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Review - Lysa and the Freeborn Dames: A modern day battle of the sexes

Barbara Lowing, Hsiao-Ling Tang, Roxanne McDonald and Tania Vukicevic. Photo Dylan Evans Photography Lysa and the Freeborn Dames By Claire Christian Directed by Sanja Simic La Boite Theatre Company Roundhouse Theatre Kelvin Grove Brisbane Season: 21 July to 11 August. Bookings: Taking a stand at La Boite Theatre Company, Lysa and the Freeborn Dames is a powerful and uniting piece of theatre - for women, by women. Inspired by Aristophanes Lysistrata, this new contemporary work takes on some of biggest themes within the Greek comedy and refreshes them with a feminist twist. A modern day battle of the sexes, the story is carefully constructe

shake and stir bring back George

Following its sold-out run at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in 2016, shake and stir theatre co’s stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s family favourite George’s Marvellous Medicine returns to the Cremorne Theatre from 21 August to 5 September 2018, with new performances added due to popular demand. Packed with mischief, magic and laughs, the team behind the multi-Helpmann Award nominated Australian production of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts have brought to life another of Dahl’s popular children’s novels. In this critically-acclaimed live show, what starts as just another boring day for George quickly turns into a marvellous experiment of gigantic proportions. George ca

Jersey Boys bio musical set for more seasons

Jersey Boys is back in Australia and the company has begun rehearsals. The show will open at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on 6 September followed by a season in Brisbane from 2 January 2019 and Melbourne from 23 February. This hit musical tells the true-life story of four guys from the wrong side of the tracks, and the rise to stardom of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, one of the most successful bands in pop music history. The band sold more than 175 million records and were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame for their worldwide hits, including Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Walk Like a Man, Bye Bye Baby, Sherry and Big Girls Don’t Cry, which all feature in the musical. After audition

New concert tour for Mandy Patinkin

Before he was an Emmy-winning TV and film actor, Mandy Patinkin (right) was already a Tony-winning Broadway star. Patinkin, star of the hit television series Homeland returns to Australia in November for the first time in five years to perform in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Tickets are on sale from Friday 3 August. Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Diaries 2018 with Adam Ben-David on Piano presents the actor, singer and storyteller in concert performer mode. His stage performances are legendary, from his 1980 Broadway debut as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita which won him a Tony Award, and his Tony Award-nominated starring role as George in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Sunday in the P

Review - Phoenix Ensemble XXV: The Silver Anniversary Spectacular

Phoenix Ensemble XXV: The Silver Anniversary Spectacular Directed by Lisa Ng Musical Director – Nick Ng Choreographed by Laura Baker the Tin Shed Beenleigh Showgrounds James St Beenleigh Season: July 20-August 11. Bookings: Bookings: or phone 07) 3103 1546 The Silver Anniversary Spectacular is a presentation of a collection of songs from 25 years’ worth of performances by the Phoenix Ensemble (also incorporating the juniors)— and they have certainly done a lot of shows in that time and managed to span 51 musicals in total. A lot of the musical numbers were unknown to me, and this may well have been because for the most part, the most obvious song that a musical was kn

Review - Beautiful: The Carole King Musical: a feast for the eyes and the ears

Right: Esther Hannaford stars as Carole King. Photograph: Joan Marcus Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Book by Douglas McGrath Words and music by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil Directed by Marc Bruni Presented by Michael Cassel in association with Paul Blake & Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Mike Bosner Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: until 19 August. Bookings: or phone 136 246. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is the story of Carole King’s song writing/singing career from the age of 16 through to her Carnegie Hall concert following the release of her 1971 album, Tapestry. The show opens with the 1970’s Carol

Sydney review - Stupid Fucking Bird: not feel-good but entertaining

Stupid Fucking Bird By Aaron Posner A New Theatre Production Directed by Warwick Dodrell New Theatre 542 King Street, Newtown Season: July 12 – July 28. Bookings: The catchy and provocative title certainly caught my attention. And to my enjoyment, the play delivered a complex, amusing and sometimes depressing tale about art, love and relationships. Stupid Fucking Bird, written by Aaron Posner is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. A portrait of old Anton sits on the wall throughout the production, casting a watchful eye over this contemporary version of his nineteenth-century classic. I presume Director Warwick Dodrell has done this as a mark of respect to the Rus

Review- Hélas Avril (French version )

