Marvellous March 2023

Rebecca Varidel
15th Feb 2023

In 2023 Sydney is bringing you WorldPride where we'll will be celebrating diversity and our unique culture whilst shining a light on the human rights issues across the Asia-Pacific. Sydney Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride unite to present a truly global LGBTQIA+ pride festival – the very first in the Southern Hemisphere. On 4 to 5 March, the final weekend of Sydney WorldPride, Oxford Street, will be transformed into a street party to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. During both days of the all-ages Oxford Street Party, the American Express Oxford Street Stage will feature free performances by Australian talents including Vassy, HANDSOME, Haiku Hands and Chela.

The theme for the festival, GATHER, DREAM, AMPLIFY, was developed in partnership with our extraordinary First Nations and LGBTQIA+ communities. It acknowledges the traditional custodians of Australia and represents our commitment to equality and inclusion.

The Pride March will be a historic moment on the final day of the Sydney WorldPride festival and will see up to 50,000 people take part in a march across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

International pop star, Nicole Scherzinger, has been confirmed as the headline act at the hotly-anticipated Bondi Beach Party presented by Optus on Saturday 4 March 2023. The singer who had international hits with songs including “Don’t Cha” and “Buttons” – and who has carved out a stellar TV career as a presenter on Australia’s Got Talent – will be joined on the sands of the Australia’s most famous beach by leading Australian DJs dameeeela, Jarred Baker, Jacqui Cunningham, DJ Charlie Villas, and celebrating 20 years in the business, DJ Dan Murphy. Other Sydney WorldPride 2023 celebrations include Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert, Domain Dance Party and Rainbow Republic.

Ascent co-commissioned by Canberra Theatre Centre is an inspired contemporary dance performance featuring the reprise of Antony Hamilton's Helpmann Award-winning Forever & Ever, and world premieres by renowned international choreographers Marina Mascarell and Rafael Bonachela. Brought to life by Sydney Dance Company’s superb ensemble, this triple bill is complete with inventive installations and magnetic musical scores. Sydney Opera House 15 - 26 March.

Sydney Fringe March Dance festival includes over 100 artists, 10 companies, 11 organisations and 27 venues all month from 1 March coming together from across Sydney to connect and showcase the vibrant and resilient Sydney contemporary dance scene.

As part of Sydney WorldPride from 1 to 5 March, Gender Euphoria will succeed in making you laugh, cry and feel human. It is a smash-hit cabaret extravaganza that has the largest ensemble of trans and gender-diverse performers to ever feature on an Australian main stage.

Kara's Vanguard Pride Soiree features jaw-dropping circus and dance acts performed to cult classic gay dance anthems you know and love and delivered by the powerhouse live vocals of Australia’s best singing drag queen, Kara Zmatiq, in a kaleidoscope of colour. Saturday 4 March 6pm The Vanguard.

Multiple award-winner and entertainer Catherine Alcorn returns as the legendary Bette Midler in this joyous music and comedy event The Divine Miss Bette for a limited season at Darlinghurst Theatre Company from 29 March to 1 April. First premiering the show in 2009, Catherine had the good fortune to meet and be trained by Steve Ostrow, the man who discovered Midler herself. With hits such as Friends, In The Mood, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Do You Wanna Dance, The Rose and the show-stopping Wind Beneath My Wings – this deliciously cheeky production is equal parts irreverent and effervescent. 

From the producers of the 5-star sell-out season of Albion at Seymour Centre, and winners of Best
Independent Production at the 2022 Sydney Theatre Awards Secret House, comes the Sydney premiere of UK hit GUNDOG by Simon Longman at KXT, 3 - 18 March 2023. On a farm in the middle of nowhere, sisters Becky and Anna try to hold their family together after the death of their mother. Time is always moving somewhere – but here it's very quiet. When they discover a stranger wandering aimlessly across the land, the three establish an unlikely partnership in their determination to survive.

In an Australian first, The 50th Anniversary production of iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll musical The Rocky Horror Show continues at the Theatre Royal Sydney until 2 April and will be broadcast live from the stage of Theatre Royal Sydney into cinemas across the country for ONE NIGHT ONLY on Thursday 30 March. Tickets will go on sale on 1 March at

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 kicks off in Sydney on 7 March and will offer an eclectic selection of the best French cinema of the past year, with Cannes Film Festival favourites ONE FINE MORNING starring Léa Seydoux; THE INNOCENT from director Louis Garrel; BROTHER AND SISTER starring Marion Cotillard); French box office blockbusters NOVEMBER starring Jean Dujardin; celebrated auteurs and acclaimed new voices Christophe Honoré’s WINTER BOY starring Juliette Binoche; Alice Diop’s SAINT OMER; modern love stories OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN starring Virginie Efira; life-affirming comedies TWO TICKETS TO GREECE starring Laure Calamy and Kristin Scott Thomas; MARIA INTO LIFE starring Karin Viard, and exemplary dramas ROBUSTE starring Gérard Depardieu; ANNIE’S FIRE starring Laure Calamy; and Laura Wendel’s PLAYGROUND.

Eel Festival 2023 celebrates Parramatta’s namesake, the eel, and its significance to the local Burramuttagal, who would gather in autumn to trade goods and share stories and food. The day will begin with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony followed by a corroboree. Connect with First Nations culture through the range of drop-in activities and performances across the day. Elizabeth Farm, Sunday 12 March, 10am – 3pm.

