Australia has lucked out when it comes to musical entertainment this year. From feel-good comedy to family-friendly extravaganzas, there’s something that will appeal to everyone, whether you’re a sucker for romance or the most hardened theatre critic. Here we’ve rounded up the seven musicals that we’ll be jumping to get tickets for.
1: Aladdin the Musical
This Disney production only has a few weeks left in its Sydney run and we can only say, get to it before it leaves — or buy flights to Melbourne, where it’s playing next. A magic carpet that looks like it’s actually, unbelievably, flying; enough razzle dazzle to light up the night sky; and a superstar Genie that steals the show. Aladdin is a soaring, tumbling, freewheeling theatrical masterpiece.
2: The Book of Mormon
They had us at ‘from the creators of South Park’. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the profane, crazy, but always hilarious, minds behind the hit animated series are responsible for this multi award-winning musical. Surprisingly nuanced, The Book of Mormon is big-hearted, fun-loving and side-achingly funny. Currently playing in Melbourne.
3: Kinky Boots
You wouldn’t know that Kinky Boots is based on a true story. The plot is just too perfect for the stage: a shoe factory owner teams up with an unlikely business partner to save the business from bankruptcy, taking it from a working class setting in England to the runways of Milan. The songs and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper won the Tony Award for Best Score and Kinky Boots won Best New Musical at the Olivier Awards in 2016. It’s an exuberant, feel-good musical with flair. The Melbourne season wraps up in March; Sydney is next.
4: Mamma Mia!
You’ll have to wait till the end of the year for this one — or even next year if you don’t live in Canberra — but the wait will be well worth it. With 22 of ABBA’s greatest hits, a backdrop of a Greek island paradise and celebrations aplenty, what’s not to love about Mamma Mia!?
5: My Fair Lady
We’re glad My Fair Lady is making a return season and playing in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney so that those of you slow off the mark for tickets last time get a chance to catch it this time around. (Or, go see it again!) The original Broadway Eliza Doolittle, Julie Andrews herself, is the director on this. Add in Opera Australia as a producer, one of the most-loved stories of all time, spectacular costume and design, and you’ve got yourself an unmissable show.
6: The Bodyguard
Starring Australia’s own Paulini as superstar Rachel Marron, this film-turned-musical was a sell-out when it toured through Europe. Paulini’s performance of the late Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ is breathtaking. It opens in Sydney in April and we can’t wait.
7: Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
While we love the storyline — how slightly-geeky teenager Carole Klein becomes prolific singer/songwriter Carole King and creates the music for a generation — it’s the music we’re coming for. Expect hit after hit after hit, from ‘The Loco-Motion’ and ‘One Fine Day’ to ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’, ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ and ‘You’ve Got A Friend’. Beautiful — The Carole King Musical opens in Sydney this September.