All the best things happening at the Geelong Arts Centre in November and beyond

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All the best things happening at the Geelong Arts Centre in November and beyond

From epic Queen and ABBA tributes and nostalgic immersive performances, to a show that puts the voices and experiences of deaf and disabled artists at the heart of the conversation, here are the shows not to miss this November.

It’s almost the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean our local arts scene is slowing down. If anything, we’re heading into the biggest run of theatre, musicals and concerts yet.

With a plethora of entertainment once again adorning our favourite regional theatre, this is your cue to get ready for a huge final run of entertainment in Geelong.

Here are the shows not to miss at the Geelong Arts Centre this month.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Our top pick for November: The Rivoli

When: Wed, November 9 at 7:30pm, Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm, Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm, Saturday, November 12 1pm and 7:30pm

Where: Geelong West Town Hall

Let nostalgia take the wheel when Dance Makers Collective’s The Rivoli hits Geelong West Town Hall this November to round out Geelong Arts Centre’s incredible ‘Our Season 2022’.

Arriving from November 9 to 12 2022 for five special shows, The Rivoli pays tribute to iconic Australian dance halls of 1930 – 1960, when to meet was to talk, laugh and move to music together.

In Dance Makers Collective’s most ambitious work yet, The Rivoli story centres around The Rivoli Dance Palace in Parramatta, which was long Western Sydney’s favourite dance hall. The action at the Rivoli Ballroom was broadcast on radio stations across Australia’s eastern seaboard for over a decade during the 50s and 60s. It was a place where entire families could gather to share in dancing and music. Demolished in 1973 to make way for office development, now nothing remains of ‘The Riv’ except the stories of the people who danced there.

Development of The Rivoli performance began by imagining what such a venue would look like if it existed today. What kinds of communities would come together to reaffirm their shared identity through bodies and rhythm and music?

The result is a poignant ode to a bygone dance era, where throughout the performance audiences will hear the voices of people who danced at the Rivoli, as well as the voices of those who dance now, in Geelong.

Featuring some of Australia’s best dancers and a stellar live band, The Rivoli encourages audience members to be swept into an immersive exploration of mid-century nightlife, desire and social connection.

Find out more about the show here.

The Best Of The Bee Gees with Colin “Smiley” Petersen

When:  Saturday, November 5 at 8pm. 

Where: Costa Hall 

The Best of the Bee Gees brings a catalogue of mega-hits, beautiful harmonies and first-hand memories from original Bee Gees drummer, Colin “Smiley” Petersen, to Costa Hall in November.
Drum protégé and child actor (Smiley, The Scamp & A Cry From The Streets), Colin was the official 4th band member and essential to the Bee Gees sound, driving the evolution of this supergroup on stage and in the studio.

He performed on four albums with the three brothers including the iconic #1 singles Massachusetts, To Love Somebody, New York Mining Disaster, I Started A Joke and so many more.

The Best of the Bee Gees has toured for over two decades and Colin says: “It’s wonderful that these incredible songs live on through this great show and I am thrilled to add another dimension by sharing my memories.”

It would be a Tragedy to miss this ultimate tribute which continues to bring global audiences to their feet.

Tickets here.

Risky Business: A Little Show and A Big Conversation

When:  Friday, November 11 at 6pm.

Where: Studio 4

The world is at a tipping point. Suddenly we are seeing an explosion of interest in artists who once would have been considered ‘less than’. Diversity of all kinds has become a valuable asset in the performing arts. Is difference the new black? Why do audiences find themselves fascinated by it? Do they see themselves represented within diversity?

Risky Business: A little show and a big conversation explores these questions and more.

Think performance meets panel discussion: three sets of provocations discussed by a panel of experienced disabled artists, including Andy Jackson, Zoe Boesen, Kate Hood, and Eliza Hull, who put theory into action throughout, as they share both thoughts and performances addressing the big questions that society is often afraid to ask:

• Why is language so important?
• Why do people avert their gaze?
• What remains unspoken, and why?
• How can we use disability to add value to the work we do in the mainstream?
• Will using disabled artists drop the standard?

An important conversation to continue having, Risky Business puts the voices and experiences of deaf and disabled artists at the heart of the conversation, right where they should be.

Through Risky Business, Raspberry Ripple and Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine are delighted to introduce some truly outstanding disabled performers to Geelong audiences, presenting outstanding performances and a much-needed point of view.

Together, the artists involved in Risky Business are delighted to take to the stage to give voice to new thinking around performance and disability, and to celebrate true diversity in Australia.

Find out more here.

Bjorn Again – Mamma Mia! We Are Back Again!

When:  Saturday, November 12 at 8pm.

Where: Costa Hall 

Dust off those flares, platform shoes and satins! Sing, dance and have the time of your life on Bjorn Again’s Mamma Mia! We Are Back Again! Tour.

