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Review - Savoyards' Chicago: vibrant, colourful and cheeky

Joanna Nash as Velma, Joshua Moore as Bill and Heidi Enchelmaier as Roxie Chicago Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse Music by John Kander Lyrics by Fred Ebb Directed by Sherryl-Lee Secomb Musical Director Benjamin Tubb-Hearne Choreographer Desney Toia-Sinapati Presented by Savoyards Iona Performing Arts Centre 85 North Road, Lindum, QLD 4178 Season: 29 September to 13 October. Bookings: bookings@savoyards.com.au or phone (07) 3893 4321. Chicago is set in the mid-1920s and is a story of love, betrayal, intrigue, and murder. The two leading ladies, Velma Kelly, a vaudeville actress, and Roxie Hart, a chorus girl, have both been accused of murder and are put in prison. The two connive and double d

Review -Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical: still knocking them dead

Below: Tony Sheldon as Bernadette, David Harris as Mitzi, Euan Doidge as Felicia and Ray Meagher as Bob Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical Based on the Latent Image/Specific Films motion picture Presented by Michael Cassell Group and Nullarbor Production in association with MGM on Stage Directed by Simon Phillips Musical Director Stephen Gray Orchestrations by Stephen “Spud” Murphy and Charlie Hull Choreography by Ross Coleman and Andrew Hallsworth Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: September 26-November 4. Duration Two hours and 30 min (includes interval). Booking: www.qpac.com.au or 136 246. It’s ten years on and Priscilla is still knocking

Review - The Owl and the Pussycat: long on fun and seriously entertaining

Right: The Pussycat (Irena Lysiuk),The Moon (Jackson McGovern) and The Owl (Pia Frangiosa). Below right, the musicians - Daniel Byrne, Kathryn McKee and Cameron Kennedy and Kathryn McKee. Photos by Deanne Scott. The Owl and the Pussycat Writer and librettist Kathryn Marquet Composer Lisa Cheney Directed by Bridget Boyle Musical Director Luke Volker Little Match Productions Presented by Brisbane Festival and Channel Nine Cremorne Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: September 26-29. Bookings: 136 246 or www.qpac.com.au Short show, short season but long on fun and seriously entertaining that’s this production - and I suspect that The Owl and the Pussycat min

Queensland Ballet’s bold new 2019 season

Above: company dancers warm up on stage. Photo: Deanne Scott Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Director, Li Cunxin launched the company’s 2019 season to a packed audience in the concert Hall at QPAC. It’s an exciting program with Sir Kenneth McMillan’s classic Romeo and Juliet, which will be danced entirely by company dancers, plus a new work from Liam Scarlett, Dangerous Liaisons (right), which is based on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ novel. This will also be taken on a regional tour. Add to that new short works, contemporary dance, a children’s ballet and young talent on display and it looks good for a great year for Brisbane and regional ballet fans. The program is: Dangerous Liaisons: 22 March

Review - Outside Mullingar: a delightful little play

Above: Patrick Farelly, Penny Murphy, and Brian Hinselwood. Below right: Meg Hinselwood and Patrick Farelly. Photos by Dan Ryan, Outside Mullingar By John Patrick Shanley Directed by Rod Felsch Centenary Theatre Group Chelmer Community Hall Corner of Queenscroft and Halsbury Streets Chelmer Brisbane Season runs until October 6. Bookings: on-line at www.centenarytheatre.com.au or phone 0435 591 720. Running time: two hours with interval. This is a delightful little play with a gem of a 40 minute second act. Although written by an American playwright, it is set in Ireland and is about as Irish as you get with meandering romance and quaint one liners like “your mother will never be dead while

Opera Queensland’s new take on Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Opera Queensland delivers a re-imagined production of Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni to Brisbane next month, conducted by Johannes Fritzsch with rising international star Duncan Rock making his Australian debut in the title role. Director Lindy Hume’s new take on the opera is set in working class Victorian London, where Jack the Ripper stalks and the aristocracy lurk to get a taste of the seedy side of life. Although written more than 200 years ago, Hume said Don Giovanni strikes a brutally relevant chord in 2018 with sexual misconduct at the forefront of the world’s collective consciousness. “Don Giovanni ranks alongside Carmen as one of opera’s most iconic, sexually-charged characters

