12 November

Sweet Charity the musical comes to the Arts Centre next February

'Big Spender' - Sweet Charity

If the title doesn’t spark the musical theatre-loving sensors of your brain, then surely the song titles ‘Hey Big Spender’ or ‘Rhythm of Life’ will.

In February next year, the Arts Centre’s Playhouse will be transformed into a seedy dance hall of ’60s New York: the world of Charity Hope Valentine. Sweet Charity tells the story of an eternally optimistic, tragically gullible ‘dance hall hostess’ looking for love. During her journey, she finds herself trapped in elevators, hiding in closets and joining the congregations of a new-age flower child religion. It’s silly, slapstick, romantic but – in the end – not the least bit predictable (really!). Song and dance-wise, you can expect everything from huge brassy numbers to jazzy ballads, plus the quirky, jerky moves of the ‘Rich Man’s Frug’, choreographed by the unmatched Bob Fosse, and immortalised in the Sweet Charity film of 1969, starring Shirley MacLaine.

The show touches down in Melbourne after scoring three Helpmann awards (sort of like Australia’s Tonys) – one being for an outstanding performance by leading lady Verity Hunt-Ballard, known for her practically perfect take on Mary Poppins in the 2010 run at Her Majesty’s Theatre.… Read more

2 October

Introducing a fitness centre aimed at pro-athletes (and you)

Josh Piterman_Photo by Chris Parker (1) LOW

Josh Piterman (pictured) is known for his impressive musical theatre career, which includes  An Officer and a Gentleman and West Side Story, but he’s also an Ambassador for the Australian Institute of Fitness. Now he’s combined his two loves of performing and fitness to create PITFIT; Australia’s first fitness centre tailored for hardworking entertainers; dancers, actors, and everyone in between.

“We often hear people comparing dancers to athletes,” Josh explains, “but unlike athletes, performers like myself have never had access to completely tailored strength and conditioning programs designed to help them move more dynamically and powerfully.”

On top of improving fitness levels, PITFIT is about specific strength and conditioning training to improve mind-muscle connections and avoid injuries.

PITFIT’s current clientele list reads like the program of a play, so don’t be surprised if you recognise a few faces when you walk in the door. Cast members from Wicked, Grease, King Kong and Les Misérables are already signing up to get in on the fitness action.… Read more

11 September

New venue complex for St Kilda


When is a cinema not a cinema? When it’s an arts hub. The former George Cinemas – which were last in action when Gus Berger rented them out for his George Revival Cinema from July 2013-February 2014 – were last destined to become a gym for a new apartment block, or so we thought.

Now it’s been announced that the space is the new project of theatre producer and investor Aleksander Vass. He’ll be transforming the three cinemas into two venues – one seating 500, the other around half that – to host theatre, opera, gigs, musicals, cabaret and comedy, as well as films. Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Richard Fitzgerald, pictured, is the general manager, and has in recent years revived the Arts Centre in Darwin and was general manager at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. He tells Time Out that the original projectors will be dismantled and preserved off site to allow for a broader scope of digital films.… Read more

17 June

Strictly Ballroom the Musical is on its way to Melbourne

Posted by in Musicals, News


That’s right. Strictly Ballroom is taking flight, again. Audiences at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre have been enjoying the new production of this much-loved dance dramedy since April, but it will soon be our turn.

The life of the musical began in 1984 when Baz Luhrmann, along with other students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), penned the story of Scott Hastings, an Australian don’t-tell-me-I-can’t ballroom dancer. Since then it has been around the world and back, most notably in the form of the award-winning film released in 1992. Luhrmann and other members of the film’s creative team have reassembled for this new imagining, which stars Thomas Lacey as Scott and Phoebe Panaretos as Fran – both young performers for whom Strictly is their breakout role.  Oscar-winning costume and set designer Catherine Martin (the talented mind behind the production design of Moulin Rouge and the Great Gatsby) has created the eye-catching visuals for the show, which are said to draw audiences in so closely that they feel as if they’re standing right on the sidelines of the ballroom dance championships.… Read more

23 May

Wicked lottery

Posted by in Musicals, Theatre


The musical that even non-musical people know is well into its Regent Theatre run, which means that if you’re hoping to spend One Short Day in the Emerald City, you might run into problems nabbing the good seats online. Or, maybe you’re a dangerous, incredibly spontaneous type who makes theatre-going decisions at the last minute. Either way, no one wants to end up with the dodgy cheap seats up at the back.

Thankfully, Wicked has come up with a solution that will have you Dancing Through Life. It’s a ticket lottery, and it’s all very Broadway. On any performance night, you can go into the draw to win front row seats at a very affordable price.

How does this lottery work, you ask? Well, two and a half hours before the show begins, just head to the Gershwin Theatre box office and buy yourself a $35 lottery ticket (two per person ­– don’t be greedy).… Read more