THRILLS, FRILLS, SKILLS, PILLS
Shows this week cover voices from China to Italy, children disappearing in mysterious circumstances and raunchy ranches in the US
he Entertainment Centre of the Peking Opera will present four performances only between November 29 and December 1 for audiences in Darwin. The opera comprises 35 performers, hundreds of lavish costumes and an entourage of 79 people. Much more than simply singing, the Peking Opera combines drama, dancing, martial arts and acrobatics too, making it one of the most multifaceted theatrical forms in the world. In 2010 Peking Opera was deemed Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Pity we won’t get a chance to see it down here ... Tugun Theatre bookings are now open for the November production of Cat’s Cradle, a thriller by Leslie Sands and directed by Cecile Campbell. Inspector Frost, the TV character, is determined to solve a cold case that he previously investigated before he retires. He returns to the English village where a child was kidnapped and never found, receiving a hostile welcome from the villagers. Opening night is November 10. Last week’s big opening was Spotlight Theatre’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Running until November 12, the show is based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens and audience members are asked to vote on who they believe the killer is. A large and enthusiastic cast was on stage for most of the show, while the costumes in particular deserve a special mention. The Ballina Players’ next production is the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which is based on a movie starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds. Directed by Paul Belsham and choreographed by Jaime Sheehan, the musical tells the real-life story of Texas’s Chicken Ranch – a whorehouse run by Miss Mona – and the events that lead to its closure in the ‘70s. The show runs from November 18. Queensland’s much-loved musical theatre and cabaret talk show The Greenroom Project LIVE returned to The Arts Centre Gold Coast last Monday night. It showcased four incredible featured artists, a special performance by the star of Singing in the Rain Gretel Scarlett, and even an open mic segment. Yours Truly returned for the On the Couch segment to talk about forthcoming shows. The evening was hosted by Matt Ward. As the only show of its kind to celebrate the life of Luciano Pavarotti, Broadway to Pavarotti, as performed by former Ten Tenor Roger Davy, has had successful showings in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It includes classic opera favourites from The Merry Widow, La Boheme, La Traviata and Rigoletto to the best of Broadway shows such as West Side Story, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera and My Fair Lady. Featuring three of Queensland’s most talented performers, Broadway to Pavarotti is more than a recital of old favourites. The show has a plot that links the songs and reveals the stories behind them. Add to that the lighthearted farce of the two tenors competing for the attention of the beautiful soprano and you have a winning formula. The next show is on Saturday at the Robina Community Centre from 11am. A returning face to Spotlight’s show last Friday night was Duncan Sim, former president of the company who has recently returned to the role. Duncan has been working in Cairns for some years and is keen to once gain take the reins of this busy group. Currently playing on the Gold Coast is Murwillumbah Theatre Company’s Ali Baba (until Sunday) and Spotlight’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In rehearsal is GCLT’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Tugun Theatre’s Cat’s Cradle, Javeenbah’s The Smell of Money and Ballina’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. GCLT is still looking for donations for its fundraising Christmas raffle – please call 5539 6456 if you have anything you would like to donate to be part of the prize pool. The Brisbane Powerhouse and Matt Ward Entertainment have launched Rent the Musical, a feature show of Melt Festival set to kick off in February. Rent is a visceral story of young artists in New York’s East Village whose dreams and heartbreak intertwine, painting a raw portrait of bohemians living in the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Auditions will be held on November 6 and 8 at the Brisbane Powerhouse in Newfarm.
Elaborate costumes, makeup and jewellery make the Peking Opera a visual spectacular.