A GRAND WAY TO RING IN THE NEW

This week we get into the Christ­mas spirit with QPAT, look ahead to what’s on in 2015, and cel­e­brate the best the past year has given us

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - DRESSING ROOMERS - KATE PETERS

For all those still want­ing a slice of fes­tive cheer, Bris­bane’s QPAT is stag­ing Spirit of Christ­mas to­mor­row at 7pm and Satur­day at 2pm and 7pm. Guests in­clude soloists Si­mon Burke ( The Sound of Mu­sic, Les Mis­er­ables and, more re­cently, La Cage aux Folles), Christie Whe­lan-Browne ( The Rocky Hor­ror Show), the QPAC Choir, Bris­bane Cho­rale and the Bris­bane Bir­ralee Voices and the Queens­land Sym­phony Orches­tra con­ducted by Si­mon Ken­way. It’s at the Con­cert Hall – sounds like a lovely way to cel­e­brate the sea­son. No shows on in lo­cal the­atres this week, but lots of stuff in re­hearsal. The big news on the Coast this week was the Gold Coast Area The­atre Awards, held in style at the Par­adise Room, Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast on Tues­day night. Celebrity guests in­cluded Si­mon Gal­la­her, Sheila Bradley and MC Ian Sten­lake. A ca­pac­ity crowd applauded the win­ners and ev­ery­one had a jolly good time! It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for what we like to call “the Gold Coast The­atre Com­mu­nity” to get to­gether and com­pare notes and this year’s shows. Tick­ets went on sale on the night for a fab­u­lous trip for two to New York as part of Spot­light’s 60th An­niver­sary Year cel­e­bra­tions. Tick­ets will con­tinue on sale through­out 2015, and will be avail­able at all per­for­mances in the the­atre dur­ing the year. Some of the lo­cal pro­duc­tions for 2015 were un­veiled at the Awards show on Tues­day night. GCLT’s pro­gram in­cludes Pa­trick White’s Sig­nal Driver, di­rected by Noella John­son; Mike Leigh’s com­edy Abi­gail’s Party, di­rected by Dawn China; Jerry Her­man’s Jerry’s Girls, di­rected by Yours Truly; Noel Coward’s in­ti­mate com­edy Pri­vate Lives, di­rected by Roger McKen­zie; Jack Hib­berd’s Dim­boola, di­rected by Dorothy Hen­der­son; and Roger Hall’s So­cial Climbers, di­rected by He­len Maden. Javeen­bah is pre­sent­ing Ru­pert Holmes’ Ac­com­plice, di­rected by Nathan Schulz; Woody Allen’s Play it Again Sam, di­rected by Roger McKen­zie (and also elected to the com­mit­tee of Spot­light); Rab­bit Hole di­rected by Barry Gib­son; Han­nie Rayson’s Ho­tel Sor­rento, di­rected by Joan Stalker Brown; Gen­tle­men Pre­fer Blondes di­rected by Amy Louise An­der­son; and Holmes for the Hol­i­days di­rected by Jim Dick­son. Spot­light The­atre’s 2015 is firmly planted in its youth mem­ber­ship, with the Jan­uary pan­tomime Cin­derella fol­lowed by Dis­ney’s High School Mu­si­cal. Marie Nicholson and David McNevin pre­side over opera La Travi­ata, then The Wizard of Oz comes in May. July is a con­tem­po­rary pan­tomime Dream­land di­rected by Terri Woodfine, fol­lowed by Legally Blonde and, to end the year, The Mys­tery of Ed­win Drood. It’s Spot­light’s 60th an­niver­sary year, which will also be cel­e­brated by a huge cock­tail party at the South­port Yacht Club in May. Quite a coup, 60 years of pre­sent­ing shows – hope­fully the lo­cal au­di­ence mem­bers will support this hard­work­ing and in­no­va­tive group as they cel­e­brate their mile­stone. At this time of the year, it’s worth look­ing back over some of the high­lights of my the­atre­go­ing (out­side the lo­cal awards). Jan­uary brought Michael Boyd’s Mys­tique show at Sea World – a ter­rific night’s en­ter­tain­ment for some­one who doesn’t care for mu­si­cians; an ex­cel­lent pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment work­shop run by the Singing Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (fea­tur­ing Si­mon Gal­la­her, Dr Irene Bartlett and Tim O’Con­nor from Har­vest Rain); The Ul­ti­mate Ve­gas Show at Jupiters Ho­tel & Casino; He­len Reddy in Con­cert at QPAC; the Ade­laide Cabaret Fes­ti­val fea­tur­ing so many out­stand­ing Aus­tralian per­form­ers; Strictly Ball­room in Syd­ney, a rev­e­la­tion in tulle; and Broad­way of­fer­ings like Kinky Boots, On The Town, A Gen­tle­man’s Guide to Love and Mur­der. The­atre is a con­stant source of joy, a mag­i­cal world to es­cape into for an hour or two ... why wouldn’t you love it! This will be my last col­umn for the year. Thank you to all my read­ers – those who send info to be pub­lished, those who dis­agree with my state­ments, those who – like me – are grumpy old women who would like to see a lit­tle more eti­quette and good man­ners in our the­atres (par­tic­u­larly from the au­di­ence). And those who, also like me, would like to find some way to keep cam­eras and phones out of the the­atre. Merry Christ­mas, and great the­atre-go­ing in 2015!

Pic­ture: CALUM ROBERT­SON

Si­mon Burke stars in QPAT’s

Spirit of Christ­mas

mu­si­cal cel­e­bra­tion this week­end.

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