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All the latest news from around the entertainment venues.



The new Dorothy Gale

Samantha Leigh Dodemaide (right) is to be the new Dorothy in the upcoming Australian tour of the The Wizard of Oz, Producers John Frost and Suzanne Jones have announced. “Over 400 actresses sent in video applications, and after extensive auditions with the creative team in Sydney and Melbourne, we knew we had found our perfect Dorothy in Samantha,” said John Frost. “Dorothy Gale needs to be smart, brave, compassionate, selfless and encouraging to others, and Sam is all that and more.” “Samantha’s career has been on an upward trajectory since she first trod the boards, and she is so ready to take on her first major musical leading role,” added Suzanne Jones. “I know that this will be the begi

Review – Blackrock: an absolute winner

Above: Annabel Harte, Karl Stuifzand, Tom Wilson, Tom Cossettini, Ryan Hodson Right: Joss McWilliam. Below right: Christen O'Leary and Amy Ingram, Photos by Dylan Evans. More photos follow the review. Blackrock By Nick Enright Directed by Todd MacDonald La Boite/QUT Creative Industries presentation The Roundhouse Theatre Kelvin Grove Brisbane Season: July 22-August 12. Running time: approx 100 minutes without interval. Bookings: Todd MacDonald’s production of Blackrock is an absolute winner, thanks to terrific direction and brilliant casting, particularly the eight third year QUT students who played the rampant teens. They were all superb, filled with bubbling energy

Review - Billy Liar: living in a fantasy world

Right: Natalie Stephenson and Adam Hellier Billy Liar By Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall. Directed by Dawn China. Javeenbah Theatre Company. Nerang Season runs until August 5. Bookings: Phone (07) 55960300. On the eve of the Swinging Sixties the UK – especially in the regions – was largely a socially conservative country, where nice people lived by rules. Emerging rock and pop talents, such as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, might have been reaping the hedonistic rewards of free love, but elsewhere it more often came at a price. In the case of Billy Fisher’s decent well brought up Yorkshire family that price was a ring – first an engagement ring and then a wedding

Review - The Bodyguard the Musical: One for the fans

Right: Kip Gamblin, Paulini and Prinnie Stevens The Bodyguard the Musical Book by Alexander Dinelaris Directed by Thea Sharrock Choreographer Karen Bruce John Frost, Michael Harrison, and David Ian production Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: July 22-August 13. Running time: two hours 20 minutes including interval. Bookings: or 07 384 7444. At the opening night performance the captivated audience cheered and leapt to its feet with rapturous applause for the cast of the musical as it swung into a huge, vital, and exciting finale with I Wanna Dance With Somebody. There was no doubt the audience loved the show. An

Review - QSO: Simone Young and Ray Chen mysterious and surreal

Right: Ray Chen and Simone Young. Simone Young and Ray Chen Morning Masterpiece Concert Paganini and Holst. Queensland Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Wild applause for Ray Chen, Simone Young and the Queensland Symphny Orchestra. This concert was something special with Ray Chen’s incredible violin playing and a mysteriously surreal Gustav Holst’s The Planets played by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted superbly by Simone Young. This is the first Morning Masterpiece Concert I have attended and the concept is terrific. It mirrors the full evening performance but is tailored to run for just over an hour without an interval. It is a

A non-gambler’s stay at Darwin's Sky City

Sunset from the infinity pool. Territory Day fireworks. Can you take an enjoyable family holiday at a casino if you are a none-gambler? If it’s the Star City Casino and resort in Darwin you can, at least my wife and I did. We were there in June/July in the beautiful dry season, which made it quite comfortable for walking around the city and along the beach to the famous Mindil Market. We had nine enjoyable nights in the hotel without spending a single cent in the casino, even though we were given free plays on keno quite often. The hotel itself needs a bit of sprucing up - it was built in the 1980s – but our room, 106, was clean and extremely well serviced. The bed was comfortable and the ba

Second Katy Perry shows in Brisbane and Adelaide

Right: Katy Perry. Phopto by Rony Alwin. Tickets to the Australian leg of Katy Perry’s Witness: The Tour went on sale today and due to huge demand TEG Dainty has announced second shows in Adelaide on Tuesday 31 July at Adelaide Entertainment Centre and Brisbane on Friday 10 August at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Tickets for these new shows are on sale now at or 132 849! Paul Dainty, President and CEO of TEG Dainty promoted Katy’s 2014 Australian tour and said today, “The response we received from the 2014 tour was phenomenal with Katy performing a staggering 23 shows across the country. Katy is one of the most powerful entertainers in the world and I am delighted to be

