THRILLS, FRILLS, SKILLS, PILLS

Shows this week cover voices from China to Italy, chil­dren dis­ap­pear­ing in mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances and raunchy ranches in the US

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

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.

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