Comic masterpieces open at Ensemble Theatre

Alan Ayckbourn’s award-winning trilogy The Norman Conquests will open at Ensemble Theatre in October with a dream cast and, says Mark Kilmurry, Artistic Director, Ensemble Theatre, it is one of the most loved comic masterpieces ever written. There’s usually a performance of The Norman Conquests somewhere in the world. These three plays forming the trilogy - Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden - were written by Alan Ayckbourn in 1973 in less than a fortnight. The Norman Conquests consists of three parallel plays, all following one very dysfunctional family on a summer weekend in an English country house. At the centre is Norman – romantic, philanderer and… assistant

Rock of Ages will be Phoenix Ensemble’s finale

Right: Scott Johnson as Lonny. Photo by Benjamin Tubb-Hearne Phoenix Ensemble’s final mainstage production for 2018 is the musical Rock of Ages - playing at the “Tin Shed” in Beenleigh, from October 5 - 27. It’s the tail end of the 1980s in Hollywood, and the party has been raging hard. Aqua Net, Lycra, lace and liquor flow freely at one of the Sunset Strips last legendary venues, a place where sex machine Stacee Jaxx takes the stage and scantily clad groupies line up to turn their fantasies into reality. Aspiring rock star Drew longs to take the stage as the next big thing and to date girl-next-door Sherrie, but the rock and roll fairy-tale is about to end when German developers sweep into

Tony award nominated musical next for North Shore

Leap of Faith is the next show from North Shore Theatre Company (NSTC) and it runs at The Independent Theatre, North Sydney from 5 to 14 October. The music was composed by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken – responsible for all-time classics Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and Disney's The Little Mermaid. Tony award nominated musical Leap of Faith is based on 1992 film of the same name that starred Steve Martin and Debra Winger. It tells the story of ‘Reverend’ Jonas Nightingale, a part-time reverend and a full time con artist, who is travelling with his ministry. When his bus breaks down in the middle of a small drought-ridden Kansas town, Jonas plans an impromptu re

Charles Dickens’ classic comes to QPAC this Christmas

Right: Eugene Gilfedder who will star as Scrooge Shake & stir theatre company, known for their popular adaptations of classic fiction, is bringing the world premiere of a new theatre production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to the Playhouse to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from 7 to 16 December following recent page to stage co-productions with QPAC including George’s Marvellous Medicine and Dracula. Directed by award-winning Michael Futcher and adapted for stage by co-Artistic Director for shake & stir Nelle Lee, audiences can expect a surprising reimagining of Dickens’ classic story of compassion, forgiveness and redemption. The tale begins on a cold and gloomy Chris

Sydney review: Luna Gale: exploring human frailties

Above: Jacob Warner as Peter and Lucy Heffernan as Karlie. Below: Ebony Vagulans as Lourdes and Georgie Parker as Caroline. Photos by Phil Erbacher. Luna Gale By Rebecca Gilman Directed by Susanna Dowling Ensemble Theatre 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli Season: 7 September – 13 October. Bookings: (02) 9929 0644 or https://boxoffice.ensemble.com.au It’s a scenario that is all too familiar: Infant babies born into a frightful environment of teenage parents who are hooked on a drug addiction. Should society intervene? In what way? Who decides what is best for the child? In Luna Gale, Rebecca Gilman has put these questions, and many others, to the audience. As expected, there are no simple answers.

Review - Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks: Powerful two-hander

Right: Joanne-fae Worland as Lily and Andrew Cockroft-Penman as Michael. Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks By Richard Alfieri Directed by Gaye Gay Javeenbah Theatre Company. Cnr Stevens & Ferry Streets, Nerang Queensland Season runs until September 22. Bookings: www.javeenbah.org.au Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks is a beautiful love story with more bonding than romance as a young gay guy in Florida’s retirement paradise connects with an aging conservative. It looks like stuck-in-the-mire Lily (Joanne-fae Worland) has nothing in common with her young radical dance teacher Michael (Andrew Cockroft-Penman) when they first meet. There’s a huge bust up on the first meet. He’s rude and she resentful.

