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What's on in Adelaide: Christmas-New Year


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From cabaret and salsa, to hip-hop, retro rock, magic, movies, musicals and even a mousical, there’s plenty to keep you entertained over the festive break. This is InDaily’s bumper guide to what’s on, including New Year’s Eve fireworks and parties.

The Illusionists

Last year there was The Illusionists, this year there’s The Illusionists 2.0 – seven new magic artists dubbed “the greatest superheroes of stage illusion”. The show at Her Majesty’s Theatre (December 27-January 5) will feature stunts, tricks and mind control, with international performers comprising The Master Magician, The Deceptionist, The Unusualist, The Hypnotist and  The Manipulator. (See InDaily’s interview with The Hypnotist, Scott Lewis.)

South Pacific

With a 26-piece orchestra and a 40-strong cast led by Lisa McCune and Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s sweeping World War II musical South Pacific comes to Adelaide’s Festival Theatre from December 29-January 26, with the official opening on New Year’s Eve. Based on the Tony-Award-winning production by the Lincoln Center Theater in New York, the show also stars Christine Anu and Mitchell Butel. The South Pacific score includes musical faves such as “Some Enchanted Evening”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” and “Bali Ha’I”.

Moonlight Cinema

Hunger Games fans can go back to the future on Boxing Day with a screening of the sequel Catching Fire at Maltesers Moonlight Cinema in Botanic Park. Also screening over the holiday period are Gravity (Dec 27), August: Orange County (Dec 28),  Despicable Me 2 (Dec 29), Turbo (Jan 2) and Dirty Dancing (Jan 2). Gates open at 7pm and screenings start at sundown. If you want to get fancy, you can fork out for a “gold grass” ticket complete with reserved beanbag in a prime position.

WP_BasicsThe Basics

The Adelaide Festival Centre’s live music series Sessions at the Space Theatre kicks off on January 2 with a gig by The Basics (right) – a pop/retro-rock band consisting of Wally De Backer (aka Gotye), Kris Schroeder and Tim Heath. The band’s Triple J Unearthed profile suggests they sound something like The Jam, The Easybeats, The Skyhooks, but you can get a taste for yourself here. Next up on the Sessions stage will Soul singer Lee Fields with The Expressions on January 3.

Play New Year’s Day

Just as the New Year’s Eve hangover is starting to abate, it’s time to start the party again at Play New Year’s Day, an outdoor music festival at Thebarton Oval. The 18+ event features a line-up of electro, trance, drum/bass and hip-hop acts including Deorro, Will Sparks, Ummet Ozcan, Dead Prez and Metrik.

Life Before Dinosaurs

Before dinosaurs, there were Permian Monsters – strange sharks, giant insects and reptiles that inhabited the earth some 290 million years ago. Now you can meet these bizarre creatures in a new exhibition at the SA Museum. Life Before Dinosaurs – the Permian Monsters features fossilised skeletons and full life-size models; visitors can also dig for fossils. Upstairs in the Mawson Gallery, Traversing Antarctica: the Australian Experience explores this country’s connection with the frozen continent. The museum is open from 10am-5pm every day except Christmas Day.

Realms of Wonder

Dedicated exclusively to the art of India, Art Gallery of SA exhibition Realms of Wonder: Jain, Hindu and Islamic Art of India features more than 200 works spanning 1300 years including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts objects and textiles. Running until January 27, 2014, it is accompanied by a program of talks, tours and hands-on art activities. The gallery is open from 10am-5pm every day except Christmas Day.

Angelina Ballerina The Mousical

If you’re looking for a way to entertain the littlies on New Year’s Eve (and perhaps tire them out so they sleep through the adult celebrations later on), this pirouetting mouse could be the answer. The all-singing, all-dancing stage show sees children’s book character Angelina and her friends win the chance to appear on the program Dancing With Mice. There will be three day-time, one-hour performances of Angelina Ballerina The Mousical at the Dunstan Playhouse from December 31 to January 5.

New Year’s Eve


There will be free entertainment in Elder Park from 6pm on New Year’s Eve, ahead of fireworks displays at 9pm and midnight. The concert line-up includes Atlantic Street Band, Germein Sisters and Lucky Seven, plus there will be an array of food stall and a licensed bar (no BYO allowed).

Other fireworks events around the city and beyond include: Glenelg Foreshore, entertainment from 6.30pm, fireworks at 9.30pm and midnight; Semaphore Foreshore, Summer Carnival plus fireworks at midnight; Normanville, NYE pageant from 7pm, foreshore entertainment from 8pm, fireworks at 9.45pm; Victor Harbor, entertainment from 7pm, fireworks at 9.45pm and midnight; Bindarra Reserve, Brighton, fireworks at 9.30pm.

WP-ElvisViva Las Vegas

The Arkaba hotel is hyping its New Year’s Eve party as the biggest in town. We don’t know about that, but we can tell you they’re bringing back the King, with Mark Anthony’s Elvis tribute show and a nightclub-style party in the top bar from 8.30pm-2am. Over in the lounge bar, patrons will be entertained by The Bill Parton Trio.

Saturday Night Soiree

This new music/burlesque/comedy series launched last month at La Bohème, and is putting on a special December 31 show for those who want to see in the new year with some saucy fun. Saturday Night Soiree is the creation of cabaret singer Sidonie Henbest and pianist Matthew Carey, who are joined by burlesque artist Miss Sapphire Snow and circus performer/puppeteer/dancer Ninian Donald. The NYE show begins at 9pm.

The Wheaty’s New Year’s Eve Hoedown

Over at the Wheatsheaf Hotel, they’re in hoedown mode, with a party featuring the rhythm and blues sounds of singer-songwriter Max Savage and The False Idols & Friends. The party starts at 8pm, and pub says there will also be special guests, surprises and prizes.

Grease Sing-a-Long

Grease is the word at the historic Capri Theatre, which is hosting a NYE screening of this interactive version of the ever-popular 1970s film. It’s promising “a night of fun, singing, dancing, bubbles, Americana finger food, Claire Baker rocking the organ and the midnight countdown from Sydney on the big screen”.

Latino New Year’s Eve

Put on your salsa shoes and head to The Gov for a party featuring the Salcedo band (led by Colombian percussionist Hugo Salcedo), Latino DJs and Latin dance shows. The party kicks off from 8pm, with organisers saying there will be “an opulent mix of Cuban and Colombian rhythms, Caribbean breezes and New York vibes”.

On screen

See InDaily’s reviews of the latest films screening in Adelaide:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
American Hustle
The Railway Man
The Gilded Cage
Night Train to Lisbon
The Spectacular Now
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Kill Your Darlings
How I Live Now
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

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