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Review - Disney’s Aladdin: a mind-blowing visual experience

Aladdin (Ainsley Melham) and the lamp: Photo: Deen van Meer The Genie (Gareth Jacobs) in Friend Like Me. Photo: Jeff Busby Disney’s Aladdin Book by Chad Beguelin Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, Chad Beguelin Director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw Lyric theatre Queensland performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: tickets released up to June 3. Bookings: or phone 136 246 Disney’s Aladdin is simply a mind-blowing visual experience that had the audience in ecstasies that resembled an old time US revival meeting as they screamed, cheered, and gasped in adoration. With American accents it was Disney all the way with feel, audience pitch, values and quali

Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s chamber music series, Twilight Notes, returns this year

Karin Schaupp on guitar and ‘cellist Umberto Clerici Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s (QPAC) popular chamber music series, Twilight Notes, returns in 2018 with a line-up of musical duos in three concerts. Each performance will be held in the reverse mode of QPAC’s Concert Hall. The Monday evening concerts are 90-minutes without interval. Opening the series on 4 June, are virtuosi pianists Lisa Moore and Sonya Lifschitz in Handwork. A journey on two grand pianos, the evening will feature Bach’s Goldberg Variations in an arrangement by Stephen Emerson. This is paired with new American music –Handwork by Martin Bresnick and John Adams’ jazz-infused Hallelujah Junction. In Without Boundaries

Savoyards musically celebrate the mating game

Above: Kate Doohan and Josh Thia. Right: Nick Ferguson and Nadia Vanek. Photos: Christopher Thoma Savoyards Musical Comedy Society’s next production is I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (A Musical Revue) at The Star Theatre, Manly, Queensland, 17 – 25 March. I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change, is the musical celebration of the mating game, taking on the truths and myths behind that contemporary conundrum know as 'the relationship.' It explores the journey from dating and waiting, to love and marriage and revealing the agonies and triumphs of in-laws and newborns, trips in the family car and pick-up techniques of the geriatric set. This revue pays tribute to those who have loved and l

All the best songs from musical theatre

The UK’s critically-acclaimed show Beyond The Barricade, a concert of musical showstoppers, will make its debut in Australia this year, touring to 24 cities from June 1. Starring past principal performers from Les Misérables in the West End and on UK tour, this two-hour show features favourite songs from the greatest West End and Broadway musicals including Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Evita, Wicked, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King and of course Les Misérables. Beyond The Barricade has been playing throughout the UK and Europe for 19 years, from London’s Royal Albert Hall to the Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria Cunard cruise liner

Review – Backbone: a stunning presentation

Backbone Presented by Gravity & Other Myths in Association with the Brisbane Powerhouse Directed by Darcy Grant Powerhouse Theatre Brisbane Season: 16-17 February. Bookings: 07 3358 8600 / Defying gravity in leaps and bounds, Gravity & Other Myths (GOM), in association with Brisbane Powerhouse, has showcased a stunning presentation that highlights the tremendous capabilities of the human form. The celebration piece, aptly named Backbone, explored the connectedness of humanity. In a breathtaking display by an all Australian acrobatic ensemble, the production combined athletic appeal with sheer power and outshone any expectations of the admi

Review – Act 1’s I Do, I Do, I Do: Highly recommended

The happy couple: Jamie (Troy Bullock), and his his long time partner Diana (Cara Biffin). I Do, I Do, I Do By Robin Hawdon Directed by Trevor Howden Act 1 Theatre Strathpine Season: February 16 – March 3. Bookings: 0458 579 269 or Wow what a great show! This was to be a society wedding, the likes of which we never see in our lives. The action takes place in the palatial manor of Anne whose son is to marry his long time partner, Diana. As the play proceeds, the arrangements for the wedding have to be changed as the relationships chop and change with remarkable speed. Much of this turmoil had the audience reacting with worry and concern before laughing at the action be

Review - The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek: Dark but effective humour

Above (from left) John Batchelor, Julian Curtis, Emily Weir and Kimie Tsukakoshi. Below right: John Batchelor, Emily Weir and Julian Curtis. Photos by Dylan Evans. Deanne Scott's after-show photos follow the review. The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek By Kathryn Marquet Directed by Ian Lawson La Boite and Playlab production Roundhouse Theatre Kelvin Grove Brisbane Season: February 10-March 3. Duration: 100 minutes with no interval. Bookings: Kathryn Marquet’s new play is something completely different. It has more shades than a camouflaged chameleon but it shows that her penchant for wicked comedy has not diminished. It is filled with some of the darkest humour I’ve seen o

$2.16million government boost for Opera Queensland

David Siddle, Deputy Chair, Qld Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch, Sandra Willis, Executive Director and Patrick Nolan Artistic Director & CEO The Queensland Government has committed $2.16 million in additional​ ​funding over four years to help Opera Queensland grow, to invest in new initiatives and ​return to three mainstage Brisbane seasons from 2019. The announcement was made by Queensland Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch at Opera Queensland’s opening performance of its 2018 season, the sold-out​ ​Reprise​ at ​QAGOMA​. Combining classical music with modern art, including new compositions by ​Paul Grabowsky​ and Megan Washington, ​Reprise​ was a taste of what is to come from Opera Queensland’s new Ar

The Matilda Awards in pictures

Deanne Scott’s camera was hard at work at the Matilda Award. Here is a selection of shots from Brisbane Theatre’s big night out. Singing up a storm: Kurt Phelan with the dancing girls. Below comperes Bridget Boyle and Brian Probets. Below right Sue Ryder and Margi Brown Ash, presenters Craig Wilkinson, Emma Gloede, Nelle Lee, Ross Balbuziente and Georgia Hendy, the shake&stir team, winners of Best Musical or Cabaret and Best Set Design (for Josh McIntosh). Above: Colin Smith, Best Actor in a Leading Role and Meghan Bowden, Best Emerging Artist. Right; Eric Scott with Merlynn Tong, whose work Blue Bones picked up six awards. The Playlab team - Left to Right: Alex Bayliss, Cinnamon Smith, an

