Curtains are going up for a vibrant festival filled with debut productions and old favourites in the forms of musical comedy, opera, and musical theatre suitable for both children and adults.
Designed to be cost-effective, the Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival is all about making musical theatre, and the wonderful stories it tells, accessible to everyone.
As well as being a great way for kids to get some screen-free entertainment, the festival is creating a fantastic platform of support for both professional and aspiring writers and composers, producers, and directors, designers, performers, or anyone wanting to get involved for the experience alone (get involved here).
'Many shows have gone beyond the financial needs of most people.. that's why we need festivals like this' - Trevor Alexander, Creative, and Artistic Director.
Kicking off the festival, Some Enchanted Evening celebrates the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, classics like The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and The King and I are just a few of the compositions to be performed by the production's star-studded cast.
Chriss Crossed - 20 - 28 January, from 1:45pm and 7:45pm. $39.00. Is Cross Dressing really such a drag? Also running as part of the Midsumma Festival, The premiere of the Australian musical-comedy is based around Chris, a dress shop manager who is faced with the dilemma of whether or not he should tell his fiancÚ he's a closeted cross-dresser (did I mention this play is set just five days before the wedding date)?!
As for the kids and family plays, some theatre favourites on offer will include a program of Fractured Fairytales - 'fractured' fairytales are stories adapted from classic children's tales, revised to make audiences laugh with unexpected plot twists...
Hansel and Gretel: A Fractured Fairytale - 9 - 14 January, from 10:30am and 1:30pm. $25.00. What do the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, Little Red Riding Hood, and a Crazy Jester have in common? Not much, but in the fractured fairytale version of Hansel and Gretel, featuring appearances by Mother Goose, Alice, the Big Bad Wolf, Rapunzel, Dorothy and the Scarecrow, anything can happen!
Snow White: A Further Fractured Fairytale - 16 - 21 January, from 10:30am and 1:30pm. $25.00. Mother Goose tries to resolve a strike of the Nursery Rhyme animals led by Poppa Bear, the Prince keeps rescuing the wrong girl, whilst the mischievous Rumpelstiltskin tries to amuse everyone.
The Crazy Jester is back to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood: A Fird Fractured Fairytale. When he unknowingly sends the wolf off to blow down the 3 little pigs house, and Little Red off to Wonderland, does anyone make it to Grandma's house?
Peter Pan: A Croc Rock Musical - 20 - 28 January, from 10:30am and 1:30pm. $25.00. Forever young at heart, Peter Pan: A Croc Rock Musical is an energetic new production that brings to life the best of all previous films, and animations of J. M. Barrie's classic tale. Featuring over fifteen songs to sing along to, the vibrant show casts Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbelle, and Captain Hook, who encounter new friends, foes, and cool crocodiles in a tropical adventure.
Apart from the growing number of performances, the MMTF will also play host to workshops, classes, and interactive productions that are yet to be announced (check out the festival's events webpage here for live updates),.
The festival will be held in the iconic Athenaeum Theatre.
The Melbourne Musical Theatre Festival will run from January 6 - 28th at the Athenaeum Theatre. For bookings and further information see the website below or contact Ticketek. The Athenaeum Theatre venue is disabled friendly (wheelchair seating on the ground floor and disabled toilets are available). If you require wheelchair seating please call the Athenaeum Theatre directly on 9650 1500.