You'll find there's still lots of summery things to do in Sydney during the first month of autumn, including music events and theatre by the harbour. It's International Women's Day on March 8 and a good place to celebrate that and talk about gender equality is the All About Women festival on Sunday March 5. It's a good month for food festivals as Taste of Sydney and March into Merivale take place. Plus, there's Earth Hour, Parramasala and A Moveable Feast.
Major events in March
Previously held in spring each year, Parramasala will now be held in autumn during Multicultural March. It’s one of the biggest celebrations of cultural diversity in New South Wales with a program of food, heritage, dance and theatre over three days in Parramatta. It’s a colourful event, from the morning yoga and breakfast events to the evening spice markets and Bollywood dancing.
In our five-star review of Gale Edwards' 2013 production of Carmen for the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour series, we described it as "the perfect potion – the glitzy visuals and hyperactive energy of a Broadway musical mixed with world-class opera." It's no wonder it's returning to its harbourside perch at Mrs Macquarie's Point for Autumn 2017. A new cast will take to Brian Thomson's striking stage, including international leads Josè Maria Lo Monaco (as Carmen), Andeka Gorrotxategi (Don José) and Marko Mimica (Escamillo).
Looking for a new challenge? Sign yourself up as part of team of four (made up of at least 50 per cent women) to do the seventh annual Sydney Coastrek. You can choose between a 30- or 60-kilometre trek, starting from Manly or Kirribilli to Bondi, and the sign up fee includes a 12-week training program to get you off the couch and up to a good level of fitness. The sports event raises money for the Fred Hollows Foundation and it scales the stunning coastline of Sydney. If you’ve entered the event before, there is a new route for this year, including beaches, bays and cliff top walks.
Gaycrashers Rhys Nicholson and Joel Creasey are re-teaming for this night of comedy on Mardi Gras eve, in which they will be making "celebrities and gay icons" face off on stage in a series of silly games. If you like comedy with sharp claws and even sharper suits/cheekbones, this is your ticket.
Any aspirant highschool guitarist worth her salt will remember the shiver they got the first time they picked out 'B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-down-up-strums'. Now, after more than half a decade between tours, The Pixies are returning to blast us with the simple magic of 'Where Is My Mind', along with tracks from their September 2016 album Head Carrier. This will be only the second time The Pixies have hit our shores without founding bassist Kim Deal (she's off releasing solo material). As with their Vivid shows in 2014, Deal has been replaced in the lineup by Paz Lenchatin, formerly of A Perfect Circle. She's been touring with the band since shortly after Deal left, and became an official member of The Pixies in July of 2016.
Say farewell to summer by joining your pals for a spectacular chic picnic on the beach. A Moveable Feast is Sydney’s biggest beachfront pop-up dinner – it's an elegant dining experience in partnership with renowned Australian restaurateur Luke Mangan. The theme for the event is ‘pastel picnic’ so channel the French Riviera chic and wear your finest soft tones.
Surfers from across the globe travel to Manly for the nine-day competition that draws more than 325,000 spectactors of all ages to the beach. But we all know the surfing competition is just part of the fun. The festival brings with it activations and markets that celebrate the skate, music, art and food culture that accompanies the sport. There'll be multiple skate competitions to watch, as well as free live music.
Twilight at Taronga sees thousands of fans flock to the zoo for a night of live music under the stars. On the international front, American singer-songwriter Kurt Vile is sure to be a highlight. Hailing from Canada is much-loved indie pop duo Tegan and Sara, plus the inimitable singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright. All proceeds from the ticket sales go back into the Zoo's conservation projects.
