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Review - Back to the 80’s: Reliving the nostalgia years

Back to the 80’s By Neil Gooding Directed and choreographed by Andrew Ross-Graham Gold Coast Little Theatre Season: until March 4. Bookings: www.gclt.com.au Neil Gooding’s Back to the 80’s – now playing the Gold Coast Little Theatre – is a neat celebration of our passion for nostalgia, which smoothly channels high school hit makers such as Grease. This jukebox musical, penned by an Aussie writer and first produced in Sydney back in 2004, cleverly plugs into the US senior year scenario and comes complete with the soundtrack of ‘our’ lives lived through the class of ’89. Not surprisingly Coast director and choreographer, Andrew Ross-Graham, stumbled on this story of the 1989 graduating class

Review - Green Day’s American Idiot: still a show for the times

Above: QPAC Executive Director Ross Cunningham, Jackie Trad, Qld Deputy Premier and shake&stir Artistic Director Nick Skubij Right: Xanthe Coward, Josh Mackintosh, the show's designer and his wife Sarah. Opening night pictures by Deanne Scott. More follow the review. Green Day’s American Idiot Music by Green Day Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer Directed by Craig Ilott Choreographer Lucas Newland Musical Director Glenn Moorhouse Season: February 25-March 12. Bookings on www.qpac.com.au or 136 346 I guess I am more for Prokofiev than Punk rock, but the magical thing about music is that whatever the genre if it is good it will resonate. Green Day’s v

Review - Green Day’s American Idiot: still a show for the times

Above: QPAC Executive Director Ross Cunningham, Jackie Trad, Qld Deputy Premier and shake&stir Artistic Director Nick Skubij Right: Xanthe Coward, Josh Mackintosh, the show's designer and his wife Sarah. Opening night pictures by Deanne Scott. More follow the review. Green Day’s American Idiot Music by Green Day Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer Directed by Craig Ilott Choreographer Lucas Newland Musical Director Glenn Moorhouse Season: February 25-March 12. Bookings on www.qpac.com.au or 136 346 I guess I am more for Prokofiev than Punk rock, but the magical thing about music is that whatever the genre if it is good it will resonate. Green Day’s v

Review - The Flick: mixed feelings

Kevin Hofbauer as Avery and Nagaire Dawn Fair as Rose, The Flick By Annie Baker Directed by Nadia Tass Queensland Theatre, QPAC, Red Stitch Theatre production Cremorne Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: February 10-March 5. Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or 136 246 On the Thursday night I was at the Cremorne about one third of the audience left the theatre at interval. The rest stayed and enjoyed the meanderings of the trio of American misfits who talked and swept up popcorn for close to three hours on stage. The Flick is that sort of play: it is a Pulitzer prize-winner; so is it brilliant and destined to be a classic or a peek at the Emperor’s new clothes? Th

Australian Ballet: fairies, nymphs, royals and fantastical characters

Following a critically acclaimed world , and sell-out seasons across the country, The Australian Ballet brings David McAllister’s The Sleeping Beauty to Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre, from 24 February to 4 March. Fairies, bluebirds, a gilded court, and a spell-shattering kiss: one of the most beloved fairytale ballets has been re-awakened to new life in Artistic Director David McAllister’s lavish production. Keeping true to the artistic spirit of the traditional version of The Sleeping Beauty, this new production gives rein to the talents of the entire company. Sumptuous, sparkling sets and costumes by Gabriela Tylesova evoke the gilded splendour of the Imperial court and the French Louis XIV per

Matilda results and after-party pictures

It was a great night at the Brisbane Powerhouse with top entertainment, as Dash Kruck and Melissa Western (right) were in top form as MCs for the night and had the audience yelling for more after their great finale number. There was a great reception too for Georgina Hopson, who won the 2015 Best Emerging Artist Award and is now in the cast of the Julie Andrews directed remounting of My Fair Lady which is due into Brisbane next month. Ellen Reid and the cast of Boy&Girl plus Women In Voice and acrobatic duo Alex Weckes-Huck completed the entertainment line-up. Musical irector was 2015 nominee Georgina Hopson. After the 90 minute production, directed by Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stew

