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Alinta Chidzey (Satine) in Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Photograph: Michelle Grace HunderAlinta Chidzey (Satine) in Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Musical theatre in Sydney

Here are our picks of Sydney's biggest all-singing, all-dancing stage spectaculars

Written by
Time Out editors
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Look sharp, triple threats! Sydney is a hotbed for showstoppers, with major musicals passing through our theatres every month, including both homegrown gems and large-scale spectacle from Broadway and the West End. These are all the biggest shows that are either currently playing or coming our way in the next year or so.

RECOMMENDED: Check out our tips for scoring cheap tickets and our latest reviews of Sydney shows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Sydney

When gloal hit musical Come From Away touched down in Sydney last year, this big hearted show was an unexpected salve in the wake of lingering hard times. Now the show is back for a national tour in 2022-2023, landing at Theatre Royal Sydney from November 5 to January 29. Tickets are on sale now. Read on for our review: There is something perfect about Come From Away finally landing in Sydney. The musical is set on 9/11 in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland, to which 38 planes were diverted when United States airspace was closed in the wake of the terrorist attack. The almost 7,000 passengers on board, terrified, claustrophobic and desperate for news about what was happening, were taken in by the people of Gander and surrounding towns, nearly doubling the population for five days. The townsfolk gave them food, shelter and most importantly, kindness and comfort during the most horrific time in recent American history – until 2020, of course.  The underlying message of kindness and compassion in the face of unspeakable horror is one that's sorely needed right now. When the planes begin to land, the women of Gander start up a collection for donations, with a song that could have been penned last year: "Can I help? Is there something I need to do, something to keep me from thinking of all the scenes on the tube? I need something to do 'cause I can't watch the news, no I can't watch the news anymore..." The feeling of helplessness, of being unable to tear yourself away from the

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Sydney

Disco is back, baby! It’s time to dust off your sequin jumpsuit and polish the mirror ball, because the Studio at Sydney Opera House is set to play host to a sparkly cast of acrobats, aerialists and vocalists this summer in Velvet Rewired. The new show premiered at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe Festival to rave reviews. Starring the inimitable Marcia Hines – who is reprising her role as ‘the Diva’ from the original Velvet production – Velvet Rewired transports audiences back to the 1970s when the heels were high, the hair was big and the parties were wild. It tells the story of a young man on a journey of self-discovery and redemption, while also paying homage to Studio 54, the famed New York nightclub that was all about glamour and excess. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Time Out Sydney (@timeoutsydney) At the helm of this production is award-winning theatre director Craig Ilot (he also directed the 2015 stage version). Joining Marcia Hines in key roles is a talented line-up of performers, including hula hoop extraordinaire Craig Reid. And with an epic soundtrack featuring dance floor anthems like ‘It’s Raining Men’ by the Weather Girls, ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Chaka Khan and Rufus, and the Patrick Hernandez classic ‘Born to be Alive’, it promises to be a euphoric celebration that will have you singing along in your seat. Velvet Rewired runs from December 22 to February 5. Tickets for this cabaret spectacular are available now, so if it’s a guaranteed goo

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Sydney

This celebrated production by Scottish director David McVicar of Don Giovanni, the dramatic tale of the infamous Casanova’s final days, returns to the Sydney Opera House this January. Complete with murder, revenge, and paranormal intervention, this season of one of Mozart’s most highly regarded operas will feature many exciting debuts by local and international artists. This gothic reimagining takes place at the end of the enlightenment age, using an eerie setting to foreshadow the tragic elements of the story. Designed by Robert Jones, the monumental set, beginning with an epic staircase lowering from the ceiling, will draw gasps from the audience at its sheer size, fully immersing viewers in this psychological thriller. Don Giovanni plays at the Sydney Opera House's Joan Sutherland Theatre from January 5 to February 17. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Parramatta

