David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.
David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

A FEW weeks ago I wrote a travel story extolling Brisbane as a perfect place to go on weekends. Well, it seems big brother was watching because my fingers had only just moved off the keyboard when I was invited down to Sydney to enjoy a few days rediscovering my home city.

My trip to Brisbane involved popping along to see Singing In The Rain, an overnight stay at an inner city hotel, bike riding through the city and trying out a new restaurant. As I wrote in my review, it was a great weekend.

Not to be outdone, the Sydney itinerary had me on the hop for three solid days. While Brisbane has QPAC and a few smaller theatres to catch a play, Sydney is blessed with some great venues. That meant my host, Destination NSW, was able to send me along to three big plays on successive nights.

Aladdin the Musical at the Capitol Theatre was first cab off the rank and what a start. A musical full of colour and wonderful sets provided older patrons in the audience with as much fun as the wide-eyed youngsters. So don't think this is just for families. I'd go again by myself tomorrow to watch it all over again.

Our hotel for the stay was the QT, right smack in the middle of the city, and this retro refit of what was once Gowings Department store was first class. Loved the lift, which lit up with flashing lights and belted out disco music every time you got aboard. The next day we took a ferry trip across the harbour to enjoy fish and chips at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, next to the wharf. It was a short 30-minute ride from Circular Quay to get across. If you visit Sydney and don't do a ferry trip you have missed out on a wonderful experience. Sydney Harbour is just magnificent on a beautiful day.

The night's performance was to be the highlight of the trip as we joined first night attendees at Dream Lover - The Bobby Darin Musical. It featured a brilliant performance by David Campbell. It is only on for a short season at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. If you love first class musicals get to this. I only hope you can get a ticket.

On our final night we saw a more laidback My Fair Lady at the Opera House. Once again, a must-see with standout performances from Reg Livermore and Alex Jennings. It is little wonder this play is packing them in night after night.

So how did Sydney stack up against Brisbane for a long weekend to remember? Sorry Brisbane, I have to say that unlike State of Origin, this time the Blues kicked the winning goal.

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