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All the latest news from around the entertainment venues.

 

 

Swinging foursome

Four of Australia’s leading stage and screen stars will unite in ‘Rat Pack’ style for Swing on This at Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC’s) Concert Hall on Saturday 7 January 2017. Michael Falzon (We Will Rock You, Rock of Ages), Brisbane’s Luke Kennedy (Runner up The Voice Australia 2013, The Ten Tenors), Rob Mills (Legally Blond, Grease) and Ben Mingay (Wonderland, House of Bond) will deliver a modern take on all-time swing classics from Sinatra and Bublé, to rock and pop hits from Oasis, Farnham and The Proclaimers. Accompanied by the 18-piece Swing on This Big Band and some special guests to be announced, the four friends will perform timeless hits such as Fly me to the Moon and

The Royal Ballet exclusive to Brisbane

A Winter's Tale Britain’s The Royal Ballet, will perform exclusively in Brisbane for the 2017 QPAC International Series, announced today by Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones. “The Royal Ballet, one of the greatest dance companies in the world, will perform the Australian premieres of two works, The Winter’s Tale and Woolf Works, from 29 June to 9 July 2017,” the Premier said. “Royal Ballet director Kevin O’Hare is bringing the full company to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) where they will perform these two highly-acclaimed works for the first time outside of their home at London’s Covent Garden.” The Winter’s Ta

National tour for St Martin in the Fields

Led by virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, Academy of St Martin in the Fields will return to Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) to perform two concert programs on 26 and 27 April 2017. The QPAC concerts are part of the acclaimed ensemble’s first national Australian tour in almost three decades. Bell and the Academy performed two sold out concerts at QPAC in an exclusive Australian appearance in 2010. Established in 1958 by the late Sir Neville Marriner, the orchestra takes its name from the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, where the Academy gave its first performance. Violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, became the Academy’s Music Director in 2011, leading the orchestra from the first violin and

Rock band Explosions in the Sky head to Australia

Texan post-rock band, Explosions in the Sky, make their way to the Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) for a concert on Friday 24 February 2017 as part of their Australian tour. Known for their intense live shows, the quartet has sold out Radio City Music Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London, sound-tracked Friday Night Lights along with a number of motion pictures and dozens of TV shows; most recently the band performed at Glastonbury Festival (2016). For more than fifteen years, Explosions in the Sky have been at the forefront of instrumental rock. Visually and aurally stunning live performances transport the listener to vast landscapes, on epic journeys. The band’s lates

I Am My Own Wife for Melbourne and Brisbane

Right: Ben Gerrare. Photo by Rupert Reid After a sell-out Sydney season at the Old Fitz Theatre, Oriel Group’s production of I Am My Own Wife will have a limited Melbourne season at fortyfivedownstairs from January 17 as part of the 2017 Midsumma Festival and a limited Brisbane season at Brisbane Powerhouse as part of MELT 2017. Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, playwright Doug Wright (Quills, Grey Gardens) began a conversation with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric 65-year-old German transvestite who, against all odds, survived two of the most oppressive regimes of the 20th century: the Nazis and the Communists. After hundreds of hours of interviews Wright emerged

New Italian restaurant for Chiang Mai resorts

The Zest Terrace Zone. North Hill City Resort and Sireeampan Boutique Resort & Spa have opened a new Italian restaurant, The Zest. The new restaurant, a concept from Chef Dan Phangngoen, will be featured at and managed by both of the properties, serving up Italian. “Chiang Mai is starting to put its stamp on the map as an up-and-coming foodie destination,” said Kanlapat Trakarnkoolpunt, managing director of North Hill City Resort and Sireeampan Boutique Resort & Spa. “We’re confident that The Zest’s flavorsome and creative menu items will provide an elevated culinary experience in Chiang Mai.” Signature dishes include a Sea Crab Salad with Avocado featuring a secret recipe of salad dressing,