Movies in March
North Sydney Oval, with its historic grandstand and views of the lights of North Sydney, is a classy venue for outdoor cinema screenings, and the 2017 program is a good one. It mixes up Oscar favourites for film lovers; blockbuster sci-fi and comedy; golden oldies for the nostalgics; and family films to give the kids a memorable summer outing. You can't buy dinner here but there's popcorn, soft drinks and lollies. MadFish Wine Bar will be serving up premium West Australian MadFish wines and bubbles along with 4 Pines craft beers (Pale Ale, Kolsch & Hefenweizen), cider and water (sorry, no BYO). Highlights include Warren Beatty's Rules Don't Apply; Denzel Washington, phenomenal in Fences; glorious musical La La Land; and the lovable 1985 fantasy adventure Back to the Future. Most movies have been announced but some (such as the Valentine's Day screening) are to be advised. The premium Lawn Lounge tickets ($40) include an Ultimate Bean Lounger for the night, a bag of Cobs popcorn, a 4 Pines beer or glass of MadFish wine, and a Bulla ChocTop. Bookings are now open. To see the entire program and Time Out's critics' picks and to make your reservations, click on the Dates and Times tab.
And here's the announcement we've all been waiting for. Moonlight Cinema has just released its December-January program. Acclaimed Oscar hopefuls such as La La Land, Lion, Allied and Passengers will get a screening at Centennial Park's lovely Belvedere Amphitheatre. So will blockbusters ranging from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to Assassin's Creed, not forgetting Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Kids' movies include Disney's Moana and Pete's Dragon as well as Sing and Red Dog: True Blue. Retro screenings of Grease as a sing-along and Back to the Future will satisfy the nostalgic urges and more cult classics will be announced soon. As always the Moonlight Cinema food truck and bar can supply you with comestibles, but you're welcome to BYO food and drinks too. To see the full program up to January 29 and find out Time Out's critics' picks as well as book tickets, click on the DATES AND TIMES tab. Films commence at sundown.
Q. The summer won't last forever, movie fans, so what will you do for your outdoor cinema fix when autumn draws in? A. You'll head to Parramatta Park for the triumphant return of outdoor bed cinema, now under the name Mov'in Bed. Crawl under the blankets with a glass of wine and settle in for another beautifuly curated season of movies you actually want to see as opposed to just the latest stuff the studios are pumping out. Multi-award-winning international movies such as Mustang, The Age of Shadows and A Royal Affair are part of the season. Beloved animations from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki will screen too (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke). On Classic Sundays, expect two of Steven Spielberg's best (ET and Jurassic Park) as well as the David Fincher chiller Seven (a must-see), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Disney's The Lion King. Kids' nights offer The Secret Life of Pets and Zootopia, and acclaimed supernatural shocker The Conjuring 2 will have adults cowering under the covers. Highlight films of 2016 will screen including mulitple Oscar-winner The Revenant, Arrival and The Jungle Book. Be speedy though if you're up for this, as there are just 150 beds per night (accommodating up to three people – cosy).
These free screenings offer inner-west families a chance to get out of the house this summer.Films on offer include quality animated films Zootopia and Inside Out and Aussie family film Paper Planes. They have beanbags to rent and popcorn and drinks for sale but bring a picnic if planning dinner and a picnic blanket too.Check out the complete schedule and see Time Out's critic's picks by clicking on the DATES AND TIMES tab.
On stage in March
Powerhouse combo director Gale Edwards and designer Brian Thomson (HOSH's Carmen) created this production for Opera Australia's 2011 season – and it has proved a popular hit. Some love La bohème, some loathe it – but there's no doubt that there's plenty of those Puccini earworms (including the famous double-dose back-to-back arias 'Che gelida manina' and 'Mi chiamano Mimi'), and plenty of romance, sex, tragedy and comedy. To that mix, Edwards and Thomson add the sizzle of Weimar Germany (cue topless club girls, red-curtained cabarets, bedazzling frocks, and the best kind of boho threads). This is an eminently accessible, attractive production that will satisfy die-hard romantics, Puccini fans and opera noobs alike. Single tickets for La bohème are available from October 12. Until then, you can purchase tickets as part of a subscription. See what else is in the Opera Australia 2017 season.