Vocals, harmonies and gourmet platters

Take all the great girl anthems from the 1940s to the 1970s, and add three vocalists - Lauren Lee Innis-Youren, Sophia Dimopoulos and Row Lea Blackshaw - mix in a speakeasy atmosphere and you have Sirens. Footlights Theatrical Inc, newcomers to the local independent theatre and music scene is following up its successful Jazz and Tonic 'Ratpack' show with an all girl show – three evenings only at the Reload Espresso Bar 9 Chrome St Salisbury. Join them for vocals and harmonies, gourmet platters washed down with craft beer, quality wine or a range of cocktails. Lauren, Row, and Sophia are three fiercely independent women with powerful voices and fiery spirits to match. They are the physical e

A bipolar best friend, a talking moose and an overweight David Bowie

Following a humiliation in her hometown, Molly moves from Canada to Australia to try and kick start her life. Things don’t go smoothly, though; between her new manic companion, Annika, and her insufferable boss, Clive, Molly fears she may have made the worst decision of her life. Not to mention the talking moose who lives in Molly’s imagination and delights in tormenting her. Seemingly, her only ally is Gavin, the David Bowie tribute artist who lives next door. But even the best friendships come with complications, and Molly is about to learn that there are some fears you can’t run away from - even on the other side of the world. Love You Hate You Drive You Wild written by Bianca Butler Reyn

Les Misérables heads for Ipswich

Above: Les Miserables ensemble. Right: Sophie Salvesani as Cosette and William Toft as Marius Mark Duffus. Photos by Mark Duffus Ipswich Musical Theatre Company is proud to announce that its new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s Les Misérables, will open at the Ipswich Civic Centre on 8 September 2017, for a strictly limited season. “Finding a production that could follow our sell out 2016 season of Wicked, meant something big, bold and an audience favourite. What else could it be but Les Misérables,” said IMTC’s Artistic Director, Brenda Ryan. Since its global premiere in Paris in 1980, Les Misérables has played almost constantly, all over the world, winning multiple Tony Awards, Lauren

Piéce de théâtre française, en français, à Brisbane

A droite: Thomas Smith et Isabelle Johnson. Dessous droite: Hugues Girod et Alice Militon Photos Oliver Piau. L’Etudiante et Monsieur Henri Ecrite par Ivan Calbérac Présentée par le Théâtre Français de Brisbane Queensland Multicultural Centre Kangaroo Point Brisbane Saison jusqu’au 22 juillet. Réservations: La nuit dernière, j’ai eu l’occasion unique de voir un spectacle entièrement en français, accompagné de sous-titres anglais. J’ai n’ai pas eu à quitter Brisbane pour le voir et les members de l’audience n’étaient pas tous des Français. L’Etudiante et Monsieur Henri est une pièce contemporaine présentée par le

Review - Ruddigore or the Witch’s Curse: fun, frolic, and sheer enjoyment

Above: Richard Dauntless (Kanen Breen and chorus). Below right: Mad Margaret (Christine Johnston) and Rose Maybud (Natalie Christie Peluso). Photos by: Stephen Henry. More photos follow the review. Ruddigore or the Witch’s Curse By Gilbert and Sullivan Directed by Lindy Hume Conducted by Roland Peelman Opera Queensland Playhouse Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: July 14-29. Duration: Two hours 50 minutes including interval. Bookings: or QTIX 136 246. Ruddigore? Ruddimarvellous! This current Opera Queensland offering is two-and-a-half fast-fleeting hours of sheer fun, frolic, and enjoyment. Ruddigore is not one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s mos

French play, in French, in Brisbane

Right: Thomas Smith and Isabelle Johnson.Below right: Hugues Girod and Alice Militon. Photos by Olivier Piau. The Student and Mr Henri Written by Ivan Calbérac Presented by Brisbane French Theatre Queensland Multicultural Centre Kangaroo Point Brisbane Season runs until July 22. Bookings: Last night I had the unique experience of viewing a show entirely in French, accompanied by English subtitles. I didn’t have to leave Brisbane to see it and not everyone in the audience was French. L’Etudiante et Mr Henri, or The Student and Mr Henri is a modern play hat was presented by the Brisbane French Theatre. A modern Fr