The Nunsense Nuns are at it again

Sunnybank Theatre Groups’ production of Dan Goggin’s Sister Amnesia’s Country and Western Nunsense Jamboree is presented as a promotional tour for Sister Mary Amnesia's newly released album, I Could've Gone to Nashville. After regaining her memory Sr. Amnesia realizes she is Sister Mary Paul, a former country singer. Reverend Mother, feeling that one should not waste God-given talent, gets Sister Mary Paul a recording contract and now she is on a national tour. The show introduces two new characters, Sister Mary Wilhem (the convent nurse), and Father Virgil Manly Trott (Sister Leo?s real-life brother). The show is filled with one-liners and comic tunes Audiences participate in a rousing "Cou

Review - Entertaining Angels: humour lightens the darkness

Entertaining Angels Written by Richard Everett Director, Anne Wilson Act 1 Theatre Old Shire Hall, Gympie Road, Strathpine Season: October 21-November 5. Bookings: 0458 579 269 or acttheatre2@gmail.com This play is one that centres on a dysfunctional family where the main combatants are the daughters, female relatives, and friends. They come together after a death of a relative and relive part of their pasts from a new perspective. In this play, the death was of a husband who was also a minister of religion. The action takes place in the church house where Grace is having difficulty adjusting to her husband’s death - she visualizes him in their favourite garden where she “speaks” to him. Her

Going, going… Ghan! A Brilliant ride

The mighty Ghan too long for the camera lens In the cabin, small but comfortable. It’s expensive, but a lot of fun and something well worth experiencing – that’s the Great Southern Rail’s train trip on the Ghan. The Ghan runs weekly from Adelaide through to Darwin via Alice Springs, from the bottom to the top of the country through the red centre. The full trip takes three days, with two nights on board. But this was a bucket list trip for my wife with Alice Springs, Uluru, Kakadu, and Darwin as added extras, so at a cost of $2,718 for a Gold Class cabin we opted for the ride to terminate in Alice Springs. The more expensive and larger Platinum Class carriages were all full when I booked; i

Dinner and bubbles on Darwin Harbour

What would be the perfect end to five days in Darwin’s heat? My wife and I discovered it a champagne dinner cruise on the harbour. Well it wasn’t actually champagne but an Australian bubbly, it did however start to flow the moment we stepped aboard. There are several sunset dinner cruises on offer but we chose Sail Darwin with their three hour trip on the Sundancer, a 50 ft ocean-going catamaran. With 100 metres of deck space there was plenty of room for the smallish party of guests who sat around the main mast at the bow of the boat, some on netting that overhung the water. As soon as were all aboard the boat chugged away from the pier into the dead calm water of the huge harbour, which is

New five star luxury in Chiang Mai

North Hill City Resort, a new five-star luxury resort near Chiang Mai, has officially opens and welcomed its first guest. The boutique, 42-room resort offers a sophisticated and contemporary setting with outstanding views of Doi Suthep, and proximity to the new North Hill Golf Course. The opening coincided with the recent award by Travel + Leisure, whose readers voted Chiang Mai as best city in Asia in Travel + Leisure’s “The World’s Best Cities” survey. Located 20 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport and downtown Chiang Mai, North Hill City Resort’s location allows for a gateway to the region’s natural and cultural attractions. The new 18-hole North Hill Golf Course is right next

End of year specials in Myanmar

Sedona's Anawrahta Suite Sedona Hotel Yangon, a five-star hotel in Yangon, Myanmar is offering special seasonal holiday packages. The verdant retreat in the centre of Yangon is offering luxury accommodations, services and amenities for leisurely holiday travel or end-of-year business trips. The hotel opened in 1996 as Yangon’s first international property, setting a new bar for hospitality. This spring, the hotel raised the bar yet again with the opening of the Inya Wing, an elegant tower with a grand lobby, high-end retail gallery, fitness centre, spa and executive lounge. With a contemporary design and a service culture reflective of the Burmese traditions, Sedona Hotel Yangon now offers n

Review – Disgraced: a gripping piece of theatre.

