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GSODA Juniors stage a Disney underwater classic



Geelong’s premier youth musical company, GSODA Juniors, is amid its season of Disney’s The Little Mermaid in GPAC’s Playhouse Theatre.
And the show had our reviewer purring ‘...
wallow in the colour, the movement and the music and see further evidence, if any was needed, that theatre is alive and well and thriving in Geelong...’
Based on the animated film version  of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale, the show is promoted as... ‘a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages.
‘Ariel, King Triton's youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above, bargaining with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs.
‘But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colourful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea..’
 
Emily Donaghue directs the GSODA Juniors version, which features all 60 members of the company on stage. And this Junior show has garnered a swag of our adult theatre nominations.

The Little Mermaid  runs until July 1. Booking details on the Comprehensive Diary HERE

Read Our No-Nonsense Review HERE

View the show’s VO Nominations HERE


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Alard’s influence leads to a popular Pygmalion


Director/designer Alard Pett’s directorial debut has already influenced the box office for Rep’s commemorative staging of  George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Shaw’s classic play on the British class/language system was the first production staged by Geelong Rep in 1932. Now, 85 years on,  the company has chosen to re-stage that original version, written in 1912, with arguable Geelong’s most precocious theatre talent at the helm. Although this is Alard Pett’s first time in the director’s chair, he has won plaudits and awards for his set designs, staging and acting over the past decade. 
And his
Pygmalion is highly anticipated, with most  of the season’s performances sold out and few remaining seats,   three weeks before opening night.
The decision to stage Shaw’s original version is interesting, as is Alard’s choice of cast. GBS rewrote the ending of his Pygmalion in the 1940s to give it a more intriguing love interest. The play was re-written again when it was turned into a musical by Hollywood’s Lerner & Lowe  to become
My Fair Lady. But this  Rep production allows the rare opportunity to view its original form. The play’s strong cast comprises many of Rep’s fine young actors, with a couple of significant elders. 
In Rep’s forthcoming
Pygmalion, Henry Higgins is played by Ben Mitchell; Eliza Doolittle by Rose Musselwhite (pictured). Colonel Pickering is played by Steven Georgiadis; Alfred Dootlittle, by Simon Finch; Mrs Pearce is played by Tina Rettke, (who played Eliza the last time that Rep staged Pygmalion) Mrs Higgins by Claudia Clarke. Mrs Eynsford-Hill is played by Melissa Musselwhite; Clara Eynsford-Hill by Isobel Connor-Smithyman; Freddy Eynsford-Hill is played by Jesse Simpson. Additional cast members are filled by Lucia Human, David Keele, Elle Gardner, Grant Collins, Simon Thorne and Amber Connor-Smithyman.

Pygmalion opens in Rep’s Woodbin July 7. Details on the Comprehensive Diary HERE

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Director David’s huge cast for Geelong’s Oliver!



CenterStage Geelong will open Lionel Bart’s classic musical Oliver! in the Playhouse Theatre opening July 14. Director David Mackay has brought together a huge cast with Brad Beales in the key part of Fagin, Anna Flint as Nancy and Daim Hill as Bill Sykes. Other parts are: Olivers: Kempton Maloney and Xander Vandenberg; Dodger: Jake Birley; Mr Brownlow: Howard Dandy; Mrs Bedwin: Liz Tilson; Bette: Anna Kucharski; Charlotte: Cassidy McFadden; Mr Sowerberry: Mitchell Walters; Mrs Sowerberry: Nikki Arnott; Doctor Grimwig: Trent Inturrisi  and Widow Corney:  Michele Marcu. The big, family-oriented ensemble contains: Izzy Baker, Stephanie Beall, Milla & Layla Best, Leila Blair, Ruby Bown, Claire Brodie, India Buchanan, Melody Campbell-Gordon, Rylah Chandler, Bronwyn Clayton, Alex Conroy, Rebecca, Charlie  & Emily Cowled, Sonny  & Scarlett Cox, Xavier Curtis, Emilia  & Sebastian Dowler, Emily Gerardi, Clare Glover, Sophia Grant, Louise Guilfoyle, Hunter Hayden, Rio Heaney, Daim Hill, Karly Hogan, Jenna Irvin, Jo,  Rosie & Winter Jarwood, Lana Karlusic, Sophie & Chloe Kearney, Beth Krivan, Joel Lewis, Cassiana Marcu, Trinity Marell, Ava McInnes, Mitchell Jeffreys, Johnny,  Katie & Tracey McKeague, Leonie Mitaya, Hamish New, Saskia Norrington, Alicia O'Bree (also Nancy understudy), Charlotte Piec, Phebe Piroch, Murray  & Ebony Plowman, Lisbeth Radtke, Suzie Rayner, Flora Retallack, Dylan Roberts, Charli Rowe, Harry Scanlon, Milla Scott, Sarah Smits, Chanelle Tait, David & Jacinta Van Etten, Oliver Watson, Rebecca Wik, Pam  & Flynn Wilkie-Clark, Grace Williamson, Guy & Eloise Wingrave, Jess Wynhoven, Violet Young and Larissa  & Shenae Zanardo.


