IT’S SHOW TIME
IF YOU’RE HEADING UP THE HIGHWAY TO SEE ALADDIN THE MUSICAL, YOU’RE IN FOR A MAGIC RIDE
There isn’t long left to experience the worldwide musical spectacular that is Aladdin on our doorstep. The final tickets for the QPAC show have just been released, with shows playing until early June. Unfortunately we don’t have a magic lamp to take care of our travel arrangements, so here’s a quick guide on where to stay, what to eat and everything in between.
CHOOSE A BRISSIE BASE
If you’re coming from out of town, you may as well turn your Aladdin experience into a cheeky little getaway with a night in crisp white sheets. Capri by Fraser ticks the boxes and it’s just a quick Uber away from QPAC in South Bank. While it’s quite a new-looking hotel, it’s definitely not clinical or plain like many of its modern counterparts. Favourable first impressions flow from a striking lobby. My room overlooked bustling Albert Street, perfect for people watching. There are pops of colour and thoughtful touches like the Tetristiled bathroom and a mirror that pops up out of the desk, handy for applying the evening’s make-up. If you’ve got a couple of hours to kill, make use of the hotel’s sauna and indoor heated pool. For those travelling with kids, Capri also has a fun room with gaming consoles, beanbags and a foosball table to keep them occupied.
SAVOUR A CAPITAL FOOD SCENE
You can stay at Capri by Fraser for pre-show dinner and drinks, with a concise menu available at on-site restaurant Asana. Start with seared yellowfin tuna with beetroot, yuzu and salmon floss or the vegan raw zucchini lasagne with tomatoes, olives and cashew cheese. If you prefer to explore the culinary culture of South Bank before strolling to QPAC, there’s even more on the menu. Gauge boasts creative modern Australian food in a seriously stylish venue. This is a great spot if you’ve got time to spare, with a seven-course degustation including chestnut tortellini with Jerusalem artichoke, lardo and mushroom, as well as roast duck breast with fermented turnip and camomile. Next door is Julius Pizzeria, arguably Brisbane’s best place for pizza, but its antipasto and pasta are not to be overlooked. Continue down the street and you’ll find Fish Lane, where wine bar and restaurant La Lune Co resides. It specialises in raw dishes bursting with creative, interesting flavours — I recommend the kangaroo tartare. Next door to La Lune is Chu The Phat, spruiking streetstyle Asian delights and fantastic cocktails in a mammoth two-storey venue, with the lane side overlooking a lantern lit side street and back alley graffiti. The fancy, gourmet Chiko Roll is a must, it’s definitely not your average carnival chow. With any of these places it’s wise to book as theatres full of patrons probably have the same idea as you.
GET ON WITH THE SHOW
Whether it’s the fantastical, glittering set, the lively actors (yes, Genie is the standout) or simply the feeling of bringing a childhood dream to life, experiencing Aladdin as a stage show is exhilarating. The show takes the audience on the journey of poor street rat Aladdin, who stumbles across a lamp containing a Genie and subsequently three wishes. He is ultimately met with all the perils that come with this type of power, along with Genie, his street rat brothers and Princess Jasmine. It’s a wonderful journey of ups and downs, an excellent balance of laughter, awe, tears and singalong moments that satisfies all expectations. The set in particular is stunning, with larger-than-life gold backdrops and a well-executed flying carpet. There are plenty of in-depth reviews available, but I think the best way to do it is to go in blind and form your own opinions. You can buy drinks from the bar and limited nibblies.