Radio waves on the Gold Coast

Right: Director Nathan Schulz with the live sound effects kit. Ricki Vale Photography. Gold Coast theatre director Nathan Schulz is making waves – radio waves that is – with a back to the future style show that celebrates one of our grandparent’s favourite entertainments. Schulz, who is a familiar talent on the Coast’s community theatrical scene, is whisking audiences back to the golden age of radio drama with a series of six productions in the 2018 season. The self-confessed Drama Merchant has created The Radioplay Hour, featuring classics which filled American homes in the 1930s, ’40 and ‘50s. He describes the Radio Playhouse Hour as a ‘retro audio experience’ which aims to transport audie

2017 Matilda Awards - all the winners

Above: American idiot. Below right Merlynn Tong The 2017 Matildas Award was held at the Brisbane Powerhouse before a capacity audience Hosted by Bridget Boyle & Bryan Probets and directed by Kris Stewartand. The night was a triumph for smaller companies and Merlynn Tong in particular. Her solo play Blue Bones won six Matilda awards and helped Playlab to take out the Good Matilda. Blue Bones, performed at the Brisbane Powerhouse, won best mainstage production, Best Director for Ian Lawson, Best Audio Visual Design for Nathan Sibthorpe, Best Lighting Design for David Walters, while Merlynn herself too out two personal awards - The Lord Mayor’s Award For Best New Australian Work and Best Femal

A celebration of human connectedness

In less than a decade, Adelaide’s acrobatic company Gravity & Other Myths (GOM) have won acclaim with a series of accomplished ensemble works, and now they are heading to Brisbane. As part of the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) which runs 19 – 23 February GOM are bringing their work Backbone to Brisbane Powerhouse. Backbone is the culmination of all that’s gone before. It is a celebration of human connectedness and the meaning of strength with its athletic appeal. The ensemble was formed in 2009 in Adelaide and creates and directs its own work with emphasis on an approach to performance, moving away from traditional circus and theatre models, towards a fusion of acrobatic physical t

Review - Black is the New White: the funniest new play in years

Let's dance: Ray (Tony Briggs) and Dennison (Geoff Morrell). Photo by Prudence Upton Right: Luke Carroll as The Narrator. Photo by Rene Vaile Black is the New White By Nakkiah Luii Directed by Paige Rattray Queensland Theatre presentation of a Sydney Theatre Company production Playhouse Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: February 1-17. Duration: two hours 30 minutes including interval. Bookings: or 136 346. What a magnificence start to the 2018 Queensland Theatre program. This is without doubt the funniest new production I have seen in years. The script is hilarious, the characters well drawn, the acting just about perfect and the direction (with a cas

Review - Xanadu (The Musical): infectiously funny from Phoenix Ensemble

Xanadu (The Musical) Book by Douglas Carter Beane Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne & John Farrar Directed by Justin Tubb-Hearne Presented by the Phoenix Ensemble The Tin Shed Beenleigh Showgrounds Season: 2-24 February. Bookings: or phone 07) 3103 1546 Xanadu is set in 1980, Venice Beach, LA — Sonny Malone, an artist, is dissatisfied with his chalk mural of seven Greek Muses and is about to commit suicide. On Mount Olympus, Clio, the youngest and perkiest of the Muses, convinces her six sisters (two of whom are men) to travel to Venice Beach through the mural to inspire Sonny. Zeus’s rules require that Muses must always be disguised from mortals, so Clio changes her na

Matt Stewart debuts at Brisbane Comedy Festival with Dry Ginger Male

After sell out shows at Fringe World and Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2017, Matt Stewart (RAW Comedy winner, ABC TV, Do Go On Podcast) is back with a new show. Dry Ginger Male skewers masculinity, culture, religion, and politics with Stewart's trademark dry humour. Matt has had a bumper year appearing on ABC TV in Comedy Up Late, Sammy J’s Democratic Party, Ronnie Chieng’s International Student and most recently in Get Krack!n. He has cemented his position through his popular podcast Do Go On which regularly ranks in the top 20 on iTunes’ comedy podcast rankings and celebrated its 100th episode in front of a sold-out audience in October this year. His debut show Pretty Dry, rec

Sarah Snook announced in title role for Saint Joan

Australian actress Sarah Snook will play the title role of Saint Joan in the Sydney Theatre Company production directed by STC Resident Director Imara Savage at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in June. “Sarah is a brilliant, fierce, luminous, mercurial actor with a history of playing strong, complicated female leads. I can’t wait to see what she brings to Joan,” Imara said. Sarah Snook has starred in a number of award-winning feature films, theatre productions and television series both locally and internationally. In 2015 Sarah featured in Jocelyn Moorehouse’s The Dressmaker and Neil Armfield’s film Holding the Man. Sarah’s other film credits include Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs; Sleeping Beauty, The

Brisbane’s temporary creative pop-up opens

Flowstate. Image by Tony Gwynn Jones Brisbane’s new open-air pavilion and creative space Flowstate is now open to the community, and the South Bank Corporation has unveiled a year-long program of free events to celebrate. “South Bank Corporation is delighted to unveil Flowstate, and to launch a year-long multi-arts program of free creative experiences marking our contribution to the cultural activities happening across the state during the year of the Commonwealth Games,” South Bank Corporation Chair Dr Catherin Bull said. “As a place where ideas about what the city can and will be are explored, Flowstate aims to encourage a vibrant culture of exploration and exchange across the South Bank p

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