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Review - The Sound of the Musicals: a well presented concert

From left Steffanie Kriz, George Pulley, Naomi Mole and Elizabeth Johnson. Photos by Dan Ryan The Sound of the Musicals. Conceived and directed by Shane Caddaye. Musical Direction by Mary Walters. Gold Coast Little Theatre 21A Scarborough St Southport Season runs until April 14. Bookings 5532 2096 www.gclt.com.au/booking.php Musical theatre stalwart Shane Caddaye has put together a celebration of 60 years of musicals at the Gold Coast Little Theatre with The Sound of Musicals. The result is a pleasant walk – or maybe stroll – down memory lane as the bulk of the songs featured come from older well-established musicals. Basically the Sound of the Musicals is a well presented concert with a c

Sydney review - The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race: a real joy to experience

Valerie Bader and Merridy Eastman. Photo by Phil Erbacher The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race By Melanie Tait Directed by Priscilla Jackman An Ensemble Theatre Production Ensemble Theatre 98 McDougall Street Kirribilli Season: 22 March – 27 April 2019. Bookings: www.ensemble.com.au Part of the culture of small towns across the country is the annual agricultural show where the community comes together to celebrate the animals and produce which are the mainstay of their economy. The fictional town of Appleton has a 100-year-old tradition of potato races, one for men and one for the ‘ladies’. It’s certainly a crowd pleaser and show highlight. In The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race writer Melanie Tait

Review - Queensland Ballet’s Dangerous Liaisons: a blockbuster of a show

Photo by David Kelly Queensland Ballet’s Dangerous Liaisons World premiere Choreography by Liam Scarlett Music by Camille Saint-Saens Arranged by Martin Yates Performed by Camerata Conductor Nigel Gaynor Playhouse Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: March 22-April 6. Duration: two hours 10 minutes including interval. Bookings: qpac.com.au or phone 136 246. This is not only a world premiere but it is also an amazing blockbuster of a show. The whole production just blew me away. It was the ballet’s premiere season and yet the choreography, the costumes and the music, made me feel I was watching an ageless classic. It was sheer genius on the part of Martin Yate

Shock announcement from Sam Strong

I have just received this email from Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong. I will it tell the story… “Dear Friend It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that I will be leaving Queensland Theatre in November this year to return to Melbourne with my family. This has been a very difficult decision, brought about by a career opportunity for my wife Katherine. Having so generously supported my career during the four wonderful years I have spent at Queensland Theatre, it seems only fair to return the favour. I will still program and launch our 2020 anniversary season and return to direct one show in 2020. Working at Queensland Theatre has been a highlight of my career and I a

Review - #FirstWorldWhiteGirls: Spirit Animal: slick, clever and very, very funny

Above: Kyra Thompson and Judy Hainsworth. Below Judy and her Spirit Animal. Brisbane Comedy Festival #FirstWorldWhiteGirls: Spirit Animal By Judy Hainsworth Directed by Lewis Jones. Designed by Penny Challen Musical director & sound designer Luke Volker Rooftop Terrace Brisbane Powerhouse Featuring Judy Hainsworth & Kyra Thompson Performance was on March 24 Those hard-done-to First World White Girls have just completed a sell-out season at the Brisbane Powerhouse, after sell-out seasons at the Adelaide Festival and now they are off to do almost certainly sell-out seasons in Miles, Toowoomba and Cairns. It was two years ago when I last saw Tiffany (Judy Hainsworth) and Maddison, played by Meg

Sydney Review - Once in Royal David’s City: thought-provoking reflection on the human life-cycle

Francisco Lopez as Will Drummond and Alice Livingstone as Jeannie Photos by Bob Seary Once in Royal David’s City By Michael Gow Directed by Patrick Howard A New Theatre Production New Theatre 542 King Street Newtown Season: 19 March – 13 April 2019 Bookings: www.newtheatre.org.au Many of us will remember the television science program hosted by Professor Julius Sumner Miller in which he always famously asked “Why is it so?” This question is an underlying theme in Once in Royal David’s City. Playwright Michael Gow uses his central character Will Drummond (Francisco Lopez) to search for the meaning of life; ponder the existence of God; examine the virtues of Marxism; understand the inevitabil

Review – The Book of Mormon: why didn’t I laugh myself silly?

