A host of thrilling shows and fabulous exhibitions are ready to bounce back as soon as they get the green light, and the arts community and audiences can’t wait. Expect loud applause and standing ovations when live performances start to light up theatres that have stood empty for so long.
The dynamic Moulin Rouge! The Musical, which has just won 10 Tony Awards, is set to have Melbourne audiences swooning when it opens at the Regent Theatre in November.
Producer Carmen Pavlovic is excited about the approaching opening.
“Audiences should brace themselves for what will truly be a spectacular performance when we can finally raise the curtain later this year,” she said.
“The show is everything you loved about the movie dialled up to one thousand – we will give you a theatre experience like you’ve never had before.
“I want people leaving the theatre saying, ‘Now that was live entertainment.’”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Baz Luhrmann’s iconic film Moulin Rouge, which tells the love story of Satine and Christian and inspired the musical.
In the theatre, expect to hear all the favourites, such as “Lady Marmalade”, “Come What May”, “Your Song” and a new version of the “Elephant Love Medley”, plus exuberant dancing and bold voluptuous costumes and sets.
In another theatrical coup, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genre-bending hit, hip-hop tale of the American Revolution, Hamilton, is moving to Melbourne after a sell-out Sydney season. It’s expected to open March 16 at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Star Jason Arrow describes Alexander Hamilton as the role of a lifetime and powers through his solos at 144 words a minute – all up the show has 20,520 very fast words set to catchy rap tunes.
Parts one and two of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are set to resume at the Princess Theatre. It is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage.
Opera Australia has a great Melbourne season planned next year. Artistic director Lyndon Terracini said the world-class season includes some of the finest talent from Australia and abroad.
“After the challenging time we’ve all had, particularly Victorians, I am thrilled that we can return to Arts Centre Melbourne and present such fantastic productions for local audiences,” he said.
The 2022 program includes: Verdi’s La Traviata from May 14-28; Rodgers and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at the State Theatre, Arts Centre from October 30 to December 31.
Plays are back, too. Melbourne Theatre Company’s artistic director, Brett Sheehy, describes 2022 as a season of recovery with 11 productions including new Australian plays and premieres.
“It’s thrilling theatre full of fresh perspectives, pure entertainment and thought-provoking stories relevant to our 21st century lives,” he said.
Touching the Void, described as an edge-of-your-seat thriller will be staged at Southbank Theatre from January 17. The musical Fun Home at the Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne from February 7 and Kat Stewart and William McKenna star in Admissions, a scorching satire from March 5.
Fashionistas and Francophiles will love the Gabrielle Chanel Fashion Manifesto that showcases the work of French couturière Gabrielle Chanel, opening 5 December this year at the NGV International, Melbourne.
Sure to bring a smile to many faces is the return of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 30 to April 24.
In Sydney, the arts scene is set to sizzle again with highlight’s including Opera Australia’s program of dynamic entertainment.
Lyndon Terracini said it has been a very difficult time for performers and the arts industry.
“I’m sure audiences are looking forward to returning to the theatre just as much as we are, and I’m confident the coming season has something for everyone,” he said.
Shows include The Phantom of the Opera on the overwater stage at Sydney Harbour from March 25 to April 24.
In keeping with the open-air, waterfront theme, a new bespoke production of Bizet’s much-loved Carmen will be staged in 2022 at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site of Cockatoo Island on Sydney Harbour. You can book seats on the island or in a world first, private boats can book a mooring to watch the production. It’s on from November 25 to December 18.
Terracini said he is confident both productions are exactly what culture-starved Australians will be looking for and will be big drawcards for the company’s 2022 season.
La Boheme will kick off the summer season on New Year’s Eve in the iconic Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House.
Dance-lovers will enjoy the Australian Ballet’s return next year with Romeo and Juliet at the Joan Sutherland Theatre.
The new musical, Mary Poppins will bring a touch of “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” to the stage at the Lyric Theatre next May.
Theatre-goers will rejoice the return of the Sydney Theatre Company’s shows, including two productions this year: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar from November 15 and the iconic Death of a Salesman from December 3.
In the capital, the much loved musical Come from Away will hit the stage in February at the Canberra Theatre. It tells the true story of thousands of stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland, Canada that welcomed them on diverted flights after September 11.
Opera-lovers should pencil in a Gala Opera at Uluru from May 20-22, with Opera Australia’s finest singers performing famous arias by Bizet, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi.
In South Australia, Adelaide will rock with the return of the 31-day Adelaide Arts Festival, the biggest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere from February 18 to March 20.
Queenslanders will find dynamic productions at the Brisbane Performing Arts kicking off with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf from February 12-26.
There’s a smorgasbord of arts entertainment ready to happen in Australia-wide and lots of pent-up applause set to welcome performers back on stage.