Oliver runs in GPAC’s Playhouse until July 29. Details on the Comprehensive Diary HERE

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Theatre of the Damned prepares Altar Boys




Geelong’s newest stage company, The Theatre Of The Damned, launched December 2016 with the announcement that it will stage Altar Boyz  in July 2017 at East Geelong’s Shenton Centre.
Altar Boyz is an off-Broadway musical, written in 2005 by Gary Adler, Michael Walker and Ken Del Aguila.  It’s a wry, satirical musical comedy based around a Christian boy band.
Then, following auditions in February and March, the new company announced its cast.  Playing
MATTHEW is Kai Mann Robertson; MARK is Jye Cannon; LUKE is Andrew Perry; JUAN is  Christian Cavallo; ABRAHAMis  Jordan Deneka and GOD / Roadie is Seth Baxter.
The show’s stage singers are: Tori Lea Stones, Layla Peacock, Fritzie Punsalang and Claire Miller while the dancers are: Tegan Drever, Mikaela Mcgann, Amy Wells, Kelsie Vick, Lisa Turner, Alex Tapaganao, Hannah Lawrence, Molly Baillon, Jalen Smith and Joshua Vanderleest.

Altar Boyz opens in the Shenton Centre July 21. Details on the Comprehensive Diary HERE

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Shh.. the Secret’s out -
it’s coming to  Queenscliff

Queenscliff’s Lighthouse Theatre Group will stage  Elizabeth Coleman’s contemporary  Australian comedy drama Secret Bridesmaids’ Business in the township’s Uniting Church Hall mid August.

The play is set in a hotel the night before Meg Bacon's wedding. She and her bridesmaids are planning to kick up their heels when a bizarre set of coincidences and an unforeseen scandal threatens to ruin the whole affair. The play pokes fun at the juggernaut today’s wedding industry has become.
Director Debbie Fraser has chosen a cast of Peninsula locals and favourites including: as bride Meg Bacon: Caity Ellett; Colleen Bacon, her mother: Melinda Hughes; Angela Dixon, Matron of Honour: Georgyia Tino; Bridesmaid Lucy Dean: Bernadette Byrne; friend Naomi Bartlett: Lauren Nicholls; Groom James Davis: Andrew Percy and housemaid: Nicole Hickman.

Secret Bridesmaids Business opens August 11. Booking details on the Comprehensive Diary HERE

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While GSODA’s bringing Heathers


Geelong’s GSODA senior company has announced that it will be presenting the American rock musical Heathers in at GPAC’s Playhouse in October. 
The show will be in the hands of an experienced GSODA production team, with Christian Cavallo in the director’s chair, Phil Kearney his musical director, Tania Spence vocal director and Nikki Lenaghan choreographer.
Set in an American high school,
Heathers opened off-Broadway in 2014.
Based on a cult film, it quickly became similarly a cult stage musical.
The show’s title
Heathers comes from the clique name for the school’s group of most beautiful and privileged girls.  But privileges have their price..
Inside its comedy structure,
Heathers deals with issues of bullying, teen suicide, homophobia and gun violence.

Watch this site for dates, times, details as they emerge

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Book Now For Geelong’s Night of Glamour


Geelong’s first ever Theatre Awards night will be Sunday November 26, 2017 at The Potato Shed. The glittering red-carpet event will replace this site’s ‘Virtual Oscar’ awards which have recognised excellence in our region’s theatrical productions, performers and performances since 2009.