Bjorn Again are so excited to back playing all of ABBA’s biggest hits in an action-packed, highly-entertaining concert that is ABBA-solute fun for the whole family.

The group have performed over 7000 in over 120 countries worldwide, are endorsed by the members of ABBA, and are regarded as the most successful tribute show of all time.

Their critically acclaimed shows have been attended by Tom Jones, Dave Grohl and Paul Kelly, Metallica, Robert Plant, Bill Gates and Nirvana just to name a few.

So what are you waiting for? Send out an SOS, RING RING Fernando and Chiquitita and TAKE A CHANCE on Bjorn Again’s Mamma Mia! We Are Back Again! 2021 Australian Tour.

Contains strobe effects and smoke.

Tickets here.

Goanna – Celebrating 40 Years Of Spirit Of Place

When: Friday, November 18 at 8pm. 

Where: Costa Hall 

Forty years on, and with their messages of positive engagement in Indigenous rights and environmental protection more relevant than ever, Australian icons Goanna return to celebrate their multi-platinum, game-changing debut album ‘Spirit of Place’.

In the early ‘80s, in the midst of Aussie Rock’s golden age, Goanna helped forge a new Australian identity. Before Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly addressed similar issues, the iconic ‘Solid Rock’ stoked a fire for Indigenous rights that hasn’t gone out, while the anthem of ‘Let The Franklin Flow’ was a call to arms for the emerging environmental movement.

Soulful, lyrical, brimming with musicality and creative volatility, Goanna mixed classic folk song craft with spirited roots rock, helping to establish a musical thread that remains vital and ubiquitous in Australian music today.

In 2022, Shane Howard, Rose Bygrave, Marcia Howard and Graham Davidge, with special guests, embark on a new journey. Reigniting the Goanna spirit once more and paying homage to their classic songs.

With Special Guests Luke Biscan and Mick Ryan.

Tickets here.

Queen Forever – Break Free Tour

When:  Saturday, November 19 at 8pm.

Where: Costa Hall 

Queen Forever present a highly entertaining evening paying tribute to one of the top rock bands of all time – Queen and its legendary frontman, Freddie Mercury.

Queen Forever is regarded as the world’s most entertaining Queen show due to the skillful and hilarious impersonation of Freddie Mercury by the incomparable Gareth Hill.

Queen Forever look and sound like Queen and will take you back to the glory days of the 1970s and 80s when Queen rocked the world with their classic rock anthems. With authentic costumes, a lavish production that features video clips and a superb band of musicians, this very popular show generates an audience atmosphere that has to be seen to be believed. You will feel like you’re at a real Queen concert at Wembley Stadium.

You’ll hear all the hits including ‘You’re My Best Friend’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, ‘Radio GaGa’, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, Another One Bites The Dust, Fat Bottomed Girls, Don’t Stop Me Now, Somebody to Love, Killer Queen and of course Bohemian Rhapsody. A night of classic rock anthems.

Tickets here.

Stars and Stripes: Gershwin and Copland – Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Season 2022

When:  Friday, November 25 at 7:30pm.

Where: Costa Hall 

Young New Zealand conductor Gemma New makes her MSO debut with a stunning collection of American greats celebrating jazz, blues and the American century.

It was one day after the raging success of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue that he was approached to write a “real piano concerto”, something closer to the traditional classical model. Rather than turn his back on the then-current musical forms, Gershwin decided to incorporate them. The result was Concerto in F, a work that ranges effortlessly over different musical structures, to create something truly wonderful and unique. There are suggestions of the Charleston, ragtime, jazz and blues throughout the work, and flexibility in the way these elements emerge from one another – a masterful, consummate fusion.

Accompanying this work is Copland’s Symphony No.3, another pillar of 20th century American composition. A grand and stirring work, composed between 1944 and 1946, it suggests the mammoth achievements of the United States at the close of WWII without a hint of triumphalism.

Gemma New also brings with her a work by fellow New Zealander Salina Fisher, Rainphase. Inspired by the rain falling on the city of Wellington, it is sonically adventurous and beautifully evocative.

Tickets here.

Marina Prior & David Hobson ‘The 2 of Us’ Encore

When:  Saturday, November 26 at 8pm.

Where: Costa Hall 

After three back to back years of selling out 100 + shows around the country, Soprano and Tenor powerhouse legends of Musical Theatre and Opera, Marina Prior & David Hobson embark on their Encore Tour, ‘The 2 Of Us’ in up close and personal mode.

Brand new songs, back-stage and life stories, and including the classics from their vast repertoire spanning 35 years in a two hour spectacular show.

Accompanied by renowned pianist David Cameron, in a two-hour intimate performance, Marina and David will perform their classics from productions such as The Phantom of The Opera, Cats, Evita, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and La Boheme, to name but a few, as well as favourites from their award-winning albums.

