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Jemma Rix as Elsa in Frozen the Musical
Photograph: Lisa Tomasetti

New and upcoming musicals in Melbourne

Look sharp triple threats: Melbourne is a haven for musical theatre

Written by
Time Out editors
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The best thing about living in Melbourne? You know, for certain, that at some point all the major musicals will get a run at the city's famous theatre district. In 2021 there are plenty of musicals to look out for, including Moulin Rouge! The MusicalThe Wedding Singer – the Musical Comedy and Frozen.

Here's our pick of the musicals Melbourne is getting excited about. If you're after something of blockbuster scale without quite so much singing and dancing, head to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

RECOMMENDED: Check out our latest reviews and our guide to scoring cheap theatre tickets.

Musicals to see in Melbourne

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Melbourne

Update¬†02/08/21:¬†Melbourne performances of Frozen the Musical¬†have been cancelled until Aug 8 following Victoria's fifth lockdown. Ticket holders will be contacted. Let‚Äôs start with the most important thing. Yes, Jemma Rix sings Elsa‚Äôs mega-hit song ‚ÄėLet It Go‚Äô as the barnstorming closer to act one of this musical staged version of Disney‚Äôs Frozen. And yes, she absolutely goddamn nails it.¬† The story, as any seven-year-old could tell you, is this: Princess Elsa was born with the ability to create snow and ice from her fingertips, but after accidentally wounding her sister and best friend, Anna, she is convinced to hide her powers beneath thick gloves and a frosty veneer of detachment. That strategy is bad for sororal bonding but good for the safety of the kingdom, until the demands of a glove-free and highly emotive coronation day release a literal and metaphorical storm. Details get somewhat hazy after that, with various characters going up and down the mountain that overlooks the sisters‚Äô home of Arendelle, but there‚Äôs a talking snowman, an affable reindeer and various degrees of cold and winter clothing involved. The animated version of the story is focused on Elsa, whose platinum fishtail braid adorns lunchboxes the world over. But the stage version is much more centred on Anna, a kindhearted goofball played with true joy and charm by Courtney Monsma. Her singing is more than up to the task of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez‚Äôs music, with a voice that‚Äôs Broadway-r

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Once is a wildly popular musical film that won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and had a soundtrack that was nominated for a Grammy. The stage musical, based on the film and sharing its soundtrack, went on to pick up more awards: the Olivier Award, Drama Desk awards and Tony Awards. Once, it seems, is almost closer to being an EGOT than Elton John or Bette Midler. Now, you can soak up that award-winning, stellar songwriting with Darlinghurst Theatre Company's new iteration, coming to Melbourne's Comedy Theatre from September 17 to October 3. Once The Musical is based on the film written by John Carney with book by Enda Walsh. Music and lyrics are by the film's famously non-actor protagonists Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. This production harnesses the film's solid baseline with additional magic added by director Richard Carroll and with musical direction from Victoria Falconer. Once The Musical is also peppered with dance sequences from the local staging of Hamilton's director Amy Campbell. If you're unfamiliar, Once follows the journey of a struggling busker who encounters a gifted Czech pianist and they embark on a will-they, won't-they songwriting adventure. The two literally make beautiful music together while surfing a strong romantic undertow as they go. The roles of 'Guy' and 'Girl', originated by Hansard and Irglová are played on stage by Aussie musical theatre legends Toby Francis and Stefanie Caccamo. Prepare to fall in love with the songs all over again

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Update 02/09/2021:¬†Due to Victoria's sixth lockdown, performances of Moulin Rouge! The Musical from August 13 to¬†October 3 have been cancelled. If you hold tickets for these performances you will be contacted regarding a refund. The show plans to open as soon as possible. Do you believe in freedom, beauty, truth and love? Yes? Good. A spectacular stage version of¬†Moulin Rouge!¬†wings its way to¬†the Regent Theatre this winter for its Australian premiere.¬† The stage version is closely based on the film and features (almost) all of the songs you know and love, including 'Lady Marmalade', 'Come What May', 'Your Song' and a whole new version of the 'Elephant Love Medley'. There are also a whole bunch of songs in there that were released in the years following the film's 2001 release date (for example, Katy Perry's 'Firework' is in place of 'One Day I'll Fly Away'). The show has been getting rave reviews. Time Out New York said,¬†in a four-star review: "Moulin Rouge!¬†may turn out to be the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals ‚Äď if only because, among its particular type of jukebox musical at least, it‚Äôs hard to imagine how it can be topped." Alongside the choreography, direction and¬†impressive song list, critics have been particularly¬†dazzled by the set design, which has transformed Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre into a slice of Paris at the turn of the century. It's set to do the same at the Regent. The local prodution has now announced its cast, which is led by Alinta Chid

