2018 The Year Of Musical Theatre

Rebecca Varidel
29th Jan 2018

2018 started with a technicolour over the rainbow bang on January 4th with Dorothy clicking her red shoes at the opening night of The Wizard Of Oz. Staged in the fabulous home of Sydney musical theatre The Capital, with big production use of video, from black and white in Kansas to colour in Oz, with a amazingly talented Australian cast, this fabulous Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber, London Palladium production leaves Sydney in just under a week, so be quick.

Following shortly on the glittering red heels, the new critically acclaimed Australian production of MAMMA MIA! THE MUSICAL featuring 22 of ABBA's greatest hits (including Dancing Queen, Voulez Vous, S.O.S, Take a Chance On Me) dances into Sydney at the Capitol Theatre from February 11th. Fall in love all over again! Final tickets are now on sale until the end of the Sydney season in April.

The return to the glory days of musical theatre has been building over the last few years. So needless to say there is more to come.

The Book of Mormon Broadway’s smash hit musical written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez, is coming to Sydney Lyric Theatre from February 28th. Winner of nine Tony Awards® including Best Musical, the Grammy® for Best Musical Theatre album and four Olivier Awards® including Best Musical, The Book of Mormon broke the house record for the highest selling on-sale period of any production in the Princess Theatre’s 159-year history. At the 2017 Helpmann Awards, The Book of Mormon was crowned winner of the coveted Best Musical award, while Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw were awarded Best Direction of a Musical.

Then in May get ready to shake your groove thing as Australia’s most successful home grown musical Priscilla Queen Of The Desert rocks into Sydney. The iconic hit musical has more glitter than ever, featuring a dazzling array of more than 500 award-winning costumes, 200 head-dresses and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including It's Raining Men, I Will Survive, I Love The Nightlife and many more.

Later in the year, the big booming voice of an elegant little lady sees the most fabulous Australian icon Tina Arena star at the Sydney Opera House for seven weeks only in Evita The Musical. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s EVITA is iconic, with more than 20 major awards to its credit including the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Musical, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for the film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas.This is the first time a Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will play at the Sydney Opera House.

Yet Sydney like Broadway is not just about big venues and big productions. In the diversity that musical theatre has to offer some show tunes just belt it out more in the intimacy of a small space. Each season musical theatre specialist Hayes Theatre Co sells out early.

One of the highlights this year will be when the award winning production company Blue Saint Productions brings the Tony Award winning musical, In The Heights to the Hayes Theatre Co for its much-anticipated professional NSW debut. Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the composer behind the Hamilton phenomenon, this brand new, authentic production will run from March 16th.

With a toe-tapping, hugely acclaimed score and heralded by many as the greatest musical ever created, Gypsy will run at the Hayes Theatre Co from May 18th.

"It's our time to breathe it in. Worlds to change and worlds to win."

The Depot Theatre branches out this year when it brings musical theatre to its Marrickville stage for the first time, kicking off (on their second production of the season following the Wayne Tunks' drama According To Otto) with one of the most controversial works of Stephen Sondheim Merrily We Roll Along. As a company still in its early days, Little Triangles is taking somewhat of a risk. When it premiered in 1981, the show closed on Broadway after only 52 previews and 16 performances.

At the time when newspapers still ruled, critic Clive Barnes could see past the principal judgements “Whatever you may have heard about it — go and see it for yourselves. It is far too good a musical to be judged by those twin kangaroo courts of word of mouth and critical consensus.” Recently its seen somewhat of a revival with new acclaim. It even gets a cameo in the film Lady Bird. We are watching with bated breathe to see what this production makes of it.

Carrie: The Musical. The Book, Carrie was Stephen King’s first major published work, launching him into a respectful and fruitful career. The movie, Carrie (1976), became an instant classic, reminding audiences that horror isn’t only jump scares; it drove home a message that stuck with many: when pushed to their limits, everyone has their breaking point. Carrie the Musical, the Off-Broadway rock-pop musical about adolescence, religion and that night you’ll never forget. We've already previewed some numbers and for sure this is also one to watch.

Still at The Depot Theatre, September brings the Australian premiere Stalker: The Musical a dark, satirical musical, set in a dystopian world where love is taboo, and men and women are free to leer and lust to their heart’s content. Jay Cloudstreet finds himself drawn to one particular girl, Ava Derwent. The show has been presented at the New York fringe festival, the Chicago Music Theatre festival and a workshop production at the Hayes Theatre.

And these are just some of the MUSICAL highlights for what's in store this year. Yeup, there's more.

Sydney you lucky thing.