A cheeky new com­edy open­ing soon ex­plores the ob­sta­cles of romance in the mod­ern world, from on­line dat­ing to sin­gles’ din­ners

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

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 tick­ 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.

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