Below: Blake Bowden and Nyk Bielak. Photos by Jeff Busby The Book of Mormon Book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone Directed by Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker Musical supervisor and vocal arrangements by Stephen Oremus Choreography by Casey Nicholaw Lyric Theatre Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Season: Until May 31and returning in January 2020. Duration two hours and 30 min (includes interval). Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or phone 136 246 It was Gala Opening Night, the Lyric was packed with people, many taking in the show for the second or even third time. The program was stacked with roars of critical praise: “A classic”, “It has beautiful hea

Sydney review - Grounded: a play of our times

Right: Emily Havea Grounded By George Brant Directed by Dom Mercer A National Theatre of Parramatta Production Riverside National Theatre Cnr Market and Church Streets Parramatta Season: 14 – 23 March. Bookings: https://riversideparramatta.com.au When United States fighter pilots get promoted these days, they go to the USCF. It’s not an official acronym yet, but those within the military know precisely what it is: United States Chair Force. You see, a pilot gets promoted nowadays by taking a desk job controlling a drone on the other side of the world. Welcome to Grounded, an unusual but riveting insight into the new age of military warfare. Grounded is a compelling piece of modern theatre.

Sydney Review - Faulty Towers - The Dining Experience

Andrew Foreman as Manuel and (below) Rob Langston as Basil. Photos by Ron Rutten Faulty Towers - The Dining Experience Presented by Interactive Theatre International Utzon Room Sydney Opera House Season: Touring Regional Show “Butter. Butter on the table” orders Basil to Manuel. Basil repeats the instruction slowly. Manuel has his trademark look of complete puzzlement; mouth dropped, hands by side. He can’t comprehend the instruction because he is just starting to learn English with the help of his employer Basil. The instructions are repeated. Finally, Manuel does what he believes the instructions are. He finds an unsuspecting female guest and ‘butts her head on the table’. Just like Basil

Sydney review - The Realistic Joneses: enjoyable look at contemporary coupledom

Jodine Muir and Jeff Houston. Suzann James and David Jeffrey. Photos by Clare Hawley. The Realistic Joneses By Will Eno Directed by Julie Baz A Patina Production Limelight On Oxford 231 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst Season: 13 March – 30 March. Bookings: www.limelightonoxford.com.au The thing I like about the venue Limelight on Oxford is that the audience enters the theatre via the stage. Hence, we tread the same boards as the actors. It gives us an additional dimension from which to inhale the atmosphere of the production, besides ambience, lighting and comfort. So, we’re off to a good start with The Realistic Joneses. The stage is littered with leaves, bark and twigs and a timber bench an

Review - QSO’s Romeo and Juliet: an unforgettable performance

Above: Diego Matheuz and Marie-Pierre Langlamet. Below: Natsuko Yoshimoto Romeo and Juliet Maestro Concert Queensland Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall Queensland Performing Arts Centre South Bank Brisbane Concert performed on March 16 To misquote Shakespeare: “For never was a story of more wow! than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” The Queensland Symphony Orchestra under the masterful baton of fireball conductor Diego Matheuz created Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite with passion, power and pathos. From the opening section of the menace and confrontation with the arrival of the Montagues and Capulets to the crash and thunder of the death of Tybalt and the heart-rending sadness of Juliet’s deat

'Disney Legend’ and Broadway Star Lea Salonga for November QPAC debut

Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) has announced Tony and Olivier Award-winner Lea Salonga (right) will make her Concert Hall debut in November as part of an Australian east coast tour. Lea Salonga: In Concert will see the ‘Disney Legend’ take to the Concert Hall stage at QPAC on Saturday 9 November for the first time, following her previous sold-out Australian concert tour. Known for her powerhouse vocals and perfect pitch, Lea is best known for her West End and Broadway roles in Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, as well as being the singing voice for two Disney Princesses in the animated classics Aladdin and Mulan. Globally, Lea has sold a phenomenal 19 million albums. Lea commences he