Hélas Avril de T.E Smith Mise en scène d’Isabelle Johnson Présentée par le Théâtre Français de Brisbane (TFB) Metro Arts Brisbane La saison s’étend jusqu’au 27 juillet. Durée de la pièce 90 minutes sans entracte. Réservations: Si les mots ‘Bidule’, ‘Machin’ et ‘Chou’ vous sont familiers ou si vous êtes désireux de savoir le sens desdits mots, eh bien le Théâtre Français de Brisbane a la réponse. Hélas Avril - ou en anglais Alas April - est une nouvelle pièce écrite par T.E Smith, entièrement en français, et produite par le Théâtre Français de Brisbane avec sous-titrages en anglais. La pièce est mise en scène par Isabelle Johnson, vétéran du TFB, et compte un groupe important d’acte

ABC Young Performers Awards finalists

After 8 months of intense preparation and memorable performances the three finalists have been chosen who will battle it out to win the coveted title of ABC Young Performer of the Year. The three finalists are Kevin Chow from Perth (piano); Emily Sun from Concord West (violin) and Oliver Shermacher from Marrickville (clarinet). 2018 Young Performers Awards will be held on Tuesday 24 July in the Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House when each finalist will play an exhilarating concerto accompanied by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of celebrated conductor Dr. Nicholas Milton. Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Tuesday 24 July at 6.30 pm Bookings: 9250 7777 or tick

Pop up Cabaret to return to Ensemble Theatre

Returning to the Ensemble Theatre after its sell-out season last year, Pop up Cabaret, is a series of music, conversation and song by three of Sydney’s best-known cabaret performers. Queenie Van De Zandt, Mitchell Butel and Todd McKenney will be at Ensemble in August and September. Following rave reviews and sell-out performances at the Queensland and Melbourne Cabaret Festivals and the Hayes Theatre in Sydney, theatre star Queenie van de Zandt, known for her artful storytelling and raw emotive vocals, brings the songs, stories and art of the music legend Joni Mitchell to the Ensemble Theatre. In her early career Joni Mitchell gave up a daughter for adoption and her music was so influenced b

Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s new Chief Executive

Right: Craig Whitehead. Photo by Business News – Attila Csaszar As Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) Chair Chris Freeman has announced that one of the country’s leading artistic executives, Craig Whitehead will join the company as Chief Executive in January next year. Craig Whitehead brings with him 20 years’ experience at Chief Executive level and is highly respected among the music and corporate worlds as a collaborative and visionary leader. He joins QSO from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra where he has been Chief Executive since 2008, as well as leading West Australian Venue and Events (Manager of the Perth Concert Hall) since January 2015. Prior to this dual-role, he was Chief

Review - Helas Avril (Alas April): a thoroughly enjoyable evening

Helas Avril (Alas April) By T. E. Smith Directed by Isabelle Johnson Presented by Brisbane French Theatre Metro Arts Brisbane City Season runs until July 27. Duration 90 minutes without interval. Bookings: If the words “Bidule” “Machin” and “Chou” mean anything to you or you are keen to know the meaning of said words, then Brisbane French Theatre has just the thing for you. Hélas Avril or Alas April is a new play written by T. E. Smith entirely in French and produced by Brisbane French Theatre with accompanying subtitles in English. It is directed by BFT veteran Isabelle Johnson and boasts a sizeable cast for such a tiny and intimate space that is Metro Arts. April follows the st

Brisbane’s David Megarrity takes 2018 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award

Right: David Megarrity with Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch and Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong. Photo: Deanne Scott From more than 90 entries for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2018-19 (QDPA), and the trio of finalists revealed earlier this year, Brisbane writer David Megarrity has won with his family-oriented play, The Holidays. Queensland Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch announced the winner at the Good Muslim Boy opening night after party. Megarrity’s work was selected ahead of fellow finalists Hannah Belanszky for ‘don’t ask what the bird look like’ and Anna Yen for her work Slow Boat. The Holidays introduces us to 12-year-old Oliver Holiday and his Mum and Dad who are sudd

Review - Good Muslim Boy: fast, funny and powerful

Above: Rodney Afif and Osamah Sami. Below right: Nicole Nabout. Photo: Tim Grey. Deanne Scott's after party pictures follow the review. Good Muslim Boy By Osamah Sami Adapted for the stage by Osamah Sami and Janice Muller Directed by Janice Muller Queensland Theatre and Malthouse Theatre production Cremorne Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: July 12-August 4. Duration 85 minutes without interval. Bookings: or phone 136 346 This is a tale of procrastination, bureaucratic somnambulance, negativity, and frustration, but it is brilliantly told at a breakneck pace. It is fast, funny and powerful and it had me fretting for the hero and so much relat

