The theatres are filled with feel-good productions this winter, all guaranteed to warm your spirits with a memorable night out on the town.
Wizard of Oz
Everyone’s favourite The Wizard of Oz returns to Melbourne for a limited season of yellow brick road and emerald city magic. Featuring a memorable cast including the incomparable Anthony Warlow as the Wizard and Professor Marvel, the leading ladies of WICKED – Lucy Durack as Glinda, and Jemma Rix as Miss Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West – this show is a winner. Bring the whole family for a night of splendour at the Regent Theatre. Sparkly red shoes a must. Until 29 July.
An Ideal Husband
Melbourne Theatre Company presents Oscar Wilde’s effervescent high-society comedy An Ideal Husband, with Gina Riley (Kath & Kim) leading a stellar cast through a world of dark secrets, mystery and witty humour. 16 July to 18 August.
Bring it On – The Musical
Uniting some of the freshest and funniest creative minds on Broadway, Bring It On – The Musical will take you on a high-flying journey filled with aerial stunts and explosive choreography as it explores the complexities of friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness. Features a stellar, Tony Award-winning creative team with an original story by Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and music by composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), this will lift your midwinter spirits. At The Athenaeum Theatre from 6 to 23 June.
Mamma Mia! The Musical
You love ABBA’s music and you’ve watched the feel-good film – now’s your chance to experience it all live with this exuberant musical. Mamma Mia! is set on a Greek island paradise and follows the heart-warming tale of young bride-to-be Sophie on the eve of her wedding. Twenty-two ABBA songs help tell the story of love, laughter, family and friendship. At the Princess Theatre, 10 July to 16 September.
The Boy from Oz
Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of this iconic musical, The Boy From Oz returns featuring Rohan Browne (Singin’ in The Rain) as legendary Australian entertainer Peter Allen and Caroline O’Connor (Funny Girl) in the role of Judy Garland. You’ll hear many of Allen’s best loved hits including ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ and the show-stopping ‘I Go to Rio’. At Arts Centre Melbourne, 11 to 19 August.
Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show
It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right… get ready to do the ‘Time Warp’ again as Todd McKenney stars as Frank N Furter and Shane Jacobson as The Narrator in the latest production of 70s classic, The Rocky Horror Show. Audience participation is a big part of the experience, so dress up, get your dancing shoes on and enjoy the crowd sing-along. 12 July to 19 August at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Songwriter and musician Carole King was just seventeen when she sold her first song ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ and The Shirelles made in a number 1 hit in 1960. By the time she was twenty, with songwriting partner and husband Gerry Goffin, she was writing hit songs for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll, including The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, The Drifters and The Monkees. Beautiful is the charismatic true story of King’s remarkable journey and eventual rise solo stardom in the 1970s. Closes 1 July.
Melbourne’s thriving independent theatre scene offers intimate and thrilling performances any night of the week.
Enter the world of vaudeville theatre at the always entertaining Speakeasy HQ. Apply heavy eyeliner and tease your hair high to the heavens to get in the mood for Son of a Preacher Man – The Dusty Springfield Story exploring the singer’s iconic back catalogue with a biographical cabaret performance. Weekend evening shows until 27 October.
In Love Me or Leave Me – The Nina Simone Story, you’ll explore the iconic blues, jazz and folk singer’s life and musical legacy. Backed by the musicians of Black Pearl, the show highlights songs such as My Baby Just Cares for Me and I Put a Spell on You. Weekend evenings until 21 July.
Don a black tie and order a martini for Sinatra Style: The Tuxedo Show as tribute artist Roy Maloy evokes the spirit of a smoky Vegas club in the 1960s in the heyday of the Rat Pack. Until 28 June.
And if you fancy a spot of the burlesque, Speakeasy HQ is the place to go all year round with a variety of ribald and risque performances to choose from, as well as regular stand-up comedy nights.
The Butterfly Club
A bijoux venue down a laneway off Little Collins Street, The Butterfly Club is a 76 seat theatre space with a kitsch-filled bar awash in cosy atmosphere courtesy low lighting, velvet armchairs and an award-winning cocktail list. A haven for emerging performers and established professionals trying out new material, don’t miss the Cabaret Fringe Festival from 2 to 9 July for magicians, psychic readings, chanteuses and racy onstage antics.
Need to know where to go for a bite to eat before the show? Check out our pre-theatre dining recommendations.