The evening will allow our region’s theatre community the chance to get together and fraternise, to don elegant frocks and foyer suits and create their own glamour ceremony.
Venue and staff will be primped and pizzazzed for the occasion with red carpet, bright lights, and special celebrity guest presenters.
But alongside all the theatrical glitz, we’re determined to make the occasion accessible and affordable. Although the 150-seat venue will be cabaret seating, the night will be BYO nibbles. The bar will be open and stocked with plenty of celebratory bubbles as well as wine, ciders and beers -  while tea, coffee and soft drinks will be free.
And the evening’s cost is just $20 a head.
The doors will open at 6.00pm, with the ceremony beginning 7.00pm. After each category's prizes are listed and handed out - and some suitable theatre-themed entertainment - the official part of the evening should finish by 9.00pm. But the bar and venue will remain open for any group wishing to kick on and party.
Our system of appraisal for the awards will not change - our reviewers will nominate their choice of best productions/performers in musical and non-musical categories after seeing each show.
And just as with our
Virtual Oscars, our panel will choose from each list to select the best to be awarded.
But now our winners will receive a
real trophy, to pose with, own, take away, and place in a prime bragging position - as well as being immortalised on our website for future cyber reference.

Bookings are open NOW for Geelong Theatre’s night of nights. Booking Details HERE.

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Alfred Deakin returns to Queenscliff’s Vue Grand





Geelong’s Drop Of A Hat Productions has signed to repeat its successful musical biography of Alfred Deakin for History Week 2017. Titled Marvellous Deakin - The Man Who Dreamed Australia - the show will begin and close the week in Queenscliff, at a most suitable venue - the elegant, historic Vue Grand Hotel. 
Alfred and his family were frequent visitors to Queenscliff - they built a holiday home along the coast at Point Lonsdale, and would travel to it using the Queenscliff - St Kilda ferry.  
Three-times prime minister Alfred Deakin was that most rare of creatures, an honest politician who was liked - and trusted - by everyone. Even his political enemies acknowledged that he always acted with the intention of improving his nation. His governments earned Australia a reputation for kindness, introducing such measures as free education, workplace laws and old-age pensions.
He and his family were musical, too, with his sister (and chief political adviser) a trained concert pianist. Many of the Deakins’ favourite musical pieces are included in
Marvellous Deakin - which earned excellent reports following its original March opening. (Read Bryan Eaton’s review HERE).

At the View Grand Hotel, the show will be performed in the newly-renovated Coach House room which seats just 80 people - hence the need for two shows. Both performances will be Sunday afternoons at 3pm, allowing the opportunity to combine with lunch or afternoon tea at the venue. The show ticket price will be $15, available through the Queenscliff Museum, which is opposite the venue in Hesse St.


Find booking details the Comprehensive Diary HERE


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Macbeth & Dream twice each in our Bardic six-pack


Geelong saw two versions of Shakespeare’s classic Scottish play Macbeth in 2017,  part of a big year for the Bard in our region.  We featured no fewer than six Shakespearean presentations in different formats, with two Midsummer Night’s Dreams to come. The first Macbeth was on the lawns of the Geelong Botanical Gardens, staged  by local open-air Shakespeare specialists OZACT in January. It was a traditional version of the powerful drama directed by Bruce Widdop. In February,  the Bard’s Much Ado About Nothing was presented as  ‘Shakespeare In The Vines’  by Essential Theatre at Leura Park winery, at Curlewis on the Bellarine Peninsula. March saw Macbeth  return, transposed to corporate Australia in the 1950s by Skin Of Our Teeth Productions and presented at the Geelong West Town HallIn August the first fairy comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream is presented by Melbourne City Ballet at the Potato Shed, Drysdale, then the Dream’s clown spin-off  comedy The Popular Mechanicals comes to GPAC as part of the centre’s theatre season, before the Dream returns again, mid October , presented by Skin Of Our Teeth as an outdoor presentation at the Otway Fly

Dates, times, booking details of all are on the Comprehensive Diary HERE

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Our Orchestra looks north to the Proms in 2017




Geelong’s Symphony Orchestra will follow its March Northern Lights concert with two more 2017 concerts - both with popular themes.
The orchestra’s second 2017 concert
on Friday 25 August is called A Night In Vienna.
It has Fabian Russell conducting with Frank Celata clarinet soloist. It consists of Mozart: Overture Don Giovanni; Mozart: Clarinet concerto in A Major and Beethoven’s Symphony No 7 in A Major Op 92.