“It’s been beyond our wildest dreams to travel this beautiful country of ours being supported by Australians in our own backyard” says Marina & David. “We’ve met so many wonderful people and made new friends along the way and we privileged to be able to do this and do not, for once take it for granted,” says Marina & David.

“It’s great that we have the opportunity to take the show to the people, in areas around the country, that we may not have otherwise been able to get to with some of the bigger productions we perform in,” says Marina.

“With the Up Close & Personal show, it’s like you’re in our living room and we’re in yours, singing both your and our favourite songs with a few funny career stories thrown in,” says David.

Hear the classics, their recorded favourites with a hint of humour thrown in! Definitely a show not to be missed!

Tickets here.

Celtic Illusion Reimagined

When:  Friday, December 9 at 7:30pm. 

Where: Costa Hall 

A breathtaking array of experiences, fusing Irish Dance, Magic and influential flavours of Fosse with a Broadway style: Celtic Illusion is a show like no other.

Immerse yourself in one of the most unique productions touring the world. Celtic Illusion, the Irish dance and Grand Illusion sensation that has taken Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada and the USA by storm and will celebrate its 10 year anniversary with a nationwide tour of Australia in 2022.

Even fans who have seen our previous shows won’t dare miss the Reimagined tour that is set to raise the bar once again. This exhilarating production has broken barriers by fusing unparalleled art forms and is more spectacular than ever before.

The Reimagined tour features new spellbinding illusions and choreography, alongside a musical score that will either make you cry or send shivers down your spine.

Starring the multi talented former lead dancer of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and Star Illusionist Anthony Street, with Georgia May, a marvel in both dance and Illusion. These impeccable performers lead a cast of champion dancers recruited from renowned productions across the world, such as Lord of the Dance and Riverdance, into a theatrical masterpiece that will have you mesmerised from the moment the curtain is raised.

Celtic Illusion Reimagined will surpass your expectations and leave you wanting more.

Tickets here.

The Kings Of Christmas

When:  Sunday, December 18 at 3pm

Where: Costa Hall 

‘Tis the week before Christmas, and all through Geelong, The Kings Of Christmas will bring cheer, charm and song!

For the very first time, Rob Mills and Bobby Fox, two of Australia’s leading men bringing their cheer, charm, cheek and Christmas classics, in the world premier of their brand new show – The Kings of Christmas!

Rob Mills and Bobby Fox have been performing in the best musicals across Australia for the past decade. But they’re at their absolute best when they are together, stealing the show on Channel 9’s, Carols By Candlelight. And now for the first time ever, they’re bringing their Christmas cheer to Costa Hall for one night only, singing and swinging your favourite Christmas Classics.

Joining them onstage, sprinkling some Christmas magic, will be their “little BIG Band” and the Rockin’ Rob and Bobettes.

Tickets to Christmas here.

Shows to get excited about in 2023:

Operation Ouch Live

When:  Monday, January 9 at 1pm and 4pm 

Where: Costa Hall 

TV’s favourite doctors return to Australia this January with a brand-new show! Following three sell-out Australian tours, and two smash hit seasons in London’s West End, Dr Chris and Dr Xand are back!

Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken live in London with their families. They are qualified doctors, trained at Oxford University. Dr Chris is a practising infectious disease doctor, based at University College London Hospital and Dr Xand is an Associate Professor at University College London’s Health of the Public.

As well as Operation Ouch!, Xand is one of the regular doctors on BBC’s Morning Live and they have both presented many other documentaries on health and medicine including What Are We Feeding Our Kids?, The Secrets of Human Body, Frontline Doctors: Winter Migrant Crisis, Horizon, Is Binge Drinking Really That Bad?, Blow Your Mind, Horizon, Sugar V Fat, The Secret Life Of Twins, and Medicine Men Go Wild. in 2021 they released a podcast called A Thorough Examination; Addicted to Food which is now on BBC Radio. Dr Chris has an upcoming book about the food industry and the global obesity crisis.

This brilliant show will be packed with all-new crazy experiments, mind blowing illusions and amazing facts, as the doctors explore the fascinating world of biology and show you the incredible things your body can do. It’ll make you laugh and gross you out!

Tickets here.

Wish Upon A Song: Volume II

When: Thursday, January 26 at 7:30pm, Friday, January 27 at 7:30pm, and Saturday January 28 at 1pm and 5:30pm. 

Where: Costa Hall 

Wish Upon A Song – Volume II showcases the Magical Music of Disney while bringing together many of Geelong’s most talented musicians and performers.

Featuring songs from over a dozen Disney films including The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Frozen, and Frozen II.

Tickets here.

The magical production Wish Upon A Song returns, bringing some of the best Disney hits to Geelong

Geelong Arts Centre is supported by The Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, Major Artistic Partner Deakin University and Innovation Partner Costa Asset Management.