You’re walking into the Princess Theatre, ticket in hand. But instead of being led to your seat, you’re taken right up onto the stage, handed a beer, and warmly welcomed to a late-night lock-in at an Irish pub by a group of improvising musicians.
This is Once: A New Musical, and it’s one of the biggest new productions coming to Melbourne this year. After its 2012 debut, the musical became an instant blockbuster on Broadway and London’s West End, sweeping up eight Tony awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. As of Monday March 17, tickets are on sale for its first-ever Australian season.
Once is based on John Carney’s 2006 film of the same name, and follows the achingly romantic tale of a struggling Dublin busker who finds love and inspiration when he meets an immigrant flower seller. Creating music is central to the story, as the two characters use their art to express love and longing.
In adapting the film to musical theatre, UK director John Tiffany (who is also directing the Australian production) felt that he needed to do away with the traditional separation of the band from the actors on stage. As a result, all the actors – including the two romantic leads – play their own instruments.… Read more
As any smug Brunswick resident will tell you, there are endless reasons to get on the number 19 tram and roll down Sydney Road. There’s Dejour Jeans, outrageous wedding dress shops, endless Bonsoy lattes, and of course, all kinds of live music that streams from the well-loved pubs and clubs that beckon from almost every street corner.
And then there’s the Brunswick Music Festival. Coming into its 26th year, the festival is in the hands of a new team of directors, who kicked things off with a media launch this morning at the Brunswick Town Hall.
“We’re new to organising the festival but not new to partying at it,” says organiser Natalie Lidgerwood. “I just wish I’d paid more attention…instead of dancing in the streets!” Judging from the musical offerings this year, we’re pretty confident that the team will have no problem getting punters booking tickets.
“These artists represent our diverse community,” says City of Moreland mayor Lambros Tapinos. In less than an hour, we’re treated to the smooth baritone of Mikelangelo who’ll be performing with a 50-piece choir, and the spirited Italian folk of Kavisha Mazzella which she will perform as part of La Sagra Della Musica.… Read more
A pop-up opera or popera will be hitting Prahran Market this morning with fully suited-up performers singing Verdi, among the fruit and veggies in the main hall. The flash-mob-style performance will see soloist Michael Lapina, brothers, Simon, Steven and Andrew Alesi, Kristian Gregory, Jeff McCracken-Hewson and Sung Sun Hong performing ‘Anvil Chorus’ and ‘Du Quella Pira’. If you can’t make it this morning, Opera in the Park will be taking place at Victoria Gardens this Saturday night.
Popera, Prahran Market, Fri 31 Jan, 11.30am.… Read more
The legends are true. Philippa Sibley (pictured), flour dominatrix, has left Albert Street Food and Wine and teamed up with café king Jason Jones to create a whimsical, theatrical restaurant in Melbourne’s playhouse ‘hood. And while the words ‘theatre restaurant’ usually fill us with a very special kind of dread, we know for a fact that Pip Sibley has too much good taste to do anything naff.
The idea behind Prix Fixe to introduce a large element of theatre to the dining experience – the menu will change monthly and be themed around people, historical events, plays and books.
First thematic cab off the rank will be Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,so we’re expecting plenty of sparkle and bottom-themed delights. Want in? Tickets (yes, you book tickets rather than book in) are on sale as of today for the first month of dinners starting February 21. Go, go, go!
Slap your hand to your left cheek in an appropriate sign of shock and/or awe. The recently departed Chopper Reed – Melbourne’s most notorious/beloved massager of laws – is potentially going to be remembered in the only way fitting for a man of his nature: through the medium of musical theatre.
We’ll be breaking all the news on the upcoming smash hit on November 19. Stay tuned.… Read more
When a show has been seen by over 65 million people and received more than 100 major awards, it’s one you’re going to want to see again and again.
Brace yourself, Les Mis fans:the pathos-laden musical is coming to Melbourne in an Australian production, and the cast has been announced.
Jean Valjean is played by Simon Gleeson (Mamma Mia!, Love Never Dies, Chess)
Javert is played by Hayden Tee (Being Earnest, My Fair Lady… He also played Marius in the 20th anniversary West End production of Les Mis, fact fans)
Fantine is played by Patrice Tipoki (The Lion King, Wicked)
Madame Thénardier is played by Lara Mulcahy (Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby, Mamma Mia)
Monsieur Thénardier is played by Trevor Ashley (Little Orphan Trashley, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical, Hairspray: The Musical, Jerry Springer: The Opera)
Enjolras is played by Chris Durling (Jersey Boys, Grease… and he’s a member of Bindi Irwin’s Crocmen)
Marius is played by Euan Doidge (Legally Blonde, A Chorus Line, Grease)
Newcomers Kerrie Anne Greenland and Emily Langridge play Eponine and Cosette respectively.
It’s the musical that even non-musical people know. It’s launched plenty of Aussie theatre stars’ careers. And we still have ‘Defying Gravity’ stuck in our head. Yep, Wicked the musical is celebrating its 10th anniversary and returning to its original Australian home. The Oz-tastic musical will see Lucy Durack and Jemma Rix returning to their respective starring roles of Glinda and Elphaba, alongside Maggie Kirkpatrick, Steve Danielsen, Glen Hogstrom and Emily Cascarino.