In our 5-star review of John Bell's Tosca (from its premiere season in 2013) we wrote: "Bell has created a striking production, transposing the action to Nazi-occupied Rome during World War 2, with three magnificent sets that take us from a church to an internment camp. There are some stunning set-pieces; the chorus that closes the first act is a particular highlight, with the men and women of Rome, soldiers and clergy converging in the vestibule of the church in time with Puccini’s striding rhythm, in an exhilarating visual and aural crescendo. This is just excellent stuff, with the kind of compacted, concentrated energy that one expects from the best Shakespeare. If it doesn’t make you fall in love with opera, probably nothing will." From our interview with Sydney's favourite Shakespearen actor and director, John Bell, ahead of his first production for Opera Australia: Composed by Puccini after his wildly popular La bohème, Tosca is a titan in the opera canon now, but it was famously divisive when it premiered in 1900, and in the years following. Even in the ’50s, musicologist Joseph Kernan famously called it a “shabby little shocker.” Director John Bell recounts this anecdote incredulously: “I thought, ‘How can you say that?’ I suppose when it’s done in its original period – with period costumes and all that – it can come across as melodramatic. People associate that kind of costuming and that era with melodrama – and [Tosca] could swing that way.” With this in mi
In our 5-star review of Gale Edwards' 2013 production of Carmen for the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour series, we described it as "the perfect potion – the glitzy visuals and hyperactive energy of a Broadway musical mixed with world-class opera." It's no wonder it's returning to its harbourside perch at Mrs Macquarie's Point for Autumn 2017. A new cast will take to Brian Thomson's striking stage, including international leads Josè Maria Lo Monaco (as Carmen), Andeka Gorrotxategi (Don José) and Marko Mimica (Escamillo). Read our 5-star review of the 2013 production – then read our guide to doing HOSH like a boss. And get excited. See what else is in the Opera Australia 2017 season.
Canada's Cirque Alfonse will be bringing their own brand of contemporary circus to the Opera House, along with their formidable facial hair ('Barbu' is French for 'bearded'). Their latest performance is set to a fast-paced live electronic soundtrack and features spectacles including juggling with beer-filled kegs and forming a human disco ball. The burly men are flanked by two strong women, all of whom perform some serious feats of brute strength and deft skill. These acrobatic hipsters also have strong roots in a more traditional kind of circus and manage to inject some cabaret flair into the show too. For some cheeky end of summer fun, snap up tickets to Barbu and ready yourself for some bearded good times at in the Studio.
We challenge you to find a bigger tearjerker than this in the opera canon; it's not just the story (based on Alexandre Dumas' popular 1848 novel La Dame aux Camélias) about a courtesan who falls for a young admirer, but sacrifices her chance at happiness for the greater good; it's also Verdi's romantic score. These are why we keep going back to Verdi's opera. This 'old faithful' production by director Elijah Moshinsky, with opulent 19th century design, is also something that audiences keep returning to; it's never long out of circulation for Opera Australia. In 2017 you can see one of three sopranos proven in the role: international star Ermonela Jaho will open the season, followed by Lorina Gore and then Emma Matthews. Single tickets for La Traviata are available from October 12. Until then, you can purchase tickets as part of a subscription. See what else is in the Opera Australia 2017 season.
Museum exhibitions in March
Demolished Sydney is a historic exploration into Sydney’s past and present buildings. The exhibition remembers the city’s lost buildings – from the Garden Palace at the Botanic Gardens to Fort Macquarie that used to stand at Bennelong Point, where you'd now find Sydney Opera House. The exhibition reveals how Sydney’s buildings have risen and fallen as technologies have changed, populations moved and industries diversified. Step back in time and discover some of Sydney’s notable buildings, such as the Hotel Australia, which was once the city’s grandest hotel and the centre point for a thriving nightlife in Martin Place. Or St Stephen’s church, which was demolished to improve traffic flow. And Kent Brewery, which was a 'wet' brewery where workers enjoyed two "smoko" breaks a day with schooners of beer, and is now part of the Central Park redevelopment in Chippendale. The exhibition features archive photography, illustrated maps of historic industrial suburbs like Pyrmont and a recreated and reimagined shopping laneway that is reminiscent of glamorous boutique shopping in Europe.