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Update 15/06/21: Friends! The Musical Parody has rescheduled its Melbourne season to November 23 - December 12 following Victoria's fourth lockdown. Ticket holders will be contacted. If it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, you might want to consider spending some time with your favourite sextet. If you've recently binged every episode of Friends but are still craving some nourishment from Central Perk, here's the perfect opportunity. This musical parody of one of the world's favourite sitcoms is coming to Melbourne after playing for almost a year in New York, around the US an then being delayed more than a year due to the events of 2020 (and 2021). All your favourite twenty-somethings will be on stage, as they try to negotiate life, love and work in New York in the 1990s.  The question on everybody's lips of course is who's playing who: who will capture the neuroticism of Ross, the quirkiness of Phoebe or the unyielding sarcasm of Chandler? Friends! The Musical Parody has now announced its cast which features Belinda Jenkin as Phoebe, Stefanie Jones as Monica, Sarah Krndija as Rachel, Joseph Spanti as Joey, Tyran Stig as Ross and Rowan Witt as Chandler.  The musical was penned by Bob and Tobly McSmith, who have a long track record of lovingly spoofing '90s TV shows, recreating TV's most memorable moments and creating soundtracks that bring something new to the stories we already know and love. And it goes without saying, but this is an unauthoris

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

It's official: Hamilton is coming to Melbourne in 2022. The juggernaut musical has confirmed it will play at Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre from March 16 2022, following its 2021 Australian premiere in Sydney. For those unfamiliar with the hit show, Hamilton takes the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and turns it into a banging musical underpinned by an incredibly catchy score of music spanning hip hop, jazz and rap.  With the book, lyrics and music written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (who, to top it off, also starred as Alexander Hamilton in the original production), the show debuted on Broadway in 2015, before premiering in Australia in Sydney in March 2021 to rave reviews (you can read our five-star review here). The Australian cast features Jason Arrow as the titular Alexander Hamilton, Chloé Zuel as Eliza Hamilton, Lyndon Watts as Aaron Burr, Akina Edmonds as Angelica Schuyler, Matu Ngaropo as George Washington, Victory Ndukwe as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Shaka Cook as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, Marty Alix as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton, Elandrah Eramiha as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds and Brent Hill as King George III. Find out more about the cast by reading our interviews with Lyndon Watts and Victory Ndukwe. Hamilton's original US producer, Jeffrey Seller, said: "I am grateful that so many Australians have embraced Hamilton since its Sydney premiere in March. The entire creative team and I are thrilled that Hamilton will call Melb

What's on stage this week?

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • price 3 of 4
  • Melbourne

Update¬†02/08/21:¬†Melbourne performances of Frozen the Musical¬†have been cancelled until Aug 8 following Victoria's fifth lockdown. Ticket holders will be contacted. Let‚Äôs start with the most important thing. Yes, Jemma Rix sings Elsa‚Äôs mega-hit song ‚ÄėLet It Go‚Äô as the barnstorming closer to act one of this musical staged version of Disney‚Äôs Frozen. And yes, she absolutely goddamn nails it.¬† The story, as any seven-year-old could tell you, is this: Princess Elsa was born with the ability to create snow and ice from her fingertips, but after accidentally wounding her sister and best friend, Anna, she is convinced to hide her powers beneath thick gloves and a frosty veneer of detachment. That strategy is bad for sororal bonding but good for the safety of the kingdom, until the demands of a glove-free and highly emotive coronation day release a literal and metaphorical storm. Details get somewhat hazy after that, with various characters going up and down the mountain that overlooks the sisters‚Äô home of Arendelle, but there‚Äôs a talking snowman, an affable reindeer and various degrees of cold and winter clothing involved. The animated version of the story is focused on Elsa, whose platinum fishtail braid adorns lunchboxes the world over. But the stage version is much more centred on Anna, a kindhearted goofball played with true joy and charm by Courtney Monsma. Her singing is more than up to the task of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez‚Äôs music, with a voice that‚Äôs Broadway-r

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child review
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • price 3 of 4
  • Melbourne

