Musicals
in Sydney

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Whether you are a theatre enthusiast or a musical amateur who enjoys the exhilarating experience of live performances, Sydney provides a wide range of options for everyone to choose from. Don’t miss out on the biggest acclaimed productions and the smallest and charismatic ones, and check out at Best-Tickets the best musicals in Sydney. We make sure to update our list of musicals to offer you the most up to date information on all the musicals happening in the Harbour City. Check the dates that fit you best to purchase your tickets at the best price among more than 40 ticket providers so you always get the best price.

Chicago The Musical

Capitol Theatre, Sydney

13 Campbell St, Haymarket NSW 2000, Australia, Sydney1

1NOTE: approximate address. The only address that is completely valid is the one shown on the tickets

HISTORY OF MUSICALS

Musical theatre, since the early 20th century, has generally been called, simply, musicals. This form of theatrical performance combines songs and soundtracks —original or from already existing music— along with specially crafted choreography, with the dialogue and acting of classic theatre. Musicals differ from other theatrical forms like opera and dance because of the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement, and other elements, and they are characterised as sentimental and amusing in nature. Although music being a part of dramatic presentations can be traced back to ancient times, Modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century with forms of entertainment like the music hall, burlesque, vaudeville, comic opera, pantomime, minstrel show, and variety shows. Then, in 1866, "The Black Crook" opened in New York City as the first musical comedy, described as a mix of French Romantic ballet and German melodrama, attracting patrons of both opera and serious drama, as well as those of burlesque shows. Overall, many structural elements were established by the light opera works of Jacques Offenbach in France, Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain, and the works of Harrigan and Hart in America. Musical theatre works of Americans like George M. Cohan emerged at the turn of the 20th century prior to Edwardian musical comedies in Britain like the celebrated London Gaiety Girls run by the British showman and entrepreneur George Edwardes, who brought the show to New York City calling the production musical comedy so as to differentiate it from his other burlesques. In the 1920s and '30s, musical comedy experienced a peak of creativity. Jerome Kern collaborated with Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, producing a series of remarkable productions. Notable composers and lyricists of this period include George and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Harold Arlen, and Jule Styne. "The Princess Theatre" musicals (1915–1918) meant artistic steps forward beyond the revues and other entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as "Show Boat" (1927), "Of Thee I Sing" (1931), and "Oklahoma!" (1943). In fact, "Show Boat" (1927) was the first musical to merge music into the narrative, marking it the first musical to offer a cohesive plot. However, it wasn't until the 1940s that this practice became fully established. Over the years, famous musicals were produced like "My Fair Lady" (1956), "The Fantasticks" (1960), "Hair" (1967), "A Chorus Line" (1975), "Les Misérables" (1985), "The Phantom of the Opera" (1986), "Rent" (1996), "Wicked" (2003), and "Hamilton" (2015), which  have become part of our cultural landscape.

AUSTRALIAN MUSICALS

As for Australian musical theatre, we can trace its emergence back to the early 20th century. It was marked by productions rooted in local themes and settings, often featuring convicts or outlaws. However, it wasn't until 1920 with the premiere of "FFF: An Australian Mystery Musical Comedy" by Jack DeGaris and Reg Stoneham that the country witnessed its first significant, locally written musical. This production drew inspiration from Edwardian musical comedy styles, setting the stage for later developments in the genre. With the staging of "Collits’ Inn'' by Varney Monk and Stuart Gurr in 1933 came a pivotal moment. This success led to further exploration of Australian narratives in works like "The Cedar Tree" and "Blue Mountain Melody" in 1934. Post-war, Australian musicals began reflecting international trends with productions like "Lola Montez" in 1958, following the Broadway and West End mould. Then, the 1970s and 1980s experienced a shift towards smaller-scale works with collaborations between playwrights, and experimentation with rock opera, exemplified by productions such as "Bran Nue Dae" in 1990. The arrival of mega-musicals like "Cats" in 1985 introduced a new era of grand theatrical spectacles like "Les Misérables," "The Phantom of the Opera," and "Miss Saigon" which monopolised major theatres. Director Simon Phillips emerged as a dominant figure in Australian musical theatre in the early 2000s with successes like "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Love Never Dies." Meanwhile, other Australian talents like Tim Minchin were acclaimed internationally for works like "Matilda the Musical."

MUSICALS IN SYDNEY

Grease

Being one of the biggest musicals of all time, “Grease” continues to amaze audiences around the world with a new production promising a slicker and more electrifying experience. Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, and the gang reunite at Rydell High School, bringing back the iconic teenage love story that has touched generations. With unforgettable rock & roll hits like "Summer Nights", "You're The One That I Want", and the Oscar-nominated "Hopelessly Devoted To You", the stage comes alive with captivating tunes. Featuring a stellar cast including Joseph Spanti as Danny, Annelise Hall as Sandy, and Australian icon Patti Newton as Miss Lynch, Grease: the Musical at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre reignites our passion for this timeless classic.

& Juliet

“& Juliet” is the ideal pop musical that the aficionados have been waiting for. Courtesy of Emmy-Winning writer David West Read from Schitt’s Creek, “& Juliet” offers a bold reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s timeless tale envisioning a world where Juliet’s story takes a different turn, embracing self-discovery and second chances. Accompanied by a catchy soundtrack by iconic songwriter Max Martin, the show brings a fresh perspective to the stage, proving there’s more to Juliet’s journey than tragedy. With its acclaimed premiere in London’s West End and 8 x Olivier Awards nominations, the colourful production stands as a remarkable theatrical achievement, featuring a stellar Australian ensemble led by emerging talent Lorinda May Merrypor as Juliet. Under the superb direction of Luke Sheppard and with remarkable choreography by Jennifer Weber, ‘& Juliet’ is further elevated by the immersive set design by Soutra Gilmour, seamlessly blending the excitement of live performance with the allure of pop concerts.