Review - Queensland Ballet's Cinderella: joyous, sentimental, and colourful

Yanela Piñera as Cinderella dreams of her prince. Camilo Ramos as an Ugly Sister tries desperately to fit into the shoe with Joel Woellner as the Prince, Paticio Reve as the Dancer Master and Liam Geck as the Jester. Below Lisa Edwards as The Fairy Godmother and Lisa Kim as the Spring fairy Cinderella Music by Serge Prokofiev Choreographed by Ben Stevenson Brisbane Festival Philharmonic Conductor Nigel Gaynor Queensland Ballet Lyric Theatre Queensland performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: September 7-15. Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or 136 246/ The three acts run for 1 hour 45 minutes, plus two 20 minute intervals. What a joyous, sentimental, and colourful production this was. I sa

Sydney Review - Jersey Boys – The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: hugely entertaining

Jersey Boys – The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons By Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice Music by Bob Gaudio Lyrics by Bob Crewe Directed by Des Mcanuff Produced by Dodger Theatricals, Rodney Rigby, TEG Dainty, Joseph J Grano, Pelican Group, Michael Watt, Tommy Mattola. In association with Latitude Link And Anita Waxman Capitol theatre Campbell Street Haymarket Sydney Season: From Wednesday 29 August. Bookings: jerseyboys.com.au How do you judge the success of a stage musical? Is it the endless number of catchy songs; the fabulous voices of the cast; the colour and sound of the production; the exciting storyline; the imaginative staging; the choreography; or is it the standing ovatio

Sydney Theatre Company: Season 2019

Right: Artistic Director Kip Williams Sydney Theatre Company has unveiled its 2019 Season – Kip Williams’ second as Artistic Director. It is a program of thirteen shows across four venues. Among the highlights, Rebel Wilson, Mia Wasikowska, Celia Pacquola and Patrick Jhanur make their STC mainstage debuts, featuring alongside a host of STC audience favourites including Hugo Weaving, Pamela Rabe, Helen Thomson, Caroline Brazier, Michelle Lim Dividson, Zahra Newman, Amber McMahon, Rahel Romahn, Hunter Page-Lochard, Geraldine Hakewill and Toby Schmitz. Directors such as Sarah Goodes, Priscilla Jackman, Simon Phillips, Anne-Louise Sarks, and Clare Watson as well STC’s own Kip Williams, Jessica A

New David Williamson play to open Bille Brown Theatre

David Williamson (left) with fellow playwright Michael Gow. Photo: Deanne Scott Opening on October 6 and running through to November 3, Nearer the Gods is a true story about how the greatest advance in human knowledge almost never happened. “Edmund Halley of Halley’s Comet fame realised that Isaac Newton was the only man in the world brilliant enough to crack the mystery of gravitation, but there was a problem. Newton was unhinged by delusions of grandeur and an implacable hatred of his nemesis Robert Hooke. Halley and his wife Mary had to find a way to coax him back to the main game,” said playwright, David Williamson. Genius, bastardry, and heroism. These are the three words Williamson use

Award-winning one-man show

Right: Ben Gerrard as Charlotte von Mahlsdorf Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, playwright Doug Wright (Quills, Grey Gardens) began a conversation with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric 65-year-old German transgender woman who, against all odds, survived two of the most oppressive regimes of the 20th century, the Nazis and the Communists. After hundreds of hours of interviews Wright emerged with this story of survival and identity. In the quest to discover what it costs to live an authentic life, playwright Doug Wright recorded hundreds of hours of interviews with Charlotte, probing into her incredible—almost unbelievable—life, culminating in this Pulitzer Prize and

Review - Playhouse Creatures: funny and feminist

Playhouse Creatures By April De Angelis Directed by Jordan Best Pigeon Hole Theatre QUT Gardens Theatre Season was on 28-29 August, 2018 Pigeon Hole Theatres’ latest production, Playhouse Creatures, presents a diverse and socially relevant glimpse into the lives of the first-ever women on stage. The show is funny, feminist and really uncovers the roles women have played in the theatre. The script, written by April De Angelis, peeks behind the scenes - exploring the beginnings of such opportunities for women, the world of drama and comedy, and the backstage friendships and rivalries that come with it all. As the story began, the King had reopened theatres, providing jobs for women in roles o

Review - Run for Your Wife: Infectious comedy

Curtain call Run for Your Wife By Ray Cooney. Directed by Dorothy Henderson Gold Coast Little Theatre 21A Scarborough St Southport Season runs until September 22. Bookings: www.gclt.com.au or ring 5646717 This classic Ray Cooney British farce is what used to be coined rib-tickling, good humoured end-of-the-pier British comedy. It’s unashamedly old-fashioned with its sexual overtones, smutty asides and laugh-out-loud good-natured poke at all things human. Run for Your Wife is never going to win a Tony or an Olivier but it puts bums on seats and has them rocking around as the comedy is infectious. It’s a simply classical farcical situation as a London cabbie called John Smith – there’

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