THE curtain rises, Lucy Simon’s music fills QPAC’s Lyric Theatre, and the story of Yurii Andreyevich Zhivago begins.
We are in the middle of a Brisbane weekend escape and the musical, Dr Zhivago, is just one of many emotional peaks we’ll climb.
Another is the Story Bridge.
There’s something about dressing for the theatre, arriving by limousine, enjoying champagne while perusing the program and waiting for the “last call” bell to set off the anticipation that accompanies live performances.
As the first notes float across the audience, we are taken back to a chapter of Russian history, the confusing and turbulent times after the First World War, followed by the Russian Revolution and the long and bloody civil war.
Dr Zhivago is a story of bravery, infidelity, broken hearts and the search for one’s place in a nation that is yet to find itself.
But most of all, this is a story of love and it was written with actor Anthony Warlow in mind.
In 1995, Warlow played the tortured, grieving Archibald Craven in the Australian production of The Secret Garden.
“There is my Zhivago,” thought the show’s composer Lucy Simons as she sat watching his deeply moving performance.
The musical is playing in Brisbane until mid-August and is not to be missed.
Being Brisbane-born and bred, I’ve tended to take the city for granted and never really ventured outside the places I know.
Well, that’s about to change, because, along with some of the world’s best theatre, we discovered Brisbane is waiting to show herself off.
Start your rediscovery with a visit to Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams at Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art.
This major exhibition, open until October 2, explores the history of Surrealism, and features works from Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Giorgio De Chirico and Max Ernst, to the ready-made objects of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray’s photographs.
Hilton Brisbane has partnered with GoMA to give you the opportunity to see Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams while enjoying the comforts the hotel has to offer.
The Surrealism Minibreak includes deluxe accommodation for two, featuring breakfast and two tickets to the exhibition.
Upgrade to the revitalised executive rooms for an extra $100, including access to the lounge, breakfast, all-day refreshments, pre-dinner drinks and canapés.
And for that special occasion, the King Hilton Suites take luxury to another dimension.
While visiting the Surrealist exhibition, check out GoMA’s contemporary Torres Strait Island Art Show until October 9.
From September 3-24, Brisbane Festival will bring the city to life.
The 2011 program boasts four world premieres, five Australian premieres and 11 international productions across the city.
It will also include Santos City of Lights: the first laser-light art show of its kind in Australia.
The free fireworks extravaganza, Sunsuper Riverfire, will also light up the city on the festival’s opening night. For full details of all events and ticket prices visit the Brisbane Festival website.
Brisbane has many eating establishments including 5th Element Bar and Cellar at South Bank. Positioned on the edge of Southbank parklands, it offers Australia’s largest selection of wines by the glass.
The Villager Gastrobar and Supper Club, at 185 George St, is a funky restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Discover the grown-up version of Brisbane and visit Brisbane Marketing website for lots of ideas on how to make the best use of your getaway.
The writer was a guest of Brisbane Marketing.
GOOD TO KNOW ABOUT BRISBANE
Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams
Adults $20, Concession $16, Members $15, Secondary students $10 Children (12 years and under) free. Visit the Queensland Art Gallery website.
Hilton Hotel reservations
1300 445 866 and quote PR44SM (for the Surrealist package). Visit the Hilton website.
Tickets $59.90 to $140.90 plus booking fee. Visit the QPAC website.
What to do in Brisbane:
Visit www.brisbane marketing.com.au
5ifth Element: South Bank:
Cnr Tribune and Little Stanley Sts, South Bank
The Villager Hotel – Gastrobar and Supper Club:
185 George St, Brisbane. Visit The Villager website.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.