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Review - Songs of Hope and Healing: power, beauty, and grace of music

Right: Isaiah Songs of Hope and Healing Presented by QPAC and Friends of HEAL Concert Hall Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane There’s something to be said of the power, beauty and grace of music. Much like the human spirit, it weaves together to create magical moments in everyday life. So when the QPAC concert hall was packed to the rafters with supporters of the Friends of HEAL organisation, and those of the wider community, for a benefit concert, it became apparent that magic was about to happen. Friends of HEAL is an organisation that helps provide a safe and creative space for students of a refugee background. With Sharon Orapaleng as host for the night and some four h

Review - The Eisteddfod: sharp, polished and engaging

Matthew James French and Madison Kennedy-Tucker The Eisteddfod By Lally Katz Director – Heidi Manché Presented by Room to Play and Metro Arts Sue Benner Theatre Metro Arts Edward Street Brisbane Season: until Saturday, 24 March. Bookings www.metroarts.com.au/events/the-eisteddfod/ Testing the subconscious and pushing one’s boundaries to the extreme, The Eisteddfod is making waves on the theatrical scene. A play that elaborates on the things that can hurt you and those that you wish didn’t, it teases with illusions and trials actuality to target an individual’s resolve. The Eisteddfod by Lally Katz, is a contemporary Australian work riddled with an absurdist context. The play follows the sto

One man is all the politicians we love to hate

What makes the Trumps, the Abbotts and the Hansons of this world tick? What would happen if their world started to shift ever so slightly? Embodying the slogans, mannerisms and headlines of recent history’s conservative politicians, A Prudent Man is a fast-paced darkly comedic Australian political thriller exploring what it means to be right... in more ways than one.Written and directed by Green Room-nominated playwright Katy Warner and performed by Lyall Brooks (right), A Prudent Man takes an unapologetic look at a man both in control and on the edge. A conservative politician, a leader, a man in a snappy suit, an athlete in a bad tracksuit: Brooks is scarily accurate as an amalgamation of

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Brisbane season on sale

Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical begins performances at Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre, QPAC on Friday 13 July, with the multi-award winning Esther Hannaford (right) as Carole King leading a cast of 24 performers, including six Queenslanders. Tickets for the true story of the successful female songwriter are now on sale from QPAC or beautifulmusical.com.au with the show booking until Sunday 19 August. Beautiful celebrates Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom, including her troubled relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin and their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow song writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. The song list is packed with hi

Review - Qld Ballet’s La Bayadère: elegant and gaspingly beautiful

Queensland Ballet’s La Bayadère Directed and choreographed by Greg Horsman after Petipa Music by Ludwig Minkus Played by The Queensland Symphony Orchestra Conductor and musical arranger Nigel Gaynor Queensland Ballet Playhouse Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: March 16-31. Bookings: qpac.com.au or 136 246 This new production of La Bayadère could go down as Queensland Ballet’s Ballet Master and Head of Artistic Operations Greg Horsman’s masterpiece. It was an absolute privilege to watch this world premier production unfold. It was sumptuous, spectacular, lavish, elegant and gaspingly beautiful to see and the choreography exquisitely danced by a company at t

Italy’s Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company for Brisbane

Italy’s Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company is to play an exclusive season at QPAC for a first Australian season in its 240-year history in November this year. Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch and Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones made the announcement as part of the 2018 Queensland Performing Art Centre (QPAC) International Series from 7 to 18 November. The 2018 event will feature an extensive program celebrating Italian arts and culture on and off the stage. On stage, Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company will perform two classics, Don Quixote and Giselle, with music performed live by Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Since its inception in 2009, the QPAC International Series has been suppo

Review - I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change: skits about love and relationships

Jack Treby Kate Doohan Julie Eisentrager Jenna Saini. Photo by Michelle Thomas Right: Mufaro Maringe and Julie Eisentrager. Photo by Christopher Thomas I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro Music by Jimmy Roberts Directed by Gabriella Flowers Presented by Savoyards The Star Theatre, (Wynnum State High School) Peel Street Manly Season: 17-18 March and 24 March. Bookings: bookings@savoyards.com.au or phone (07) 3893 4321. I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a musical collage of skits about love and relationships ranging from the first date, marriage, and kids, to the funeral. The cast consisted of eight talented actors/singers - Kate Doohan, Julie Eisent

