Tuesday, 6 December 2011

What's on in Melbourne in 2012?

What's coming in 2012?
By Kate Herbert

This article was published in Herald Sun on Friday, December 16, 2011

Note : Apologies.  I was in error when I stated that Jersey Boys closed early. It closes on Sunday, Dec 18, 2011 and ran for 14 months. 

WHAT IS THERE TO LOOK FORWARD TO in the theatres in Melbourne in 2012?

 We chanted and cheered at the multitudinous musicals opening in Melbourne early in 2011 but, if you look at the 2012 calendar, you’ll see that Sydney grabbed the big ones – a foolish idea because Melbourne rushes out to see shows while Jersey Boys ran in a smaller theatre in Sydney, Rock of Ages cancelled its Sydney season and went straight to Brisbane, and the NSW government gave cheques to big producers to open in the harbour city. They’ll learn.

Sydney opens Legally Blonde and An Officer and A Gentleman, but stay calm – we still landed a few big productions.

The spectacular How to Train Your Dragon, from Dreamworks and Australian animatronics company, Global Creatures (creators of Walking With Dinosaurs), has its world premiere here in March. It looks like a crowd-puller to beat Grand Finals with its flying, fire-breathing dragons and world-class circus artists.

Late in 2012 at the Arts Centre we will see the poignant, epic and multi award-winning West End production of War Horse, about a boy and his horse during World War One, with startling animatronics (Global Creatures again) and production by National Theatre, Britain.

In May at the Regent, the beloved, red-headed, orphan Annie makes a come back with Anthony Warlow as the charismatic Daddy Warbucks and Nancye Hayes as villainous Mrs. Hannigan.

An Australian production of A Chorus Line finally hits our stages in February at Her Majesty’s with its toe-tapping tales of dancers vying for roles in a Broadway musical. Josh Horner returns to Oz to play Zach, the formidable casting director.

The three Artistic Directors replacing Simon Phillips at the MTC for 2012 (Robyn Nevin, Pamela Rabe, Aidan Fennessy) will make interesting viewing as will Red, a Tony award winner about renowned, visual artist mark Rothko looks compelling and Queen Lear, with Robyn Nevin as a female Lear and the classic Australian play, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll makes a come back to the MTC.

Malthouse hosts a few 2011 Sydney successes including reconstituted version of Ibsen’s Wild Duck that won awards and hearts at Belvoir Street, and Thomas Bernhard’s The Histrionic from Sydney Theatre Company.

There’ll be more to see, so stay posted.

By Kate Herbert

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