The first rule of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child¬†is that you don‚Äôt talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Safeguarding spoilers is an expected responsibility for anyone who attends the Potter-verse‚Äôs first on-stage outing. There‚Äôs even a hashtag: #KeepTheSecrets. But in truth (as far as theatre critique is concerned, at least), JK Rowling needn‚Äôt have worried. This marathon, five-hour spectacle has a plot so dense and sprawling, so wonderfully, unashamedly elaborate, it would take many thousands of words more than any theatre review to even scratch the surface. While we may have been sworn to secrecy about¬†Cursed Child‚Äôs¬†plot, we can reveal that the hype ‚Äď and rarely has a piece of theatre ever generated such fever-pitched buzz ‚Äď is entirely deserved. And not just because of the quality of the production. The masterminds behind the show ‚Äď led by Rowling, playwright Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany ‚Äď have not merely set out to put on a play, but rather craft a rich and detailed immersive experience. To this end, Melbourne‚Äôs Princess Theatre has undergone a top to bottom $6.5 million makeover, transforming its interiors to match a Hogwartsian, Potterfied aesthetic. If this sounds like an unnecessary extravagance, it‚Äôs probably an indication this play isn‚Äôt for you. The success of¬†Cursed Child, which has smashed box office records on Broadway and the West End, is powered by its unapologetic exclusivity. Those without any prior knowledge of Harry and co will be baf

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  • Theatre
  • Werribee South

Independent theatre company Essence Productions currently has a residency at Werribee Park, showcasing two shows that blend history, comedy and some spooky scares. One such production is What Was That?, an immersive theatre production that takes place within the historic Werribee Mansion, once owned by the rich Chirnside family. Set in the 19th century, What Was That? follows two fictional characters, head maid Maggie, and butler Mr Duncan, as they roam the storied halls of this immaculately preserved mansion. The show transports its audience to July 1908, to a time following the death of mistress Mary Chirnside. What follows is a show that’s part history lesson, part comedy gig and part immersive horror show. The show runs for 90 minutes and is suitable for ages 12 and up. Tickets can be purchased via this link.

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Melbourne

Once is a wildly popular musical film that won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and had a soundtrack that was nominated for a Grammy. The stage musical, based on the film and sharing its soundtrack, went on to pick up more awards: the Olivier Award, Drama Desk awards and Tony Awards. Once, it seems, is almost closer to being an EGOT than Elton John or Bette Midler. Now, you can soak up that award-winning, stellar songwriting with Darlinghurst Theatre Company's new iteration, coming to Melbourne's Comedy Theatre from September 17 to October 3. Once The Musical is based on the film written by John Carney with book by Enda Walsh. Music and lyrics are by the film's famously non-actor protagonists Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. This production harnesses the film's solid baseline with additional magic added by director Richard Carroll and with musical direction from Victoria Falconer. Once The Musical is also peppered with dance sequences from the local staging of Hamilton's director Amy Campbell. If you're unfamiliar, Once follows the journey of a struggling busker who encounters a gifted Czech pianist and they embark on a will-they, won't-they songwriting adventure. The two literally make beautiful music together while surfing a strong romantic undertow as they go. The roles of 'Guy' and 'Girl', originated by Hansard and Irglová are played on stage by Aussie musical theatre legends Toby Francis and Stefanie Caccamo. Prepare to fall in love with the songs all over again

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  • Theatre
  • Performance art
  • Southbank

Equipped only with a magical bum bag, beatboxing clown-turned-superhero Dr AudiYO is about to set off on a surreal quest to slay the Beast, a monster who is on a rampage to silence the city. Audience participation is crucial for battling this monster, so book tickets for Dr AudiYO's Giant Adventure at Arts Centre Melbourne from September 21-25.  This production fuses old school clowning and miming techniques with beatboxing by theatremaker and comedian Holly Austin, who plays the titular character. Dr AudiYO made her first appearance in Austin's previous work, Ruby's Wish. After the success of that production, Austin decided she wanted to push the capabilities of looper sound technology further and work on a project that encouraged audiences to play make-believe and engage their imaginations.   Austin has been celebrated for her individuality in theatre-making, unique vocal dexterity and skill as a beatboxer. She has performed with the likes of Martha Wainwright and MC Common and recently appeared in Cyrano by the Melbourne Theatre Company.  Tickets are $28 and you can book them on the Arts Centre Melbourne website. 

Before you book...

  • Theatre

Not all seats are created equal. Sure, there are some shows so spectacular and unmissable you’d happily sit anywhere, but most experiences in the theatre can be augmented by the best seats in the house. And occasionally ruined by the worst. So, without further ado, we give them to you.

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