Don’t miss these plays, musicals, operas and dance productions
Calamity Jane Star Virginia Gay shakes up this 1950s MGM musical classic, eliminating most traces of Doris Day. She plays the ultimate Wild West heroine in a stripped-back, award-winning production, which exploits the comedy while posing questions about gender norms. With songs from the film including ‘Windy City’ and ‘Secret Love’,
Calamity Jane comes to Melbourne after a sold-out season at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.artscentremelbourne.com.au. $30-$89. Mar 14–25.
The Australian Ballet will pay tribute to the great Graeme Murphy on the 50th anniversary of his joining the company’s corps de ballet. At the centre of this showcase of his work is a revival of his ‘Firebird’, alongside other key choreographic moments from his career as one of the leading lights of Australian dance. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.artscentremelbourne. com.au. $35-$235. Mar 16-26.
Mike Leigh’s satire skewers Britain’s middle-class anxieties with razor precision and has been massively popular ever since it premiered in 1977. The Melbourne Theatre Company production of this comedy of very bad manners will be directed by Stephen Nicolazzo, one of the most provocative directors on Melbourne’s independent scene, making his MTC mainstage debut. à Southbank Theatre, 140 Southbank Blvd, Southbank 3006. 03 8688 0800. www.mtc. com.au. $39-$124. Mar 17-Apr 21.
Melbourne writer Jane E Thompson’s new play takes on the hyper-masculine world of AFL, portraying the first female footballer to break into the big league and play alongside men. Alice Darling directs the premiere production. à Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda 3182. 03 9534 3388. theatreworks.org.au. $15-$45. Mar 28 -Apr 8.
La Traviata American soprano Corinne Winters will make her Australian debut singing Violetta’s crystalline coloratura lines in this Opera Australia favourite. The lavish Elijah Moshinsky production of Verdi’s tragic masterwork returns to Melbourne with Korean tenor Yosep Kang as Alfredo and Australian baritone José Carbó as Giorgio. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.artscentremelbourne.com.au. $34-$279. Apr 17-May 11. Right Now Québécois playwright CatherineAnne Toupin’s play scored a fivestar review from Time Out London in 2016. It’s a darkly funny drama that feels entirely out of this world, following a couple who form an unlikely bond with their new next door neighbours. Expect the Melbourne production, directed by rising star Katy Maudlin, to have Red Stitch’s customary skyhigh acting standards. à Red Stitch Actors Theatre, 2 Chapel St, St Kilda 3183. 03 9533 8083. redstitch.net. $15-$55. Apr 17-May 20. Elements Collective Catch some homegrown hip hop with this show directed by dancer Leah Tilney and with music from ARIA Award-winning member of Regurgitator, Ben Ely. The 60-minute show combines uniquely detailed choreography with acrobatics and won Best Dance at last year’s Adelaide Fringe. à Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park 3206. 03 8606 4200. www.gasworks.org.au. $40-$45. Apr 18-21.
Bliss Peter Carey’s Miles Franklin award-winning novel about a fallen ad man has been adapted into a successful film and opera and will now become a play, penned by Tom Wright. Malthouse Theatre’s artistic director, Matthew Lutton, will reunite with Wright for this surreal masterpiece after the pair adapted Picnic at Hanging Rock for the stage in 2016. à Malthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank 3006. 03 9685 5111. malthousetheatre.com.au. $35-$72. May 4-Jun 2. Salt British artist Selina Thompson’s solo show was a hit at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, tracing the transatlantic slave trade route from the UK to Ghana to Jamaica. Along this journey she not only discovers big truths about colonisation and the journeys of millions of black men and women, she learns about her own place in the world. à North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne 3051. 03 9322 3720. www.artshouse.com.au. $25-$35. May 9 -12. The House of Bernarda Alba Patricia Cornelius has won just about every playwriting award in the country and is now adapting Federico García Lorca’s classic tragedy for Melbourne Theatre Company. She’s moving the action from a Spanish village to rural Western Australia, where a family gathers to mourn their mining mogul father. Awardwinning director Leticia Cáceres will wrangle a starry cast featuring Julie Forsyth. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.artscentremelbourne.com.au. $TBA. May 25-Jul 7. The Nightingale and the Rose
Little Ones Theatre has made some of the most exciting indie theatre in recent years on the Theatre Works stage ( The Happy Prince, Dracula, Psycho
Beach Party). The queer theatre company is back with a fresh take on Oscar Wilde’s fairytale with Justin Wang, Brigid Gallacher and Jennifer Vuletic, who made a huge impression in Little Ones’ Merciless Gods. à Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda 3182. 03 9534 3388. theatreworks.org.au. $33-$45. May 30-Jun 10.