Maria Venuti – The Mother of Australian Entertainment

September 6th, 2010

Chances are you will hear Maria, before you see her. Then when you see her, you will instantly smile.

Maria Venuti is one of the most outrageously effervescent people I have ever met in my life!

From the giant light brown bouffant that sits on her head, the long eyelashes with diamantes, to the floor length Leopard print kaftan, Maria is one person you are instantly attracted to. Her enormous laugh and hilariousness is infectious – you are then trapped in Mama Venuti’s private little world where everything is about having fun and living life to the fullest.

She is a great Australian icon, performing for thousands of people for longer then most of us have been alive. Her Italian heritage brings out her eccentricity on stage.

Lets get to know this goddess as we are welcomed to the world of Maria Venuti…

What projects are you currently working on or have in the near future?

I’ve just finished filming a movie called ‘Bathing Frankie’ with Henri Szeps, young actor Shaun Goss and first time director, Owen Elliott and writen by the brilliant Michael Winchester.

I’m looking forward to my role in Frank Lotito’s ‘Big Mamma’s Boy’, filmed in Melbourne with Holly Valance in April.

There’s also my first CD in the mix!

I’d love you all to come and see my show at Kit & Kaboodle at The Sugarmill on Sunday night, 21st of March. I guarantee a night of great songs and a fun time!

Who or what influences you most in Fashion and home décor?

Animal print!!

What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?

Too much to choose from. But if I have to, my crazy hats!

Do you have one feature in your home you love most?

I have hanging over my fireplace an exotic papyrus of King Tut (Tutankhamen) I bargained for when I was doing concerts in the Sinai Desert with the pride of Australia – Rolf Harris.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Rome…ahh!! Bella Roma!

Greatest lesson learnt?

Be true to yourself… please.

What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of a career in your industry?

Come and see me – let’s talk!

Which celebrity wardrobe would you love to raid and why?

I can’t make up my mind between Lady GaGa Or Sophia Loren.

How did you get into a life of performing?

Totally by chance. I’m not a person who plans. Live for today and let life surprise me tomorrow.

What is your one design rule you like to stick to around the home?

Animal print.

My Mother/Father always told me…

Always… just-a-be-a-yourself-Maria. Honest, considerate and passionate.

Is there a cause that is close to you and if so, why?

I love my charity work – it is fulfilling and everything I’m involved with is close to my heart. Like The Variety Children’s Charity, The Cornucopia Committee – raising $’s for the support of abused children. Humpty Dumpty – supporting children’s hospitals. The Australian Ladies Variety Association, it’s a show-business charity that does marvelous work.

Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?

Relax?!?! What does that word mean?!! If and when I do, and I’m in the city, my favourite place to take time out is a beautiful small park right next to The Park Hyatt. There are six date palms there and the lorikeets fly around enjoying incessantly chatting and the views are spectacular.

How often do you eat out and cook at home?

I eat out often and cook often. I adore both!

I savour all the different types of foods and experiencing the flavours Sydney’s world class restaurants. My favourite of all is to entertain with dinner parties at home with friends, family, candles and a beautiful interesting theme.

Signature dish?

My daughter Bianca and I were recently in the historic town of Italy’s Peruggia for cooking classes. At the moment I’m loving this very simple dish that Andrea just ‘whipped up’. Veal steak, prosciutto and sage. Hold them together with a large wooden pick, place into very hot extra virgin olive oil for only two minutes and serve with a side of vegetables. I love steamed beans with a combo of oil, mint, garlic – ‘piacere’.

Your thoughts on Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?

Basically I have my own crazy style, sometimes in the best dressed list, more often then not in ‘the worst dressed list’. But I hope never boring!!!

I design a lot of my own showbiz and social fashions… Oh!! Australian fashion is up there with the best in the world although the budgets are very different, but our fashions are hot and NOW!!!

The one thing I can’t leave home without is…

My eyelashes!!

What frustrates you most about Sydney?

On the Anzac Bridge, the speed limits go from 60 to 40 to 50! Cross City tunnel – 80 to 40!! That’s the problem! The change of speed limits in a few hundred meters! That really frustrates me!

If you were Clover Moore, what would be the first thing you’d inject money into fixing?

Circular Quay railway station and Cahill Expressway! Its hideous and the facade is just an eye sore.

Favourite beach in Sydney and why?

North Bondi gently surfing with friends, then off to North Bondi Italian for lunch and then call into Camilla’s for a new kaftan!!

If you could be a fly on the wall of any celebrity home, who’s wall would you like to sit on?

Brangelina’s – to find out what’s really going on!

Three pet hates?

Bullshit.

Hypocrisy.

No manners.

Fashion and home must-have’s?

Animal print… For fashion and home!

I’ve been in that jungle forever…

What is your one diva demand when performing?

All my stage costumes are ‘boned to oblivion’. So I once employed a very strong young Darling to do my hooks and eyes up before I went on stage. Ooooooo!

What a women! Don’t forget to see this icon perform on the 21st of March at Kit & Kaboodle.

Visit www.moshtix.com.au/event.aspx?id=35060&ref=moshtix for tickets. Dinner and Show options available.

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