After taking Sydney and Melbourne by storm, this bonafide '90s musical is returning to Sydney for a saucy encore season as it saunters along a 2023 east coast tour. It shouldn't work, and yet, this so-wrong-it's-right show rips the script from a problematic favourite '90s flick, injects it with a jukebox full of era-appropriate pop hits, and turns out a hell of a good night at the theatre. Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical is bringing its best boy band dance moves to the stage at Riverside Theatres in Parramatta from February 2 to 12. Tickets are on sale now. Read on for our four-star review of this sexy, pop-powered production: The wigs look inescapably like cheap, shiny party store fodder. For the most part, the actors all look conspicuously older than the teenagers they’re portraying. The lines between irony and sincerity are so blurred that it's impossible to know if this a magnificent work of satire or a so-bad-it's-good guilty pleasure. But either way, we were here for campy, schlocky, corny, daggy brilliance of Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical. If you’re ready for some laugh-out-loud ridiculousness and theatrical takes on throwback hits, this could be just what you’re after.  As a film, Cruel Intentions treads a complicated path. This raunchy thriller about teens either having sex with each other, or trying to convince other people to have sex with them, got hearts racing on its release in 1999. It was an era where the studios were really into mining old, old storie

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Elizabeth Bay

Imagine a world where you have to pay for the privilege to pee. And no, it’s not just a European McDonald’s; it’s illegal to pee anywhere other than state-sanctioned and privately owned “Public Amenities”. There are cops named Lockstock and Barrell, a hero named Strong, a rich evil tyrant named Cladwell, some ladders, a band, an abundance of puns and a love duet for the ages – wait, is this a musical? You betcha, Little Sally. But it isn’t a happy one, and it isn’t a sappy one either. The Hayes Theatre Co is making a splash with its first show of 2023, presented in association with Heart Strings Theatre Co. Creators Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis penned Urinetown around 1999, and have borrowed so heavily from Bertolt Brecht’s (and Kurt Weill’s) Threepenny Opera that a London critic dubbed it “the Spend-a-Penny Opera”. The musical is self-aware and firmly planted in the land of the meta-theatrical, with narrator Lockstock (Karen Vickery) and Little Sally (Natasha Vickery) commenting on the action as it happens, and reactions so broad you can’t help but giggle. It never lets you forget that it’s a musical, but that’s kind of the point. ...despite all the delightful musical references, clever puns, and exciting performances, Urinetown has something bleak at its heart And the references don’t stop there, with numbers that play on West Side Story’s ‘Cool’ (in ‘Snuff that Girl’ – a highlight of the show), Les Misérables’ melodramatic minor chords, and the big chorus numbers of Hello,

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Sydney

Do you remember doing ‘The Time Warp’? Well, we’re about to do it again. The Rocky Horror Show, the world’s most risqué rock 'n' roll musical, is turning 50 in 2023, and a brand-new Australian tour will kick off global celebrations. We’re shivering with antici… pation!  This brand new Australian production will open at Theatre Royal Sydney in February 2023 starring Australian superstars Jason Donovan as Frank N Furter, and Myf Warhurst as the Narrator. Joining them will be Ellis Dolan (School of Rock) as Eddie/Dr Scott, Darcey Eagle (Cruel Intentions the ’90s Musical) as Columbia, Ethan Jones (9 to 5 the Musical) as Brad, Deirdre Khoo (Once) as Janet, Loredo Malcolm (Hamilton, Jagged Little Pill) as Rocky and Henry Rollo as Riff Raff. Further casting will be announced soon. Since it first opened in London in 1973 at the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror has been continuously on stage somewhere in the world. With its outrageous songs, characters and costumes, it has paved its way into history as one of the classics of musical theatre. The 1975 film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show starring Tim Curry (in his most iconic fishnet-stocking-clad role) has earned a cult following that sees it still screened in cinemas around the world today, making it the longest running theatrical release in cinema history – and for better or worse, it is has played a key role in countless queer awakenings. Myf Warhurst joins an esteemed league of past Australia

