MATTER OF THE HEARTS
A cheeky new comedy opening soon explores the obstacles of romance in the modern world, from online dating to singles’ dinners
This column comes to you from Denali, Alaska, a beautiful, cold, totally enchanting city in the north. After a series of brilliant shows performed by a totally professional team on the Island Princess (with cast doing everything from Motown to opera – eat your heart out musical-theatre wannabes) we caught the Music of Denali at the Wilderness Lodge tonight. A story of the beginning of the state: the conquering of Mt McKinley and Denali and the gold rush. Can’t help wondering why we don’t have something Aussie like this on the Coast. Opening soon is Spotlight Theatre’s Take a Chance on Me, directed by Helen Maden. This comedy begins with three women and three men who are coming to grips with the realisation their lives have been reduced to attending singles’ dinners in the hope of meeting someone new. Each has recently lost their spouse, either to death or infidelity or simply boredom. Their once happily married lives have left them divorced of all self-belief and facing the indignities of a dating game in which the rules have changed since they were younger. It’s another wonderful comedic offering from award-winning NZ playwright Roger Hall. The cast includes Martin Jennings, Shelley Jacks, David Law, Katrina Lardner, Laney McLean, Clem Halpin, Imogen Hannah, Chris Catherwood. Join the lawyer, banker, teacher, pharmacist, plumber and housewife (plus two very busy extras), as they speed date, blind date and computer date their way to finding new love. The season runs September 15 to October 1 (Thursday to Saturday at 7.30pm, with Sunday matinees at 2pm on September 17 and 24. Book at Spotlight Costume Hire or call the box office on 5539 4255. Tickets are now on sale for Elvis and Me: An Evening with Priscilla Presley – an Open Conversation coming to the Gold Coast in November. This is a rare opportunity to journey with Priscilla Presley through her fascinating life in an intimate interview format where she will answer questions and share stories that will spark curiosity and intriguing dialogue. It will be hosted by entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins. In 1979, Priscilla became coexecutor of the Presley Estate after the death of Elvis’s father, Vernon Presley. She will appear at The Star Gold Coast on November 4. Book at ticketek.com Qld Theatre (formerly QTC) announced their 2018 program this week. The eight plays traverse centuries of time, the breadth of our country, the expanse of the globe, and the inner workings of diverse and brilliant minds. In the coming year, audiences can be at the centre of a food fight at the Christmas dinner from Hell, evade pursuers across the Scottish Highlands, wrestle with a Kafkaesque bureaucracy in Iran, help solve a 1960s murder mystery in the Western Australian Wheatbelt, become entangled in a 17th century scientific feud, or sing melancholy love songs to the exotic duke of a mythical realm. All details are now available online. The program will not disappoint and gives the rest of the country a great reason to visit the Sunshine State. Around 600 people attended the launch. A comment from the podium: “Theatre is THE most important art form!” got a lot of applause. Nothing personifies the late ’50s girl than her skirts, flared out by layers of stiffened petticoats in a silhouette that has since formed an iconic fashion image of the early rock and roll era. Getting the dress right was just one part of every girl’s desire to fit in, to be desirable and to be “hip”. Four such girls make up the cast of the musical, The Marvelous Wonderettes, a story that begins in the late 1950s and yes, they wear big skirts. With four-part harmonies and a backing band, the girls tell the stories of their lives and their friendship over a 10-year period, from high school prom to reunion a decade later. In part, their voice is the music: 30 chart-topping hits from the ’50s and ’60s. The hits include Stupid Cupid, Lipstick on Your Collar, Son of a Preacher Man, Respect, and It’s My Party. The tone ranges from lightweight – Lollipop – to the profound – You Don’t Own Me – with lots of toe-tapping favourites in between. Ballina Players’ production of The Marvelous Wonderettes is the Australian premiere and a fun musical romp through the lives of four women, with great music, dancing and costumes. The opening night on September 8 will be a special event with complimentary glass of champagne and canapes before the show. The season runs until September 24. Tickets are available online at Ballina Players. In rehearsal on the Gold Coast now are Javeenbah’s I Remember You, GCLT’s Lady Windemere’s Fan and Spotlight’s Take a Chance on Me (both opening early September) and Ballina Players’ The Marvellous Wonderettes. See you in a crowded foyer real soon!
Spotlight Theatre is putting on a version of Take a Chance on Me, a wonderful comedy offering from NZ playwright Roger Hall.