Review - The Importance of Being Earnest: sophistication and good timing

The Importance of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde Directed by Pat O’Callaghan Act 1 Theatre Strathpine Season: Feb 17-March. 4 Bookings: 0458 579 269 or acttheatre2@gmail.com It is always interesting to look back on a period of relatively recent history, or society, through the eyes of a writer of that period rather than what historians have decided for us. That is the case with this play written by Oscar Wilde at the end of the Victorian era in 1895. It is often considered to be his most successful play and the last he wrote before his fall from grace. Act 1 has successfully performed this with the right sophistication and timing to the enjoyment of the audience. John Worthington lives in the

Gothic comedy of revenge

Right: Airlie Dodds Paula Arundell and Shari Sebbens. Photo by James Green Sydney Theatre Company shares Griffin Theatre Company’s acclaimed 2015 production of The Bleeding Tree by Angus Cerini, with new audiences at The Wharf from 9 March to 8 April 2017. The original cast of Paula Arundell, Airlie Dodds and Shari Sebbens are reunited with director Lee Lewis, designer Renée Mulder, lighting designer Verity Hampson and composer Steve Toulmin to remount this production. A gothic thriller, a revenge comedy and a murder ballad all in one, The Bleeding Tree is set in rural Australia, a shot shatters the night. A mother and her two daughters have just welcomed home the man of the house – whom the

Bonnie Raitt to perform in QPAC Concert Hall

Ten-time Grammy Award Winner Bonnie Raitt, will make her debut performance at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC’s) Concert Hall as part of her Dig In Deep Tour on Wednesday 12 April 2017. Bonnie Raitt has become an institution in American Music. This QPAC concert offers Queensland audiences the first chance to see the acclaimed artist since she supported Bob Dylan in Brisbane in 1992. Dig In Deep (2016) is Raitt’s twentieth album and follows the release of her top-selling and 2012 Grammy Award-winning album, Slipstream. On tour, Raitt will be joined by her long time touring band: James ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (bass), Ricky Fataar (drums), George Marinelli (guitar), and Mick Finnigan (

Return season for Tribunal

After a sold-out season and critical acclaim at Griffin Theatre in 2016, Tribunal is returning for a season at the home of PYT in Western Sydney’s Fairfield, Australia’s most culturally diverse suburb. Tribunal, an ambitious performance project that brings together indigenous elders, artists, human rights workers, refugees and lawyers to address Australia’s true history by telling the parallel stories of indigenous Australia and newly arrived refugees. Fusing contemporary theatre with legal procedure, personal history and intimate conversations. The collaborators/performers in Tribunal combine PYT’s most exciting young artists with Australia’s significant cultural leaders. Performers/collabo

Review - Single, Asian, Female: Debut play well worth watching

Emily Burton, Courtney Stewart and Emily Vascotto. Photograph: Dylan Evans Single, Asian, Female By Michelle Law Directed by Claire Christian La Boite Theatre Company The Roundhouse Kelvin Grove Brisbane Season: 11 February - 4 March. Bookings: 07 3007 8600 or www.laboite.com A new play by a debut writer is always something worth seeing and Single Asian Female is no exception. Michelle Law’s opus contains some brilliant dialogue and characters you come to love, even with their flaws. They are truly people many of us can say “I know her – and her mum!” It is however over-written and went on for a little too long. It started at 7.40 and the final karaoke finale ended at 10.15, so it lost me a

Review - Cargo Club: Thought provoking

Cargo Club Presented by CFAT and Darahrouge Sue Benner Theatre Metro Arts Brisbane City Season: 31 January – 18 February 2017; Duration 90 minutes Through my own experience, Metro Arts always seems to bring to Brisbane interesting and eclectic performing art pieces that push the concept of what can be construed as theatre to a different level and provide audiences with work that provokes thought. Last night’s performance of Cargo Club, as presented by the Centre for Australasian Theatre (CFAT), Darahrouge, Brisbane City Council and Metro Arts, was no different. Directed by Dutch-born Guillaume “Willem” Brugman, Cargo Club, a show that promises “Transcultural underground for thoroughly good s

