Your ultimate Brisbane events guide: what’s on this weekend, and the best things to do through January
Hamilton – book now
From 27 January at Queensland Performing Arts Centre
It’s finally Brisbane’s turn: the triumphant Australian production of Hamilton is coming to Queensland. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about US founding father Alexander Hamilton pushes the boundaries of historical narratives, politics and cultural education, with Miranda using African American culture – hip-hop, jazz and R&B – to tell a historically white story. It’s captivating from start to finish – challenging, devastating and inspiring all at once.
Yotam Ottolenghi Flavour of Life – food for thought
28 January at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)
The Israeli-born British chef, restaurateur and cookbook king lifts the lid on his recipe secrets in a conversation with Australian cooking columnist and broadcaster Alice Zaslavsky. Hear Ottolenghi talk about his life in food, the stories behind his bestselling cookbooks, and how to pair ingredients and prepare dishes to dial up the flavour.
Six: The Musical – pop Queens
Until 19 February at Queensland Performing Arts Centre
The six wives of Henry VIII battle – and belt – it out for who suffered the most under the Tudor king, turning their woes into a 75-minute pop musical. The Tony award-winning production, which premiered in Edinburgh in 2017 and is still going strong, is fast, feminist and furious, with costumes that wouldn’t look out of place on Lady Gaga. Right royal fun. Recommended for kids over 10.
Elton John – The rocketman returns
21 January at Suncorp Stadium
After a five-decade career as the most famous crooner in the world, Elton John announced his retirement in 2018 with a string of farewell shows. But, this being Elton John, it was no ordinary send-off: he set off on a gargantuan tour of over 300 concerts across five continents, and in his down time (what down time?) recorded dozens of collaborative singles with a new generation of popstars – Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus and Lil Nas X amongst them. Now, he returns to Australia for a final encore: a suitably extravagant celebration of his star-studded legacy.
The Dead South – Canadian bluegrass quartet
25, 26 January at The Fortitude Music Hall
Saskatchewan band the Dead South look the part of prairie pioneers, with their wide-brimmed hats, white shirts and black braces, but there’s nothing predictable about this quartet, calling themselves “a rock band without a drummer, a bluegrass band without a fiddler”. A kick drum keeps time while mandolin, cello, acoustic guitar and banjo chug things along at breakneck speed like an out-of-control train lurching into a dark tunnel.
Ty Segall – Serenades from a rock prodigy
27 January at Princess Theatre, Woolloongabba
Is there anyone more prolific than Ty Segall? With 14 albums under his belt in as many years, the musical polymath has traversed the rocky terrains of, well, rock – infusing the scrappy strums of garage punk with something weirder, more psychedelic, more intricate, like the world’s most prodigious noodler. His new album Hello, Hi is a loose collection of love songs – performed loud and cut through with a piquant 70s top note. He also plays Gold Coast on 28 January.
Visual arts & family-friendly
Until 16 July at Gallery of Modern Art
“Don’t touch anything,” is the mantra oft-whispered by parents as they drag their little tikes through cavernous art institutions. The Children’s Arts Centre at Goma is a haven from such adult rules: the Superpowered exhibition invites kids to immerse themselves in the murals of Aboriginal superheroes and wild animals via four interactive projects created by First Nations artists Kaylene Whiskey, Tony Albert, Gordon Hookey and Vincent Namatjira. It’s all about encouraging play, empowerment and curiosity.
Until 16 April at Museum of Brisbane
The spectator becomes the contributor at Play Moves, the newest exhibition at the best-kept secret in the city centre – the Museum of Brisbane. In this all-ages celebration of creative expression, six large-scale installations rely on the audience’s movements to make the art expand, morph and spring to life. Where else can you “time-warp into a subverted office of the 80s to find a hidden party and jiving pot plants” or “embrace yourself within soft cocooned sculptures”?
Parties & festivals
Moonlight Cinema – starry, starry movie nights
Until 19 February at Roma Street Parkland
Moonlight Cinema is back for its 27th season with an (almost nightly) program of new blockbusters and classic favourites. Steven Spielberg’s coming-of-age drama The Fabelmans is screening alongside comedic foodie thriller The Menu and retro sensations Con Air and Clueless. Shake out the picnic rug, too, for family favourite Blueback, an adaptation of Tim Winton’s novella. Pet pooches are also invited, with bean beds and canine snacks available for purchase.