Review - Carrie: The Musical: an enjoyable night out

StartFragment Sarah Wrobel and Zach Price EndFragment Carrie: The Musical Written by Lawrence D. Cohen Music by Michael Gore Lyrics by Dean Pitchford Directed by Drew Der Kinderen Produced by Prima, Origin Theatrica and R & H Theatricals Wonargo Cultural Centre 62 Flower St, Northgate QLD 4013 Season runs until April 1. Tickets at www.prima.org.au. Carrie: The Musical has an interesting history. From being the most expensive and disastrous flop in Broadway History at the time of its opening, it has spawned many a spoof, and infamy surrounds it. Since its 2012 revival however, things have been looking up for good ol’ Carrie. Following the story based on the eponymous Stephen King novel,

Review – Centenary Theatre’s True Minds: thoroughly entertaining

Above: Benedict (Trevor Sammon), Mitch (Stephen Quinn) and Tracy (Leigh Varma). Right: Beck Haining as Daisy Grayson with Leigh Varma. True Minds By Joanna Murray-Smith Directed by Gary O’Neil Centenary Theatre Group Chelmer Community Hall Cnr Queenscroft and Halsbury streets Chelmer Season runs until March 24. Duration: one hour 45 minutes without interval. Bookings: 0435 591 720 or www.centenarytheatre.com.au Gary O’Neil chose a difficult play in True Minds. It is a family sitcom that runs for close to two hours without a break and is peopled with frantic characters, albeit a bit stereotyped, who rarely paused in movement or lines. It could have been a strain on actors and audience alike.

Review – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: a show with a comic sting

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Book by Rachel Sheinkin, Music and lyrics by William Finn Directed by Bradley Chapman. Javeenbah Theatre Company Cnr Stevens & Ferry Streets, Nerang Queensland Runs until March. 24 Bookings: (07) 5596 0300 or www.javeenbah.org.au The Javeenbah Theatre Company’s new production, The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee, is an all-American Broadway musical comedy ripe for the adolescent market. The show’s strengths lie in its energetic young players and teenage angst as school kids taking part in a junior spelling bee share their concerns about their seemingly complex lives. Spelling Bees’ music is less consequential – and in fact there were sound is

Review - Matt Stewart: Dry Ginger Male: enjoyable and relatable

Matt Stewart: Dry Ginger Male Presented by Brisbane Comedy Festival, Stupid Old Studios and ESC Productions Graffiti Room Brisbane Powerhouse Season: 13-18 March 2018. Bookings: https://brisbanepowerhouse.org/events/2018/03/13/matt-stewart/ Comedian Matt Stewart is lighting up the Brisbane Comedy Festival with his new stand-up routine aptly named Dry Ginger Male. A show that pokes fun at masculinity, culture, politics, and religion, Matt isn’t afraid to call out what audience members are thinking and bring those thoughts to attention. As a self-described ‘hipster Ned Kelly’, Matt is ironic, untraditional and blunt. Best known as the 2014 RAW Comedy winner, Matt has had a stellar year. With

Review -The Minimalists: Less is Now Australian tour: important message

Right: Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus The Minimalists: Less is Now Australian tour Brisbane Show Grounds Over the Christmas holidays my step daughter and I sat down and talked about minimalism. She gave me a great idea she had read about to throw out an item each day and try to slowly get rid of all the excess stuff we have in our house and in our lives. She said it made her feel lighter and better. I had heard about such things and looked around my own home and laughed to myself. 20 years ago, when we moved into our four-bedroom home with study and rumpus room on a 900 m block I thought we could never feel this place. I achieved that and still was thinking about what other stuff

Review - The Proposal: warm fuzzy feelings

Above: Sophie Price and Zachary Crisan The Proposal Devised and Directed: Madeleine Johns Musical Director: Helen Drew Choreographer: Isabelle Quayle Redcliffe Musical Theatre Theatre 102 102 Anzac Avenue, Redcliffe Brisbane Season: 9-18 March 2018 Bookings: www.redcliffemusicaltheatre.com Love is in the air at Redcliffe Musical Theatre in their latest production, The Proposal. In an evening of excerpts, songs and dance, the ensemble performed a range of scenes in a dinner and show theatrical experience. The themes centred distinctively on love and marriage, with The Proposal attempting to stir warm fuzzy feelings on a rainy Sunday evening. The production featured many acts to support the