Review - West End to Broadway –The Movie Musicals: A vocal treat

Above: The cast, all together in harmony. Below: Pia Frangiosa Over the Rainbow. West End to Broadway –The Movie Musicals Produced by Bruce Edwards Musical Director and keyboard Brendan Murtagh Spring Hill Reservoir Wickham Terrace Brisbane Season: Brisbane, February 10 – 26; Capricorn Caves Rockhampton from March 3 – 5. Bookings: www.ticketmaster.com.au Running time a little over two hours including interval This was my second visit to the reservoir at Spring Hill and I have to admit that the place is addictive. The atmosphere is unique, with the vaulted ceiling and buttresses that create amazing acoustics as voices bounce around all four sections of the 120 seat auditorium. In the centre i

Shane Warne tells it all live on stage

Legend. Icon. Hero. Villain. Shane Warne has been called all that and more. Everyone has an opinion on Warney; many have stories to tell. But now it’s time for Warney to tell his own story – in his own words, live on stage. Shane Warne was often called “a rock-star cricketer” and with this his first national tour, Warney Uncut, The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth will make its way to Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, kicking off at the Sydney Opera House on April 20th. This is the show that separates fact from fiction, revealing the man behind the myths, the truth behind the tweets. Warney will be sharing his stories, as well as a few life lessons he’s learned

New show from Circus Oz

Australia’s national circus company, Circus Oz, returns to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) with a new show, Model Citizens, in the Playhouse from 12 to 15 April. Audiences will be taken on a journey by the Circus Oz ensemble, exploring what it really means to be a model citizen in our ‘lucky’ country today. Set in a model kit world, Model Citizens blends the risk, beauty and rawness of acrobatic circus with live music, stunning lighting, physical improbability and some absurdity. In the first creation to be directed by Circus Oz’s new Artistic Director, Rob Tannion, Model Citizens breaks conventions of scale, as oversized everyday objects open up an intriguing world of possibili

Brisbane Jazz Club: A super night at a great venue

Above: viewed from the riverside and below Joe Chindamo and his daughter Olivia. For years I have wandered past the Brisbane Jazz Club, which is perched on the the edge of the Brisbane River; sometimes on a fitness walk sometimes walking the dog. It is a quaint looking wooden building on Annie Street at Kangaroo Point and I have for many years thought about paying a visit. I enjoy good jazz. Last week I had an excuse to drive into the city and checkout the club. Joe Chindamo and his daughter Olivia were booked in. They were part of John Bloomfield’s weekend set of well-attended and well-received workshops on the Taubman Piano Technique in Brisbane that wife attended. And what a great night w

Review: ‘night, Mother: Pulitzer prize winning domestic drama

Right: Del Halpin as Thelma Cates and Amy McDonald as daughter Jessie ‘night, Mother by Marsha Norman. Directed by Barry Gibson. Javeenbah Theatre Company. Gold Coast Runs until February 11. Thurs-Sat 8 pm with a Sunday February 5th matinee. Bookings: Phone (07) 55960300. www.javeenbah.org.au The last time I was at the Gold Coast’s Javeenbah Theatre – more than a dozen years ago – it was still recovering from the 2002 devil’s lick which gutted much of the building within 18 minutes. Writing about the aftermath of the fire, I described the theatre as ‘plucky’ and predicted that the setback was little more than a hump in the road to new heights. Returning to Javeenbah, for the gala opening o

Review: Ladies in Black – sheer entertainment

Glamour in store. Below right: Madeleine Jones as Patty and her husband Frank (Tamlyn Henderson). Ladies in Black Book by Carolyn Burns Music and lyrics by Tim Finn Based on the novel The Women in Black by Madeleine St John Directed by Simon Phillips Queensland Theatre Company/QPAC production Playhouse Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: January 28-February 19. Running time: two hours 30 minutes including interval. Bookings at qpac.com.au or 136246 What more could you want? Fantastic costumes, wonderful music, terrific acting, and vocals, aided by a top class five-piece band and the best sound levels I have ever heard for a musical in the Playhouse Theatre.

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