SOLVE A MU­SI­CAL MYS­TERY

Choose your own ad­ven­ture based on Dick­ens’ un­fin­ished novel, ex­plore some com­plex top­ics in Dis­graced or re­visit a Hal­loween clas­sic

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

There’s a big open­ing to­mor­row night with Spotlight’s mu­si­cal The Mys­tery of Ed­win Drood, The Solve It Your­self Mu­si­cal. Run­ning un­til Novem­ber 12, the show is based on the un­fin­ished novel by Charles Dick­ens. Book on 5539 4255 or on Spotlight’s web­site. Open­ing at QPAC last Satur­day night was Dis­graced, a Mel­bourne Theatre Co. pro­duc­tion which will run un­til Novem­ber 6. The play fea­tures mem­bers of Mel­bourne Theatre Com­pany’s stel­lar cast in­clud­ing Mitchell Bu­tel, Kane Felsinger, Zindzi Okenyo, Hazem Sham­mas and Libby Munro. Dis­graced is a play that ex­plores free­dom of speech, po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and the prej­u­dices to­wards Is­lam that still per­sist even in the most pro­gres­sive cul­tural cir­cles. The play is an ab­so­lute nail­biter, per­fectly writ­ten, di­rected and per­formed. It deals with the top­ics of religion and race and ul­ti­mately pre­sents the com­plex­ity of post-Septem­ber 11, WesternMus­lim re­la­tions in one un­for­get­table din­ner party. It didn’t win a Pulitzer Prize for noth­ing – this is rel­e­vant, ab­sorb­ing and thought­pro­vok­ing theatre at its best. Open­ing un­der the big top at Sky­gate Bris­bane Air­port on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 24 is Cirque de Soleil’s lat­est of­fer­ing Kooza. Aus­tralia’s cabaret queen Trevor Ash­ley brings his hi­lar­i­ous one-(wo)man show Liza’s Back! (Is Bro­ken) to the Cre­morne Theatre, QPAC from Jan­uary 17 to 22. Cre­ated by self-de­scribed “mega Min­nelli fan” and three-time Help­mann Award nom­i­nee Ash­ley along with co-writer Phil Scott and mu­si­cal ar­ranger/su­per­vi­sor Max Lam­bert ( Strictly Ball­room, The Boy From Oz), Liza’s Back! (Is Bro­ken) is the smash hit se­quel to the 2010 pro­duc­tion Liza! (on an E). Di­rect from re­hab and live with a seven-piece big band, Ash­ley of­fers au­di­ences some in­ge­nious new takes on well-known Broad­way clas­sics, in­clud­ing a swinging big-band ar­range­ment of Mem­ory from Cats, and a smoky jazz ver­sion of Les Mis­er­ablés’ Do You Hear The Peo­ple Sing, plus some of her own clas­sics such as Maybe This Time, Cabaret and New York, New York. Tick­ets on sale via qpac.com.au or 136 246. The world’s most fa­mous ra­dio play War of the Worlds caused na­tion­wide panic in the US when it was first broad­cast in 1938 on the night be­fore Hal­loween. A team of lo­cal ac­tors is set to recre­ate the hys­te­ria on Oc­to­ber 30 at GrowCa Café, Bonogin. The fa­mous per­for­mance by Or­son Welles is a se­ries of sim­u­lated news bul­letins and in­ter­views about an alien in­va­sion in progress in New Jer­sey. Di­rec­tor Nathan Schulz says au­di­ences are in­vited to ex­pe­ri­ence the alien in­va­sion this Hal­loween. The group will per­form the ra­dio play on the same night – Oc­to­ber 30 – as the orig­i­nal broad­cast 78 years ago in a one-show-only event. To book phone 5525 3791. Predrinks from 5.30pm with the show start­ing at 6.30pm. Event is BYO wine. With only seven weeks un­til the Voices In Par­adise Christ­mas 2016 Work­shop and Con­cert, it is essen­tial that any­one hop­ing to join the group gets their reg­is­tra­tions in now. The reg­is­tra­tions close Novem­ber 20. All reg­is­trants are re­quired to learn three songs. The songs were hand­picked by mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Jonathan Al­ber­tini and are guar­an­teed to im­press. Don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity to sing with The Blen­ders and Coastal Charisma in con­cert, shar­ing the stage with 150 singers. Con­cert tick­ets are also avail­able to pur­chase on­line or at the door. The date is Satur­day, De­cem­ber 3, 7pm at Grif­fith Univer­sity Gold Coast, G40 Build­ing, Level 4 Au­di­to­rium. Yours truly is look­ing for­ward to at­tend­ing the launch of the Aus­tralian pre­miere of The Body­guard The Mu­si­cal at QPAC on Monday, Novem­ber 7. Long gone are the days when Bris­bane au­di­ences didn’t get the hit shows! More after the launch… Cur­rently play­ing is Mur­willum­bah Theatre Com­pany’s Ali Baba (un­til Oc­to­ber 30); in re­hearsal is GCLT’s How to Suc­ceed in Busi­ness Without Re­ally Try­ing; Spotlight’s The Mys­tery of Ed­win Drood; Tu­gun Theatre’s Cat’s Cra­dle; and Javeen­bah’s The Smell of Money. Com­ing soon is NAPA’s The Wiz, with The Cru­cible de­layed un­til De­cem­ber 4 due to a cast­ing mem­ber’s un­avail­abil­ity. Book on­line through each com­pany’s web­site.

Mitchell Bu­tel and Libby Munro star in Dis­graced, top­i­cal and thought-pro­vok­ing theatre at its best.

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