Don’t miss these plays, musicals, operas and dance productions
The Merry Widow
The Merry Widow is one of the Australian Ballet’s greatest achievements – it premiered in 1975 and has been revived by popular demand every couple of years since then. The ballet was adapted from Franz Lehár’s operetta by Australian dance legend Robert Helpmann and English choreographer Ronald Hynd, and features all of Lehár’s bright and romantic melodies. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.artscentremelbourne.com.au. $35-$245. Jun 7-16. Brothers Wreck Award-winning playwright Jada Alberts’ Brothers Wreck premiered at Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre in 2014 to stellar reviews, tackling the aftershocks of suicide upon a community in Darwin. Leah Purcell directed the original production, but Alberts is stepping in to helm this new take, with
The Sapphires star Shari Sebbens in the cast. àmalthouse Theatre, 113 Sturt St, Southbank 3006. 03 9685 5111. malthousetheatre.com.au. $35-$62. Jun 8-23. Gloria American Branden JacobsJenkins is one of the most provocative playwrights in the world right now, and his Pulitzer Prize finalist Gloria is particularly fiery satire. It’s set in the offices of a formerly great print magazine that’s now struggling to make ends meet, but it takes a sudden and unexpected turn away from that subject. Lisa Mccune stars alongside Callan Colley, Jordan Fraser-trumble, Aileen Huynh, Peter Paltos and Sophie Ross in this production directed by Helpmann Award winner Lee
Lewis. à Southbank Theatre, 140 Southbank Blvd, Southbank 3006. 03 8688 0800. www.mtc.com.au. $39-$124. Jun 16-Jul 21.
The Antipodes Red Stitch had a major hit with Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prizewinning The Flick back in 2014 and is now presenting the Australian premiere of another Baker play:
The Antipodes. Ella Caldwell directs the play, set in a TV writers’ room where a group of creatives grapple with questions of which stories to tell. à Red Stitch Actors Theatre, 2 Chapel St, St Kilda 3183. 03 9533 8083. redstitch.net. $28-$55. Jul 10-Aug 12. Polygraph Robert Lepage has been one of the most influential voices in international theatre for the last three decades. This 1987 detective thriller-slash-love story, penned with Marie Brassard, is one of his earlier works and is being staged in Melbourne by Opticnerve Performance Group. à Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda 3182. 03 9534 3388. theatreworks.org.au. $33-$45. Jul 17-21. William Tell The ‘ William Tell Overture’ is one of those pieces of classical music that the majority of the population can probably hum on command, but it might be a surprise to know that the Rossini opera itself has never been performed in Australia. This Victorian Opera production, directed by Rodula Gaitanou, is the Australian premiere, just 189 years after it opened in Paris. à Palais Theatre, 14 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda 3182. 03 8537 7677. victorianopera.com.au. $35-$169. Jul 14-19. Mamma Mia! The blockbuster ABBA jukebox musical returns to Melbourne after eight years in a brand-new Australian production – new sets, new costumes and new choreography. Natalie O’donnell starred as Sophie in the original Australian production, back in 2001, and now steps into the role of Sophie’s mother, Donna. She’s joined by newcomer Sarah
Morrison, who made a big impression in Australian musical
Ladies in Black. à Princess Theatre, 163 Spring St, Melbourne 3000. 03 9299 9800. www.mammamiathemusical.com.au. $69.95-$155.95. Jul 10-Sep 2.
Julius Caesar mightn’t be Shakespeare’s most performed political thriller, but it’s almost certainly the stabbiest. It’s also an interesting piece for our times, and Bell Shakespeare has assembled a killer cast of relative newcomers and established stars for this production, led by Kenneth Ransom ( Gods of Egypt) as Caesar. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.artscentremelbourne.com.au. $40-$95. Jul 18-28.
A Doll’s House, Part 2 Lucas Hnath’s provocatively funny sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s seminal play was the toast of Broadway last year, with eight Tony Award nominations. Marta Dusseldorp, well known for her TV performances ( Janet King, A Place
to Call Home), stars as Nora in this Australian premiere production. à Southbank Theatre, 140 Southbank Blvd, Southbank 3006. 03 8688 0800. www.mtc.com.au. $39-$124. Aug 11-Sep 15. The Boy from Oz This year marks two decades since this musical telling the life story of singer-songwriter Peter Allen premiered in Sydney. Todd Mckenney and Hugh Jackman both cemented their stardom in the leading role, and now Rohan Browne – who had his first major break as an 18 year old in the original production – takes the lead. Caroline O’connor will channel Judy Garland in this semistaged version. à Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.artscentremelbourne.com.au. $48-$143. Aug 11-19. Lano and Woodley: Fly It’s been 12 years since Colin Lane and Frank Woodley last performed together. Fly is their reunion show, packed with brilliant gags, physical humour and the kind of off-kilter dynamic that won the duo so many fans in the first place. The show had its triumphant Melbourne premiere earlier this year at the Comedy Festival. à Hamer Hall, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004. 1300 182 183. www.artscentremelbourne.com.au. $64.90-$69.90. Aug 10-11.