This summer, the Powerhouse Museum will present the world premiere of Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives. The exhibition is an interactive display of six mummies who lived and died in Egypt between 900 BC and AD 40, alongside 200 objects which provide a snapshot of Ancient Egypt life. The mummies have been transported from the British Museum’s collection after being scanned at Royal Brompton Hospital using non-invasive CT scans (they’re very precious) and 3D visualisation technology. The scans, which will be on display in the exhibition, reveal the age, diet and sex of these ancient beings, and the accompanying artefacts explore the themes of mummification, divinity and elements of these people’s lives, such as their musical instruments, medicine and children's toys. “The mummies aren’t really all that different to ourselves,” says Melanie Pitkin, Egyptologist and exhibition curator. “Mummification is really just an expression of the Ancient Egyptian’s fear of dying – a fear that we still have today.” “The Egyptians believed that once you died, your body became fragmented. Your soul would become separate to your body and the only way for your soul to recognise you again [in the afterlife] was to try and make your body look real again,” she says. “Mummification is all about preserving yourself, because if you preserve yourself you can have an altered state of existence in another world after death.” But the process of mummification is a whole lot different to an
If you’ve seen Hail, Caesar, you’ll remember the character Deanna Moran, a synchronised swimming star who wears seaweed green sequins. She's a fictional character in a fictional story, but screen sirens were real in 1950s Hollywood and one of them was Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman. Kellerman starred in aquatic-themed silent movies as a mermaid (Queen of the Sea, Venus of the South Seas, The Australian Mermaid, Siren of the Sea) and she was the first major actress to appear nude in a Hollywood production (A Daughter of the Gods in 1916). But she was also an advocate of health, fitness and beauty as a competitive swimmer. She helped popularise synchronised swimming and wrote a swimming manual entitled How to Swim in 1918. Kellerman was also a bit of a badass. She was famously arrested on Revere Beach in Boston in 1907 for indecency, wearing one of her own fitted one-piece costumes. An icon of female empowerment around the world, she inspired generations of women to take up the sport of swimming, and now the Powerhouse Museum is celebrating her achievements in a new exhibition from August 10. Curated by Peter Cox, the exhibition will showcase a collection of Kellerman’s costumes, photos and film footage. Highlights include different styles of her one-piece swimsuits, stage outfits and memorabilia. There will be footage showing Kellerman performing an underwater adagio ballet from the records of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Doing underwater ballet
More than 130 paintings, tapestries, sculptures, furniture and precious objects from the Palace and its royal occupants comprise this major exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Highlights range from small personal items belongong to Marie-Antoinette, to the 1.5 tonne sculpture 'Latona and her children' that usually sits atop one of the Chateau's main fountains.
Spiders – Alive and Deadly is an exhibition dedicated to our beloved arthropod friends. You'll learn all there is to know about spiders, including their venom and silk, where they live, how they hunt, how they have adapted to changing environments and the critical role they play in our ecosystem. There are over 400 real specimens to see, including 30 alive and deadly spiders such as the funnel web, red back and tarantula. There’s also a venom lab where there'll be venom milking every day, as well as a cobweb room where visitors can witness the world’s largest cobwebs made by the golden orb spider. Plus, you can hear about how spider silk is used for the latest technologies (from medical sutures to rubber tyres) to how scientists are using funnel web venom to help cure ovarian cancer. The exhibition will also be screening the documentary, Sixteen Legs – a story, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, about two Tasmanian Cave Spiders who fall in love and come together in darkness.