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Sydney

Following the chandelier-smashing five-star success of Phantom of the Opera on Sydney Harbour, Opera Australia is bringing back the operatic classic Madama Butterfly for the 2023 iteration of Handa Opera on the Harbour.  The production premiered to great acclaim in 2014, and visitors to Sydney in March and April next year will have the opportunity to see it return to the stunning over-water stage at Mrs Macquaries Point – with harbour views, world-class performances and nightly fireworks to boot. Audiences will also see a giant moon and rising sun float in the harbour. One of the most powerful of all he-done-her-wrong tales, Madama Butterfly tells the tale of a former geisha who marries a philandering American naval officer who callously abandons her. Recognised as one of the world’s most-loved operas, Puccini’s 1904 work features beautiful melodies and operatic bangers, including ‘Un bel dì vedremo’ (One Beautiful Day) and ‘The Humming Chorus’, and is based on the same heartbreaking tale as hit musical Miss Saigon and the 1987 Hollywood phenomenon Fatal Attraction.  More than 500,000 people from across the globe have attended Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour since its inaugural season in 2012. Attendance at the 2014 premiere season of Madama Butterfly exceeded 42,500, breaking all the previous box office sales. Presale tickets for the 2023 season are available until August 15, and general release tickets are on sale from August 16. Join the presale waitlist and get first access

  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Sydney

River deep, mountain high – this is  a comeback story like no other. Grammy Award-winning musical artist Tina Turner is a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race to become the global Queen of Rock n’ Roll. And finally, the musical inspired by her life story is coming to Australia in 2023, as Turner shares a special connection with the sunburnt country. Presented in association with Tina Turner herself, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical received its world premiere in April 2018 in London, where it opened to five-star reviews and has broken box office records at the Aldwych Theatre. It has since had three European tours and a Broadway production in November 2019, which was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner has won 12 Grammys and her live shows have been seen by millions, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo performer in music history. When she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in October 2021, Tina Turner became one of only three women in the institution’s history to be inducted twice (she was initially inducted in 1991, alongside Ike Turner). Turner said in a statement: “I am so excited to be announcing that Tina – The Tina Turner Musical will be opening in Sydney next year. Australia has always shared abundant love with me, going back to my early concerts in the late ’70s through the uplifting partnership with the National Rugby League. It is

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  • Theatre
  • Musicals
  • Darling Harbour

Can't you hear me, S.O.S.? Calling all dancing queens, the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals is voulez vous-ing its way back to Sydney for a strictly limited season. You’d have to have been living under a rock since the mid 2010s to not have a passing awareness of Mamma Mia! Critics may be divided, but the 65 million tickets sold across the world are a testament to the popularity of this smash-hit phenomenon – let alone the two box office smashing movies it inspired. A Greek island paradise, a beautiful bride, a proud mother, three possible fathers, and 22 of ABBA’s greatest hit songs – it’s a tried and true recipe that is certain to bring joy to plenty of people when it hits the Sydney Lyric Theatre in May.  This brand new 2023 production of Mamma Mia! is a re-staging of the highly successful 2017 production which featured the original work of a completely Australian creative team lead by Helpmann Award winning director Gary Young, choreographer Tom Hodgson, musical supervisor Stephen Amos, set designer Linda Bewick, costume designer Suzy Strout, lighting designer Gavan Swift and sound design by Michael Waters. Mamma Mia! is produced in Australia by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers and Linda Bewick. The season runs from May 24, 2023. Tickets are on sale now and you can snap them up here. Want more? Check out all the best musical theatre to see in Sydney.

  • Theatre
  • Musicals

It’s a tale as old as time, but the Australian premiere of Disney Theatrical’s Broadway blockbuster Beauty and the Beast is getting a thoroughly modern makeover ahead of its debut at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in June 2023. Securing the first Australian showing of this new production continues Sydney’s winning streak of bagging the premiere seasons of major international shows, including first Down Under outings of Broadway blockbuster Hamilton, and Disney’s smash-hit stage adaptation of Frozen. We can now announce the Australian performers who are stepping into the quintessential leading roles of Belle and the Beast: Shubshri Kandiah and Brendan Xavier.  Shubshri is one of Australia’s most exciting new leading ladies. No stranger to donning a crown, she is currently playing the title role in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and is best known for her role as Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin. When Time Out spoke with Kandiah ahead of her run as Cinderella, she spoke about how exciting it was to be representing her community as a woman of South Asian heritage. “I think that there's definitely been a call out for more diversity. I think it reflects the time that we're in now, the world we live in. Especially in Australia, it’s such a diverse country. So it's nice to see that finally reflected in sectors and screens, and not feel limited because of our skin colour,” she said.  Sydneysider Brendan is a talented newcomer currently performing in Frozen the Musical, which was hi

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