Review – Bouncers: a good show; gritty and funny

Right clockwise: Rowan Howard, Peter Condon, Campbell Lindsey and Chris Vaag. Bouncers By John Godber Directed by David Paterson and Sherri Smith HeartBeast Theatre Spring Hill Reservoir 230 Wickham Terrace Brisbane Season: March 10-31. Running time: two hours including interval. Bookings: www.trybooking.com/book/event?embed&eid=333763 It was going back in time for the opening night of HeartBeast Theatre’s production of John Godber’s Bouncers. The play of course is set in and outside a London night club and so patrons were all stamped on the wrist when we entered the performance space! Ah for when we were young. The play was first performed in 1977 but it has aged well and switched quite ea

Sydney Theatre Company presents Michele Lee’s new play

Right: Catherine Davies. Photo by Rene Vaile Sydney Theatre Company presents Michele Lee’s new playGoing Down by young Australian playwright, Michele Lee, opens at Sydney Theatre Company this month. A co-production with Malthouse Theatre, Going Down is directed by Leticia Cáceres, with a cast of including Paul Blenheim, Catherine Davies, Josh Price, Naomi Rukavina and Jenny Wu. In her first full-length play for the Sydney Theatre Company, Lee delivers a sexy, frank and funny examination of flawed characters failing at life in the most outrageous ways. “It's about success and ambition, it's about being Asian and Australian, it's about family, it's a love song to Melbourne, it's sort of a riff

Gold Coast to shine for Earth Hour at Concert for the Planet

In celebration of Earth Hour on Saturday March 24, HOTA, Home of the Arts presents an evening of discovery and symphonic experience – Concert for the Planet – a free musical event that will transform the parkland into a live music soundscape, with musicians from all over the world taking part via a worldwide live stream. The Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra, extended to include over 100 local musicians, will perform Holst’s The Planets under the baton of conductor Lachlan Snow. Fittingly, the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra is the first full orchestra to perform on the recently launched state-of-the-art $37.5 million outdoor stage. This spectacular concert will be live-streamed globally a

Camerata's big night for drought stricken farmers

Camerata has long been connected to audiences in Queensland’s regional communities. They visit every year, and partner with not for profit charity Drought Angels, (who support Australian farmers), to identify towns in need of the economic benefits of an orchestra hitting their town! So when Camerata’s Artistic Director Brendan Joyce saw a post on Drought Angels’ Facebook page last week about farming families hitting rock bottom, after their sixth year of consecutive drought, he was moved to act. Rather than waiting for this year’s tour to assist he set about creating a free event along with The Wandering Cooks on Sunday 18th March at their venue in West End, as well as a money can’t buy mega

Big night for Francophiles

Lots of French wine and the people who drank it! As summer comes to a close and the leaves begin to change, it’s that time of year again for Brisbane. The annual Alliance Française French Film Festival has opened for avid Francophiles and French expats alike to enjoy a slice of Le cinéma. Français, the latest French cinema. From César to Palme D’or award winners this line up is looking to be the best event yet. Last night was a little taste of what this Festival has to offer. With a preview screening of Jalouse or Jealous, directed and written by brother duo David and Stéphan Foenkinos and starring Karin Viard, the festival started off in style. With slick, witty and at times profound dialog

QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival ready to roll

Right: Air Play. Playing with air, creating self portraits and showcasing children’s connections to culture are just some of the events lined up for this year’s Out of the Box Festival, and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said tickets were now on sale for this event. “This year’s festival, which will run from 26 June to 1 July, is bound to amaze the community and will celebrate and encourage children’s arts experiences through imagination, movement and music, nurturing their creative minds and thinking” said Ms Enoch. “It will highlight the diversity of cultures in today’s society, and encourage children to think about ‘where do we belong?’ and find answers through play, creativity, wond

Review - The 39 Steps: fast furious fun

Above: Liz Buchanan and Hugh Parker. Below right: Bryan Probets. The 39 Steps Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the movie by Alfred Hitchcock and the novel by John Buchan Queensland Theatre in association with State Theatre Company South Australia. Directed by Jon Halpin Cremorne Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season continues until March 28. Running time: two hours and 15 minutes, including a 20 minute interval. Bookings: qpac.com.au or 136 246 Brisbane’s Queensland Theatre is putting the emphasis on fast furious fun at the Cremorne Theatre as the comic adaptation of John Buchan’s novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s film, The 39 Steps, woos capacity audiences. The Maste

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