As the­atres all over wel­come new au­di­ences to new shows, show­biz farewells stage great the late Stu­art Wagstaff in a full-house pro­duc­tion

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS - KATE PETERS

This col­umn comes to you from Auck­land, New Zealand, by way of the Pa­cific Pearl where I have been part of a com­edy cruise over Easter. Lots of ter­rific Aus­tralian tal­ent in dozens of com­edy shows. Cirque du Soleil’s new show Totem opens in Bris­bane on Fri­day for a limited en­gage­ment. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit cirque­du­ Wendy Faye’s Nep­tune Pro­duc­tions com­pany at the south­ern end of the Coast has locked Court­ney Mon­sma in as chore­og­ra­pher for the forth­com­ing Joseph and the Tech­ni­colour Dream­coat. In her first year of uni, Court­ney is study­ing for a de­gree in Mu­si­cal Theatre at the Queens­land Con­ser­va­to­rium. She is work­ing on the chore­og­ra­phy mod­ule at the mo­ment — this Joseph will cer­tainly be dif­fer­ent! They have 16 men, but are short of a few women as wives. The leads are Casey Fe­gan, Louise Har­ris, Lawrie Es­mond, Jack­son Brash, Sa­man­tha Na­day, and the dog Fang in her sev­enth pro­duc­tion. His many friends from all over the coun­try gath­ered last week to farewell one of show­biz’s gen­tle­men – Stu­art Wagstaff. In a full house pro­duc­tion held at Syd­ney’s Theatre Royal, Stu­art was re­mem­bered in grand style. Lo­cal Gold Coast mu­sic theatre vet­eran Sheila Bradley was one of the speak­ers, talk­ing about the many years she has known Stu­art – their friend­ship go­ing back to be­fore they both came to Australia. An­other long­time friend Nan­cye Hayes said “he would have been de­lighted at the turnout”. Vale Stu­art – you were a great ac­tor and a ter­rific bloke. He was last seen on the Gold Coast as nar­ra­tor in Tracey Kriz’s pro­duc­tion of Into the Woods at the Arts Cen­tre, with Julie An­thony as the witch. Bris­bane’s Har­vest Rain Theatre has launched its in­au­gu­ral In­cu­ba­tor sea­son com­pris­ing three very dif­fer­ent shows that will be pre­sented at the Hay­ward Street Stu­dios through­out April, May and June. Th­ese three shows – Connect Four, Xanadu and 35mm – are be­ing pre­sented by in­de­pen­dent lo­cal artists in con­junc­tion with Har­vest Rain as a way of de­vel­op­ing new work, emerg­ing tal­ent and dar­ing the­atri­cal ex­pe­ri­ences. The first In­cu­ba­tor show for 2015 will be the new mu­si­cal Connect Four writ­ten by award-win­ning lo­cal com­poser Alanya Bridge and di­rected by Danielle Car­ney, from April 29. In May, Bris­bane direc­tor and ex Gold Coast Theatre Award win­ner Joshua McCan­nThom­son looks at Xanadu through a new lens, bring­ing the cult-clas­sic com­edy into the 21st cen­tury. This hi­lar­i­ous, roller skat­ing, mu­si­cal adventure about fol­low­ing your dreams de­spite lim­i­ta­tions rolls along to the orig­i­nal hit score from May 13. And fi­nally, Cienda McNa­mara will di­rect the Aus­tralian pre­miere of 35mm: A Mu­si­cal Ex­hi­bi­tion. Writ­ten by Ryan Scott Oliver 35mm is a pro­duc­tion where each photo cre­ates a unique song, mo­ments frozen in time; a glim­mer of a life un­fold­ing or a glimpse into a trou­bled mind. Boasting a cast of in­cred­i­ble lo­cal per­form­ers, this in­tri­cately wo­ven col­lec­tion of sto­ries told through song reimag­ines what a mod­ern mu­si­cal can be. Blur­ring the line be­tween au­di­ence and per­former ... player and spec­ta­tor, from June 3-7. Lo­cal songstress Maggie Brit­ton ap­pears for the Gold Coast City Jazz Club on May 4 at 7pm, at South­port Bowls Club. She will sing songs from her al­bum Ditto. Book on 5531 2626. The Queens­land Theatre Com­pany opened The 7 Stages of Griev­ing – the first of the Diva pro­duc­tions by the Grin & Tonic troupe this year – at the Green­house on March 18, cel­e­brat­ing its 20th an­niver­sary. This one-woman (Chenoa Deemal) play elo­quently ex­poses the day to day dif­fi­cul­ties our First Na­tion’s peo­ple en­counter. Writ­ten by Wes­ley Enoch and Deb­o­rah Mail­man, clev­erly di­rected by Ja­son Klar­wein. The Green­room Project Ju­nior presents di­rect from Mamma Mia a Broad­way Mas­ter­class with Troy Wood­croft. The date is Sun­day at 9am to 1.30pm for all singer and dancers aged eight to 17. Here’s your chance to learn a song and orig­i­nal dance rou­tine from the hit Broad­way mu­si­cal Mamma Mia, then per­form it in front of an au­di­ence at The Green­room Project Ju­nior live show on April 14 at The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast. Cost is $150 in­clud­ing work­shop and live show­case. Au­di­tions will be held on April 4 to find the 14 fea­tured artists. Tick­ets on sale soon on 5588 4000. In re­hearsal on the Coast this week is Spot­light Theatre’s La Travi­ata (opens Fri­day), GCLT’s Jerry’s Girls, Tweed Theatre Com­pany’s Bril­liant Lies (also open­ing on Fri­day), and Nep­tune Theatre Co’s Joseph & The Amaz­ing Tech­ni­colour Dream­coat.

Cirque du Soleil’s


opens in Bris­bane for a limited en­gage­ment.

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