Sydney review - Letters to Lindy: a terrific show

Letters to Lindy By Alana Valentine Directed by Darren Yap A Merrigong Theatre Company production in association with Canberra Theatre Centre Riverside National Theatre of Parramatta Cnr Market and Church Streets, Parramatta Season: 12 - 14 July. Bookings and info: The death of little Azaria Chamberlain in 1980 and the subsequent trial, imprisonment and ultimate vindication of Lindy Chamberlain’s innocence gripped the Australian public for more than 10 years. We all seemed to become armchair jurists, and everyone held an opinion as to whether ‘the dingo took the baby’. In Letters to Lindy Alana Valentine has written an amazing 100-minu

Javeenbah review - Pack of Lies: Spies in the Suburbs

Happy family: Bob and Barbara Jackson (Craig Smith and Kate Armon ) and daughter Julie (Hope Di Sessa). Photo: Nathan Schulz. Pack of Lies By Hugh Whitemore Directed by Nathan Schulz Javeenbah Theatre Company Cnr Stevens & Ferry Streets, Nerang Queensland Season: until July 15; Bookings: Hugh Whitemore’s Pack of Lies is a story of spies in the London suburbs that resonates more than 30 years after it debuted in the West End in 1983. The series of real-life incidents, which inspired a TV play in 1971 and, more than a decade later, this play, unfolded back in 1960 and ’61. Maybe audiences can hardly remember the story of the Portland Spy Ring, but spying and nefarious unde

New Bille Brown Theatre to open in October

Right: Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch and Sam Strong. Photo by @facesofbrisbane Below right: Eric Scott with Queensland Theatre Executive Director Amanda Jolly and Julian Messer. Photo by Deanne Scott After almost 50 years Queensland Theatre is set to open its own home theatre. The Bille Brown Studio is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar refurbishment and in October will become a 351-seat Bille Brown Theatre with a state-of-the-art corner stage. The Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Leeanne Enoch visited the Bille Brown Theatre (images available on request), marking three months until it will be the home of playwright David Williamson’s new work, Nearer the Gods. This is another major co

Review - Kiss Me Kate: bound to be a crowd pleaser

Above: The cast in chorus. Right: Tess Burke as Lois Lane and Jack Harbour as Bill Calhoun. Below right: Simon Stone as Fred Graham. Photos: Varga Studios Kiss Me Kate Book by Sam and Bella Spewack Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter Directed by Andrew Cockroft-Penman Musical Director Caroline Taylor. Gold Coast Little Theatre 21A Scarborough St Southport Season runs until July 28. Bookings: or ring 5646717. Kiss Me, Kate has had another opening – this time at the Gold Coast Little Theatre – but it’s hardly just another show. Cole Porter’s 1948 originally ran for more than 1000 performances, won five Tonys, including best musical for the first time, and has been revised many time

Brisbane Festival launches spectacular 2018 program

Right: Rhonda Burchmore, who joins Rob Mills in a new show, BANG! BANG! Brisbane Festival has unveiled a program brimming with big-name acts, more world premieres than ever, and a new light-and-laser show on the river that will see Brisbane illuminated for 22 days of celebration this September. There will be almost 600 performances – 100 of them free – of close to 70 shows across 17 venues. More than 1,000 artists will be involved. Brisbane Festival will premiere eight new works, involving major commissions from some of Australia’s leading companies including Circa, Dancenorth and Legs on the Wall. Program highlights include two major Riverstage music events on the opening and closing nights

Sydney review - The Girl The Woman: laughter, drama and plenty of theatrics

Nisrine Armine and Aanisa Vylet. Photo by Robert Catto The Girl the Woman By Aanisa Vylet Directed by Dino Dimitriadis A Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta Production Riverside National Theatre of Parramatta Cnr market and church streets, Parramatta Season: 28 June – 7 July. Bookings: There is a note from the playwright in the program booklet which asks, “I hope that this is relatable – regardless of your gender, background, or age”. Well, if that’s a measure of success, The Girl the Woman achieves it with flying colours. Aanisa Vylet has not only conceived the idea and written the play, she also performs as The Girl the Woman. Also on st

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