Entertaiment

Microwaved leftovers on the menu for Sydney’s theatre eating regimen

Only this one is a bit of a squib.

While Melbourne can boast the upcoming premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the multi-award winning hottest ticket on the planet, the NSW government hopes you might like to see the third revival of Chicago since the Sydney Olympics.

Waitress, the musical, is coming to Sydney - but you'll have to wait until 2020 to see it.

Waitress, the musical, is coming to Sydney – but you’ll have to wait until 2020 to see it.

Photo: Supplied

And if that doesn’t take your fancy there is always Saturday Night Fever, which hasn’t been done since 2005 but is hardly one of the boutique blockbusters that sees people camping overnight for tickets.

The only real hope of something special is Waitress, which we will have to wait until 2020 to see. With music and lyrics by Sara Barielles, the show would have been a shoe-in for the Tony in 2016 had it not been for that pesky Broadway sensation Hamilton winning everything.

None of these shows are bad, exactly, it is just not particularly exciting knowing that Sydney’s theatres will be locked up for the next year with revivals.

Tickets to musicals certainly come from most people’s discretionary budgets and if you have the choice of spending that money on a beloved revival or saving hard and heading to Melbourne for a blockbuster theatre event, it won’t be a tough choice for most people.

The government anticipates more than 60,000 people will come to Sydney for these three shows, which the press release claims are a “vote of confidence in the Sydney theatre landscape”.

Melbourne's Princess Theatre will welcome Tony Award-winning Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in early 2019.

Melbourne’s Princess Theatre will welcome Tony Award-winning Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in early 2019.

Photo: AAP

But is it a vote of confidence or was Melbourne just not interested, given there’s already plenty of exciting theatre coming into its abundance of commercial theatre space?

Sydney does have some big wins next year. But even the mainstage premiere of Muriel’s Wedding isn’t a new offering and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which bumps into the Capitol in January, wasn’t a winner with audiences or critics on Broadway.

Instead of showing Sydney’s strength as an entertainment powerhouse, today’s announcement from the government looks more like some reheated leftovers doled out to the hungry theatre fans of Sydney who are begging for something more.

Maybe the next announcement will be Oliver!

Nathanael Cooper

Nathanael Cooper is Fairfax Media’s deputy entertainment editor

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