdotal – it includes stories about Rhonda Burchmore, David Atkins, Todd McKenney and Donald O’Connor to name a few,” Pengelly said.

“This show features songs from the Ultimate Rat Pack, with tunes from Frankie, Deano and Sammy as well as Nat King Cole, Peter Allen and Gene Kelly,” he said.

“If the audience gets half as much enjoyment and entertainment out of the show as we have putting it together, it’s going to be a great time.”

Supported by ABC Tropical North and hosted by Mackay’s own Meecham Philpott, the Friends of the MECC Jazz Brunch is as much about the food as it is about the festivities.

Mayor Greg Williamson said this year’s menu was a delicious mix of pastries and gourmet dishes.

“Petite bacon and egg tarts; salmon blini with herbed cream cheese, fried capers and dill; croissants; parmesan scrambled eggs and Mexican salsa mini burritos; fruit skewers and pastries – it’s a tremendous feast!” he said.

“Honestly, it’s called a brunch for a reason – it really is two meals in one!”

For catering purposes, ticket sales cut off at noon this Friday (July 16). Grab your tickets from the Box Office or online. Dietary requirements required at time of purchase.