Cirque Du Soleil to tour Australia with new show

Photo: Martin Girard/shootstudio.ca Costumes: Philippe Guillotel © 2014 Cirque du Soleil Cirque du Soleil will return to Australia from October this year with Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities. Kurios will premiere under the Big Top on 2 October 2019 in Sydney before bringing the show to Brisbane from January 10. Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities, written and directed by Michel Laprise, is a tale in which time comes to a complete stop, transporting the audience inside a fantasy world where everything is possible. In this realm set in the latter half of the nineteenth century, reality is quite relative indeed as our perception of it is utterly transformed. Kurios had its world premiere in Mont

Review - Look Who’s Talking: laughs and giggles

Look Who’s Talking By Derek Benfield Directed by Terry Frawley Act 1 Theatre Strathpine Season: March 8 – March 23. Bookings: 0458 519 269 This play reminds us that too much alcohol, when out on a social “drink” with a friend or on staff gathering, can have rather interesting follow-on effects. Of course, such effects are taken to extreme in this comedy/ farce. Set in modern London, Sheila is preparing Sunday lunch when Brian arrives with flowers for her after their having met when she was socializing with her friend Jane. She cannot remember what happened although he believes there is more to come. Husband, Andrew, enters from the garden and welcomes Brian even though the lies and cover-up

Review – Heroes: top notch evening at the theatre

Gary Kliger, Cam Castles and Andrew Wallace: tied up in knots. Photos by Dan Ryan Heroes By Tom Stoppard Adapted from Le Vent Des Peoliers by Gerald Sibleyras Directed by Margaret Bell Centenary Theatre Group Chelmer Community Hall Cr Queenscroft and Halsbury Streets Chelmer Season: March 9-30. Duration: one hour 45 minutes including interval. Bookings: www.centenarytheatre.com.au or 0435 591 720 You couldn’t ask for anything better in any theatre. Heroes is a well-crafted play with joy, laughter and sadness and three beautifully drawn characters each quite brilliantly acted by a trio of experienced thespians. Not only that but it ran perfectly to the advertised time – 45 minutes for each

Sydney Review- Two: a show you’ll want to see more than once

Brian Meegan and Kate Raison. Photo by Clare Hawley. Two By Jim Cartwright Directed by Mark Kilmurry An Ensemble Theatre Production Riverside National Theatre of Parramatta Cnr Market And Church Streets Parramatta Season: 5-7 March 2019 plus National Tour. Bookings: (02) 9929 0644 or https://boxoffice.ensemble.com.au Have you thought about running your own pub? Could you resist drinking the profits? What about the diverse range of regular customers you’ll engage with? In Two, the attraction of pub ownership will either be cemented or disintegrated before your very eyes! And the three words you never want to hear are “on the house”. Two is a reference to the number of actors in the play who p

New Spin on ‘Dial M for Murder’

Candice Jean and Sophie Lawson. Gold Coast director Nathan Schultz, who bills himself as The Drama Merchant, is putting a new spin on the classic thriller Dial M for Murder. Schulz has re-imagined Frederick Knotts’ original 1952 theatre script, adapted for Alfred Hitchcock’s movie back in 1954, for a female same sex couple. “It’s the first time ever this play will be performed with two women playing the leads,” says Nathan. The play centres on ex-tennis pro Toni Wendice (Candice Jean) who discovers her wealthy ‘wife’ Sheila (Sophie Lawson) is having an affair - with a man – and follows events as burning rage turns to a cold murderous calculation. Driven by revenge and greed for Sheila’s subs

Star harpist to perform with QSO

The harp is the star of Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming Maestro and Morning Masterworks concerts, Romeo and Juliet Marie-Pierre Langlamet (right) one of the world’s leading harpists and the Principal Harpist for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra joins the QSO. The conductor will be young Venezuelan Diego Matheuz. It will be Queensland Symphony Orchestra debuts for both artists. Ginastera’s Harp Concerto will be performed by Langlamet. Promising foot-stamping Argentinian dance rhythms and dazzling virtuosic passages, it will be harp as Queensland Symphony Orchestra concert-goers have never seen or heard before. The first and third movements draw from the Argentinian ‘Malambo’, a vis

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