Chicago

Chicago” is one of the most beloved Broadway musicals, and it has had the pleasure to grace Australia's major cities. Premiering in 1975 and later in 1996, it holds a record as one of New York's longest-running shows, captivating global audiences with its themes of corruption, greed, and the pursuit of fame. With an iconic soundtrack featuring songs like “Razzle Dazzle” and “All that Jazz,” “Chicago”, penned by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb, the show stands as a pinnacle of musical theatre. Led by Anthony Warlow, Zoë Ventoura, and Lucy Maunder, the stellar cast brings to life the tale of Roxie Hart's ambition and resilience amidst a backdrop of 1920s Chicago, where fame comes at a high price.

Hamilton

This epic tale traces the journey of Founding Father of the United States of America Alexander Hamilton as he delves into his quest for honour, love, and a legacy that would shape a nation's destiny. Adapted from Ron Chernow’s celebrated biography, its dynamic score blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and Broadway tunes. With Lin-Manuel Miranda's masterful book, music, and lyrics, Thomas Kail's direction, Andy Blankenbuehler's choreography, and Alex Lacamoire's musical supervision, “Hamilton” transcends entertainment, leaving a profound imprint on culture, politics, and education. Garnering 11 Tony Awards, along with a Grammy, Olivier Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it also earned an exceptional citation from the Kennedy Center Honors.

Parade

Soundworks Productions brings the Tony Award-winning musical “Parade” to Australia. Written by acclaimed playwright Alfred Uhry and featuring music by Jason Robert Brown, Parade has become one of the most popular musicals in the 21st century. Aaron Robuck stars as Leo Frank, with Montana Sharp portraying his courageous wife Lucille. The show tells the true story of Leo's unfair prosecution and the importance of human resilience and the fight for human rights. Set in early 20th-century Atlanta, “Parade” delves into social and political tensions, including racism and anti-Semitism, while highlighting the unwavering love between Leo and Lucille.

THEATRES IN SYDNEY

Sydney Opera House

We can’t talk about theatres in Sydney without mentioning one of the most recognisable theatres in the world. The Sydney Opera House stands as a symbol of modern Australia, serving as the nation’s premier tourism destination, a bustling hub for performing arts, and a beloved community space open to all Australians. Recognized by UNESCO and valued at $11.4 billion by Deloitte, it sits on Bennelong Point, known to the Gadigal people as Tubowgule, a heritage Australia honours while championing inclusion, sustainability, and accessibility. The Sydney Opera House boasts multiple iconic venues, each offering a unique experience. From the grand Concert Hall and its renowned organ to the intimate Drama Theatre, there's a space for every performance. For example, The Joan Sutherland Theatre hosts opera and ballet, while the Studio offers experimental works.

Capitol Theatre

The Capitol Theatre in Sydney is a heritage-listed venue situated at 3-15 Campbell Street, Haymarket. It was originally designed by Henry Eli White and John Eberson and constructed between 1893 and 1928. Registered on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on April 2, 1999, the property is owned by Capitol Theatre Management Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Foundation Theatres Pty Limited. Initially established as the New Belmore Markets in 1892, the building underwent various transformations over the years, serving as a circus venue for the Wirth Bros in 1916, and later as a picture palace commissioned by Union Theatres and designed by John Eberson in 1927. Despite facing financial challenges during the Great Depression and the decline of cinema attendance due to television's rise in popularity, the Capitol Theatre was eventually saved from demolition in 1981 and underwent extensive restoration, culminating in its revival with the acclaimed production of Miss Saigon in July 1995.

Sydney Lyric Theatre

The Sydney Lyric Theatre, located within The Star complex in Sydney, New South Wales, has been a cornerstone of Australia's theatre scene since its establishment in 1997. Acquired by Foundation Theatres in 2011, it has consistently showcased acclaimed international and local productions. Some of its noteworthy premieres include “Dream Lover”, “Strictly Ballroom the Musical”, and Australian debuts like “Matilda the Musical”, as well as “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”. Following a recent renovation, the theatre offers an enhanced audience experience, fostering intimacy between performers and spectators. With seating configurations ranging from 1350 to 2000 seats, the Sydney Lyric continues to strive for excellence, ensuring an unforgettable theatre experience for all attendees.

State Theatre

The State Theatre, situated at 47-51 Market Street in Sydney's CBD, is a heritage-listed gem designed by Henry Eli White in collaboration with John Eberson, constructed between 1926 and 1929. This iconic venue serves as a hub for film screenings, live theatre, and musical performances. Since 1974, it has been synonymous with the annual Sydney Film Festival. Known also as the State Building and Wurlitzer Organ, it has held a place on the New South Wales State Heritage Register since April 2, 1999. Opening its doors on June 7th, 1929, under the vision of Stuart Doyle and architect Henry White, the theatre aimed to be "The Empire’s Greatest Theatre." Throughout its storied history, it has hosted a myriad of entertainment, from post-war news-reels to star-studded Hollywood premieres. Despite societal shifts, the theatre remains a cultural beacon, adapting to the times while preserving its rich heritage, attracting top-tier performers and continuing to dazzle audiences with world-class events. Their stage has been graced by world-class musical acts such as Prince, Chris Isaak, The Seekers, Cyndi Lauper, Florence and the Machine, John Legend, Julie Andrews, Dawn French, Chris Rock, and James Blunt, among others.

 

 

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