The third concert, on Friday October 27 is the ever-popular Last Night Of The Proms with conductor Kevin Cameron with guest artists, soloists and chorus.
Music is by Borodin, Elgar, Holst, Handel, Williams etc including the famous
Jerusalem, Land Of Hope And Glory and more. You’re invited to bring and wave flags, throw streamers and make the occasion memorable.
Ticket sales are open for all GSO concerts, available online from
www.gpac.org.au/gsoearlybird or buy packages at the GPAC box office

Performance dates and  booking details are on the Comprehensive Diary HERE



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33 Theatre Companies In Our Region



Geelong’s theatre scene widened a little more in December with the launch of Tony & Elise Dahl’s new Theatre Of The Damned
That event prompted this site to compile a list of all the community theatre and stage companies in our region. Here’s our starting list of 33. We welcome your input if we’ve missed anyone...

Geelong region’s community Theatre Groups.

Non-musical, drama and comedy companies

3222 for Kids

Anglesea Performing Arts

Bayside Entertainment And Theatre

Bellarine Jongleurs

Black Ibis Productions

Blink Dance Theatre

Blunt Productions

Comic Genius Productions

Doorstep Ensemble

Drop Of A Hat Productions

Essential Theatre

Frankie Starr Productions

Geelong Production Company

Geelong Repertory Theatre Society

Mad As Us

Musicbox Theatre Company

Queenscliff Lighthouse Theatre Company

Skin of our Teeth

Theatre 3222

Torquay Theatre Troupe

Theatre of the Winged Unicorn


Musical Theatre Companies

CenterStage

CenterStage Juniors

Footlight Productions

Geelong Musical Comedy Company
Geelong Lyric Theatre Society

Geelong Lyric Youth Theatre

GSODA Senior company
GSODA Juniors

GSODA Theatre Collective

Medimime

Parcell Productions
Theatre Of The Damned


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Our Art Gallery’s in cyberspace

Geelong Gallery has put its entire collection of well over 5,000 artworks on a database available through the Gallery's website. Physically, entry is free to the Lt Malop St Gallery - which houses one of most significant art collections in the State -  but if you can’t make it in person - or don’t want to risk CoGG’s prowling parking officers - the works are available online free, too. You can access them via a number of different search categories including artists' names, the title or date of a work, its medium or credit line. Over 2,000 search results are accompanied by images. The Geelong Gallery is a trailblazer in this regard - very few Australian public galleries have made their entire collection of works of art electronically accessible.
The initiative was made possible through a grant from the Gordon Darling Foundation. To view the database, access the Gallery's website
geelonggallery.org.au/


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..and on Geelong’s stages there’s so much more


This website lists all of Geelong's music, drama and theatre entertainment on our Comprehensive Diary  page. But our city also enjoys a wide range of meetings, groups, sessions and musical events that don't feature on our diary, or in the local media, because they are regular club events.  So alongside our diary entries, keep in mind that: the Geelong Folk Music Club holds weekly free music sessions Thursday evenings from 7.30pm in Vines Rd Community Centre (details 0401 671 310)   and Sunday music sessions alternating at the Telegraph Hotel (from 4.30pm) and The Barking Dog, (from 6.00pm) - both are in Pakington St - as well as open mic sessions at the Elephant & Castle in East Geelong and in Drysdale. Check the website geelongfolkmusicclub.com for more.  Also, Geelong's Historical Society meets monthly on the first Wednesday of each month (details from Freda 5278 3530) and our Philosophers Café meets to put the world to rights on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the back room of The Barking Dog Hotel in Pakington St.  

For Country Music fans there’s a host of regular concerts and shows in Geelong including A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon of Country Music on the first Sunday of each month at The Norlane Bowling Clubrooms, 36 St George’s Rd Norlane from 12-30pm to 5-30ish. Cost $7 aids charity and there’s tucker available.  Geelong Country Rock Music Group meet each Tuesday night at The Rosewall Neighbourhood Centre, 36 Sharland Road, Corio, from 6-30pm. Meals and drinks available, $3-00 entry. For more info, call John Hayes on 0414 265725. North Geelong Country Music Group, meet each Wednesday 7.00pm at The Yorringa Avenue Senior Citizens Rooms,  Yorringa Avenue, Norlane. Meals and drinks available $3 entry, for more info. contact Eric Cook on 0429 143237.

 Kardinia Country Music Group meet each Friday night at The Kardinia Senior Citizens Rooms, Corner Park and Moorabool Sts, South Geelong. $3 entry, supper available.

 
If you have an event that should be listed here, tell us.


Information included anywhere on this website is free. If there is any other thing you would like us to include, just click here to let us know


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Comprehensive
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