Right: Hazem Shammas was Amir. Deanne Scott's after-show party follow the review. Disgraced By Ayad Akhtar Directed by Nadia Tass Queensland Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company production Playhouse Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: October 14-November 6. Bookings: 136 246 There was not a cough or a shuffle from the audience; just a silence that screamed with tension as this remarkable American play crept towards its climax. The four characters that began with mild disagreements and faux verbal battles had lost their jocular mood as hidden, primitive prejudices emerged from the veneer of tolerance and civilisation. Amir was the upward bound lawyer in a Je

Kranskys are back with more Christmas mayhem

After a sell out 2015 season, The Kransky Sisters return to the Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) with their new show, A Very Very Kransky Christmas from 20 to 23 December 2016. Cloistered in the old rickety family house in their home town of Esk in Queensland, the musical sisters’ ‘traditional’ Christmas festivities will again be revealed. For this very special return season they let you into their world of egg nog, panty-hose and painted chokos. From Enya to Silent Night, Daft Punk to The Twelve Days of Christmas, these dysfunctional sisters take family get-togethers to a whole new level. A Very Very Kransky Christmas expands on their much loved hit show from 2016

School holiday family fun at QPAC

Following sold out shows in July 2015, Mister Maker & The Shapes (right) are coming back to Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Concert Hall from 13 to 15 January next year. Featuring new songs, dance moves and makes, the arts and craft hero, Mister Maker returns with a funny and interactive live show the summer school holidays. Packed full of arty adventures there’ll be a big ‘make’ to take part in, songs to sing-a-long with, a supporting cast and of course The Shapes; Mister Makers colourful all-dancing friends. Mister Maker launched in 2010 on ABC Television in Australia and quickly became one of the highest most popular children’s shows in the country. The live show is recommended for M

Review - Tequila Mockingbird: more powerful than ever

Right: Nelle Lee and Ross Balbuziente as Rachel and Joel. Below right: Nelle Lee with Shannon Haelger as Sameer Tequila Mockingbird Created by shake & stir Theatre Company Written by Nelle Lee Directed by Michael Futcher Cremorne Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: October 5-15. Bookings on QTIX 136 246 or www.qpac.com.au After enjoying the original production back in 2013 I wondered how a repeat performance would stack up. The answer is simple; it was better; more gripping and powerful. And the twin themes of racism and domestic violence resonated even more. I sat engrossed for the full 90 minutes of the production and my feelings towards the characters cha

Review - The Merchant of Venice: Romance, intrigue and suspense

The Merchant of Venice By William Shakespeare Directed by Michael Futcher and Helen Howard Presented by the QUT Bachelor of Fine Arts students QUT Gardens Theatre Brisbane City The Merchant of Venice runs until October 8 It’s been 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death and yet the Bard is still going strong. It’s a little incredible to believe. Among his oeuvre are some of the best plays ever to have graced the stage. While The Merchant of Venice might not be on everybody’s top five of Shakespeare’s works, it certainly is a play that is a little, somewhat unsung, gem. Here’s why – it’s full of romance, intrigue, and suspense, touching moments, humour, and a smattering of cross-dressing.

Test driving Virgin Australia

Photos by Deanne Scott. My wife and I took a three-flight trip from Brisbane-Brisbane via Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Darwin, which gave us the chance to look at the latest addition to the Virgin airport lounges in Alice Springs and Darwin as well as to explore the Red Centre and Top End. We flew in Boeing 737 800 planes and all flights were comfortable and smooth – there was a surprise snack pack on the Darwin Brisbane route with a tasty hot snack and a chicken wrap, plus muffin and plenty of tea and coffee. It was almost a meal! I must add that two of the legs of the journey were paid for with Virgin’s Velocity reward points and booking was absolutely painless; no shilly-shallying, no wai

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