Shows: Look who’s coming to dinner................................
GUESS who’s coming to dinner? Gold Coast Area Theatre Awards patron, Tony-Award nominee Tony Sheldon ( Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical), will attend the awards in person this year. Sheldon is currently starring in the smash hit Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in Sydney. The show will finish its run on December 8, which allows Sheldon to travel to the Coast to attend the huge, sold-out awards presentation night dinner at The Arts Centre Gold Coast on December 10. Sheldon will then return to Broadway to take up performing offers. His many fans on the Gold Coast will have a chance to catch up with him up close and personal.
YOURS Truly was stranded at Helensvale Station in storms on Monday night trying to get to Brisbane for the launch of Harvest Rain’s 2014 season. This very new, totally professional Brisbane company will stage three terrific shows next year, giving locals the chance to work with some of the best in the business. Ian Stenlake and Angela Harding, Daryl Somers, Wayne Scott Kermond and Liz Buchanan will star in the Tony award-winning musical Guys & Dolls at the Concert Hall, at QPAC, from March 20. Marina Prior and a fully professional ensemble of 30 will be backed by hundreds of Brisbane theatre actors and interns as The Kittens in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats – a spectacular arena-style production in the round at the Brisbane Convention Centre from July 4. Jon English (as King Arthur), Simon Gallaher (Patsy) and Julie Anthony (the Lady of the Lake) will star in Monty Python’s Spamalot – never before professionally staged in Brisbane – at QPAC’s Concert Hall from October 2. Audiences have been waiting for English and Gallaher to re-unite ever since they joined musical comedy forces on stage to open the brand-new QPAC in 1985 in Pirates of Penzance. Tickets for the Harvest Rain season are on sale now via QPAC.
GOLD Coast Little Theatre opened its farce Don’t Just Lie There, Say Something last weekend – another in the long line of successes directed by Dorothy Henderson. I couldn’t be there (I’m still treading the boards at Phoenix, in Beenleigh, in the cast of The Full Monty), but my sub reports that on a night of furious storms, the front of house staff were extremely welcoming, handing out pashminas due to the horrible weather outside. The set was fantastic and the buzz was that this is what the Gold Coast theatre audiences want; light-hearted humour. For any lovers of farce, this show lives up to Henderson’s standards.
OPENING this weekend is Albert Nobbs (report, Page 7). The final production for Javeenbah Theatre’s 2013 playbill, it caps off an incredible year of sold-out shows. It follows the story of poor Albert Nobbs, who discovers retirement is not all it’s cracked up to be. Instead of relaxing and taking things easy, he finds himself bored and nagged senseless by his wife, Connie. Her ghost returns following her death to try to sort out his life and set him up with her best friend. Call 5596 0300 or visit javeenbah.org.au to book.
IT’S a big week for The Arts Centre Gold Coast, with the winning model for the new Cultural Precinct to be revealed today. The centre is also taking bookings for its New Year’s event eve – Forbidden Delights, featuring dancers, aerial artistry, magic and champagne. Call 5588 4000 to book.
GOLD Coast Little Theatre has announced the cast for Andrew Trump’s January production of Agatha Christie’s The Unexpected Guest – Trump’s swansong before he relocates to Sydney. The cast includes Jimmy Odenbreit, Cecile Campbell and Martin Jennings.
QPAC will host a limited season of another Agatha Christie play, A Murder Is Announced, in The Playhouse from December 27. Starring Judi Farr as Miss Marple, the top cast includes Carmen Duncan and Robert Grubb. Visit qpac.com.au or call 136 246 to book.
YOU have to sympathise with the cast of The Phantom Of The Opera, whose matinee last Sunday was stopped when a massive storm cut power. The cast, who wanted to give their audience the best experience possible, continued the show with a recording of the music and an ‘‘in concert’’ finale. A great example of ‘‘the show must go on . . .’’ A sellout-success for all concerned, the season ends on Saturday night.