Taking dinner and a sunset on Darwin Harbour

The Spirit of Drawin and a glorious sunset. Below: Captain Darren in full flow with his commentary. Photo by Deanne Scott One thing Darwin does better than most places is sunsets. They are simply magnificent as the sun sinks into the waters of the Arafura Sea in Fanny Bay in particular. One of the best ways to enjoy the daily, and often applauded, event is by joining the dinner cruises that sail out each afternoon. There are several boats and all are different, and my wife and I chose the Spirit of Darwin, which a large double-decker catamaran. There are smaller boats – even a former pearl lugger sailing ship - but if its comfort you want it’s the Spirit of Darwin. We boarded at Stokes Hill

Review - Wogs in Love: Greek family feud

Right; Anna, played by Melanie Bolovan, and her brother Costa played by Carl Figueiredo Wogs in Love By Greg Andreas Directed by Jane Oliffe 4 Stage Productions Performance Space Judith Wright Centre Brunswick Street Fortitude valley Season: July 6-14. Duration: two hours 10 minutes including interval. Bookings: Greg Andreas’s play is a gentle, funny, and sometimes serious look at the perennial problem of first and second generation migrants. It was originally written back in 1986, lost, and re-written from memory for this, the third show from 4 Stage Productions. It’s good to see a new professional company thriving and judging by the full house at the opening last night it

Review - Royal Ballet’s The Winter’s Tale: powerful and glorious

Right; Francesca Hayward as Perdita and Aussie Steven McRae asFlorizel. The Royal Ballet’s The Winter’s Tale Choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon Music by Joby Talbot played by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra Conductor Alondra de la Parra Scenario: Christopher Wheeldon and Joby Talbot Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season runs until July 9. Duration: three hours including two 30 minute intervals. Bookings: or 136 246 Absolutely fabulous is one way to describe this amazing work of art and I feel privileged to have seen this Royal Ballet production. It was a rare and wonderful thing which excelled in every department. The narrative was pe

Review - Michael Boyd’s Circus of Illusion: eye-catching acts

Above: The Illusionist – Australia’s got talent finalist Michael Boyd performs a bit of levitation Michael Boyd’s Circus of Illusion Mitchell Park, Southport, Queensland Season runs until July 9. Bookings: 0455 502 344 or Web site: The critically acclaimed, and highly theatrical, Circus of Illusion, had its grand opening under the big top at Mitchell Park, Southport. Michael Boyd’s tight-knit troupe of five featured acts, two dancers and a lady to levitate, pitch their show fairly and squarely at family audiences. The production, which can be seen twice daily until July 9 showcases the talents of

Review – Rice: fast-paced and engaging

Kirsty Best and Hsiao-Ling Tang. Photo by Stephen Henry Rice By Michele Lee Directed by Lee Lewis Presented by Queensland Theatre Bille Brown Studio West End Season runs until July 16. Book at We all know someone who is hard at work, trying the meet quotas and deadlines or just trying the make ends meet. They are our parents, children, siblings, and partners. Yet it’s not often one will find a piece of theatre that really represents these people. Michele Lee’s Rice as presented by Queensland Theatre, Queensland Government and Griffin Theatre Company is an award-winning script and that was clearly demonstrated opening night. Lee’s dialogue was fast-paced, engagin

Review - He Dreamed A Train & Eve: tales of reminiscence

Margi Brown Ash, and Travis Ash in Eve. Photo by Stephen Henry He Dreamed A Train & Eve Written by Margi Brown Ash and Travis Ash Directed by Benjamin Knapton and Leah Mercer Presented by Force of Circumstance and Nest Ensemble in Partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse Brisbane Powerhouse New Farm Season runs until July 16. Bookings: He Dreamed a Train and Eve, is a double bill presented by Force of Circumstance and Nest Ensemble. Written and performed by Margi Brown Ash, whose accolades stretch far and wide across the globe, these plays are, primarily, about belonging. That’s at least what Ash herself said upon giving a brief introduction at the beginning of the eve

Review - 70, Girls, 70 : Seniors on a musical crime spree

Right: Eunice and Walter (Jann Alcorn and Joel Beskin). Photo by Dan Ryan. 70, Girls, 70 A Broadway musical By Fred Ebb (lyrics) and John Kander (music) Directed by Roger McKenzie Musical director Mary Walters Gold Coast Little Theatre Season: Until July 29. Thurs-Sat 8pm with Sunday matinees July 9, 16 and 23. Bookings Phone 5532209 or Kander and Ebb’s 1971 musical 70,Girls, 70 was hardly among their most successful – nothing like Cabaret and Chicago – with only 35 performances at New York’s Broadhurst Theatre, but then it has proved to be a survivor. Which comfortably brings us to the show’s most unusual feature, the cast which mostly consists of veteran performers in their

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