International Women's Day
This International Women's Day, we are highlighting some of the best female-led theatre currently, or preparing, to tour Australia
International Women’s Day is all about celebrating the power of women and women’s stories.
That’s why this International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate some of our favourite female-led productions. And the best bit – you can experience them all. Whether they are currently showing, or getting ready to open, these incredible stories will be coming to a stage near you.
Originally starting out as a film starring power trio Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, 9 to 5 went on to become a five-season television sitcom, led by Parton’s younger sister. But as they say, good things never die, and in 2009, 9 to 5 was adapted for the stage – you really can’t stop a fab story about female empowerment in the workplace for living on.
The musical adaptation follows the same plot as the film. For anyone unfamiliar, we meet three workmates, Doralee, Violet and Judy, who are pushed too far by their sexist, egotistical boss. What follows is a whirlwind adventure, with our three stars plotting to kidnap their boss and get their revenge. Ahead of its time when it first opened in cinemas back in December 1980, still today – nearly forty years later – the message that underpins 9 to 5 is still just as relevant and important.
The Australian cast is filled with a trio of absolute powerhouses, with Caroline O’Connor, Marina Prior, Samantha Dodemaide and Erin Clare entrusted with the much-loved lead roles in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical.
SIX: The Musical is a British history lesson like you’ve never experienced. Sure, if you know anything about 16th century England or the Tudors, you’ll be familiar with Henry VIII – but how much do we know about the women in his life That’s where SIX steps in. It’s all in the name really, as the six wives of, quite possibly, the most infamous British monarch, finally get to take the mic and reclaim their stories.
In short, they’re taking five hundred years of historical heartbreak, throwing it into a blender, and pouring out 75 glorious minutes of 21st-century lady power.
More than a history lesson though, SIX is also a fabulous pop concert, channelling the likes of Beyonce and Lady Gaga in a punchy, energetic, pop extravaganza. This is the greatest girl band, history didn’t know it needed. Because enough is enough. No longer will these women be remembered as a single word in a rhyme. In SIX, they come back to life, teaming up as a royal Spice Girls if you will.
Following sell-out seasons around the world – including a remarkable Melbourne debut that saw the show voted our Ticket of the Year – smash-hit musical Come From Away is now heading to Sydney. If you are unfamiliar with Come From Away‘s incredible story, let us get you up to speed. The production is based on the true story of thousands of passengers diverted to the isolated community of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada following the events of September 11, 2001. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. It’s a story of comradery and the capacity for human kindness, even in the hardest of times. The ensemble cast is incredible, taking on multiple characters throughout the show with effortless success. One of our favourite characters is the absolute icon, Beverly Bass. The trailblazing pilot made history as the first female American captain in history. Bass has seen the musical more than a hundred times and commends the show for telling an important story that many people don’t know. Make sure you don’t miss this wonderfully heartwarming night.
Menopause: The Musical
The original New York and Las Vegas hit, Menopause The Musical is heading back out way. And the best part – four iconic musical theatre personalities are locked in. Rhonda Burchmore, Silvie Paladino, Lara Mulcahy and Gina Hogan will be telling the tale of four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common but a black lace bra, memory loss, hot flushes, night sweats, not enough sex, too much sex and more. Because women at all stages of their lives should be celebrated, it isn’t taboo or cringey to have these conversations with your family, with your friends, your sisters, daughters, or with strangers you meet at a department store. Menopause The Musical is a celebration for women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “The Change”. This sidesplitting musical parody set to classic tunes from the ’60s,’ 70s and ’80s will have you cheering, dancing in the aisles, and embracing every part of your womanhood.
You probably don’t need much background info here, but Frozen The Musical is based on the 2013 film of the same name that brought us the inescapable singalong hit ‘Let It Go’ – which reached the top five on the Billboard 100 Chart and won both the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2015 and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media in 2015 – along with ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’ and ‘In Summer’ – we know the songs are already stuck in your head.
The film scored itself a hefty stack of awards and nominations right across awards season, and the gorgeous soundtrack – brought to life by the vocals of Broadway stars Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked), Josh Gadd (Book of Mormon, Beauty and the Beast) and Jonathon Groff (Hamilton, Spring Awakening) – makes it perfect for a Broadway production. The best bit? Alongside the songs you already know, Frozen The Musical features a dozen new songs created exclusively for the stage, and alongside sensational special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances, Frozen is a truly unforgettable theatrical experience.
One of Australian musical theatre’s most prominent leading ladies, Jemma Rix will take on the role of Elsa while relative newcomer Courtney Monsma is taking on the role of Anna. Get ready to have ‘Let It Go’ stuck in your head all over again.
From Las Vegas to London and Berlin, now it’s finally Australia’s turn…Channing Tatum’sMagic Mike Live is on its way. By now you’ve seen the films (probably more than a few times), but the live show is an evening you have to experience for yourself. Based on the hit movies Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL and conceived and co-directed by Channing Tatum himself, Magic Mike Live has been described as nothing less than a thrilling, sexy, live dance and acrobatic spectacular.
It will make its first Australian stop in Melbourne, touching down at a brand new, bespoke venue at Birrarung Marr from Tuesday 26 May before landing in Sydney in mid-November. Take it from us, it is one of the most unique, immersive live-entertainment experiences in the world.
While the dancers are all men, the show has been handcrafted to encourage women to embrace their sexuality, desire, and feminity. And the dream team behind it feature some stellar women. Leading the way is none other than choreographer Alison Faulk. As well as choreographing both the Magic Mike films she has also worked with everyone from Janet Jackson, to Britney Spears, Missy Elliot and Miley Cyrus. “There’s really nothing else like it in the world,” Faulk says. “It is the most beautiful, special place for people to experience the show and has allowed us to do things with our performers that just haven’t been possible anywhere else in the world.”
If you’re a fan of the British Royal family, you don’t want to miss this intimate event. Lady Glenconner’s whole life is intertwined with the Royals. As the Maid of Honour at the Queen’s Coronation and lifelong friend and Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, her extraordinary new memoir gives fans and curious onlookers a unique look into life in the royal spotlight, shedding light on the volatility that lies beneath the shine. Lady In Waiting reveals the real truth behind The Crown, as well as the drama, heart-breaking tragedy and courage of Glenconner’s own life. Warm, witty, and riotously entertaining, Lady Glenconner’s life story is a combination of royal magic, personal tragedy and resilient survival. You won’t forget spending an evening with her.