Forage To Feast Sunday 19 March 10am to midday, takes a wide-eyed walk around the grounds of Vaucluse House renowned forager and environmental educator Diego Bonetto to discover the abundance of native and non-native edibles that can be found underfoot. You’ll learn local stories of plant resilience, woven with cultural trivia, migrant perspectives and native wisdom. We’ll discuss the role weeds play in repairing and building soil and you’ll find out how they have been used for food, craft and natural remedies. Building on your weedy walk, you’ll take the food found on the foraging tour to the table. Enjoy a tasting designed and created by Marnee Fox utilising foraged ingredients that will include many of the species learned about on the walk.

Composing Earth and Sky by Catriona Pollard and Belinda Piggott from 25 March Barometer Gallery Paddington brings together sculptural works that explore concepts inspired by natural environments and our personal connection to them. Concerned with humankind’s detachment from the natural world, the artists use materials that are formed in the earth and grow towards the sky to embody this dilemma. With their hands and hearts, they work with their material’s innate qualities to co-create forms that respond to their own environment and personal stories. These are inextricably linked to their landscape - both earth and sky.

Palm Tree Musical Festival reached phenomenal success in Hamptons, New York, Cabo, Mexico and Croatia, and the Australian tour kicks off on Friday 10 March at The Dome, Sydney Showgrounds. Global superstar DJs and producers TIËSTO and KYGO head down under to headline. Along with these two giants of electronic music comes the chart-topping Lost Frequencies and Sam Feldt, along with Frank Walker and more.

Mesmeric American indie rocker Angel Olsen will return to the Opera House after a six-year hiatus for a Sydney exclusive performance in the renewed Concert Hall on 6 March.

Choices! Choices! On the same date, Norwegian singer, songwriter and record producer AURORA takes over Liberty Hall  with a host of new songs from her critically acclaimed 2022 album, The Gods We Can Touch.

Ensemble Offspring continue with their beloved Avant Gardens series presented in Sydney inner-city homes and backyards. The beauty of these intimate concerts is that you can hear every breath of the performers and physically feel every beat of the music – as well as the odd birdcall and leaves rustling in the wind. Feel free to stick around after the show and chat with the musicians and composers over a glass of champagne. Avant Gardens 2 features a unique and mesmerising mix of classical, jazz and folk influences including Karen Tanaka’s thrillingly fast Techno Etudes, Chick Corea’s much loved Children’s Songs, and a suite of Australian composers. A world premiere by Melbourne-based Joe Chindamo is also in the mix.

It's been quite a couple of years for Gershwin lovers with Gershwin tunes featuring in a few big Sydney shows from the 5 star An American In Paris by the Australian Ballet to local Nice Work If You Can Get It by Michelle Guthrie Presents at Hayes Theatre. This month it's the turn of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra when Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi brings Gershwin’s jazz-era masterpiece to life, then Bernstein’s music from West Side Story paints a different picture of New York. Tedeschi is somewhat of a Gershwin afficiando and we've caught him previously with his Gershwin show at the intimate Camelot Lounge. This time with the backing of our local 'big band' his performance should be beyond awesome. BLUE is on at the Sydney Opera House 17 to 19 March.

Newly founded theatre company CrissCross Productions will premiere Cherry Smoke by James McManus playing at KXT on Broadway from 24 March until 8 April. This darkly funny and harrowing play is sure to stick with you once you leave the theatre; as Cherry says, “you can’t never get away from a girl blows cherry smoke.”

It’s a new dawn, a new day, and a new captain at the help of the ship of the state. And what a state we’re in! Inflation, rising interest rates, conflict in Ukraine, climate disaster, culture wars, COVID 19-20-21-22-23, and a looking World War Three… could it get any worse? Absolutely Neighbours has finished! (Although you CAN see Jason Donovan star this month in the Rocky Horror Show.)

But there is a light on the horizon: The Wharf Revue is back! Inspired by the new national spirit of optimism that lasted for a week, the team are keen as mustard to once again tackle the big-picture issues.

The Wharf Revue: Looking for Albanese from 21 March Glen Street Theatre.

Innovators, scientists, policy makers and community action leaders will come together in Bondi Beach at the Volvo Ocean Plastic Action Forum which will delve into the science and issues surrounding ocean plastic, explore current innovation and review future solutions to purge plastic from our ocean. The all-day conference offers a powerful line-up of speakers including renowned scientist, engineer and inventor Professor Veena Sahajwalla from the UNSW SMaRT centre, Dr Britta Denise Hardesty from CSIRO, Annisa Lawrence from Ghost Nets Initiative, Waverley Mayor, Cr Paula Masselos and Allegra Spender MP, Member for Wentworth. Four panel discussions will provide valuable insights into the impact of ocean plastic pollution, covering key trends including recycling treatment and ‘clean up’ initiatives. A diverse range of experts will discuss the current actions being taken to ‘turn the tide’ and reduce plastic in our ocean. Each session will allow for Q&A time with the audience. 

Orange F.O.O.D Week is back in 2023 and everyone is invited to take the rural sojourn to the feast of flavours from 24 March to 2 April!

Have you ever wanted to STOMP on grapes? Then Stomp The Grapes is for you! Each session begins with a glass of bubbles or a margarita on arrival. Then peruse the wine makers, and other bevi blenders, grab a bite to eat and enjoy a picnic with your crew. There will also be sounds to delight your ears and roving entertainers. Stomp The Grapes at The Rose Garden, Centennial Park, 4 and 5 March.

Sydney Opera House Progress Sails photo courtesy of Original Spin