Arts & culture,
Where to see a great live stage show on the Gold Coast
Charntel Cleveland | June 17, 2021
The Gold Coast is blessed with an array of theatres and live venues.
Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet afternoon matinee or a night of side-splitting entertainment, you can catch shows ranging from community plays to flashy cabarets and world-class stage acts right here on the Gold Coast.
Here are some of our favourite local live show venues.
The Home of the Arts (HOTA) is truly that: a home to all live art forms including theatre, dance, comedy, and music as well as fine arts and cinema. With the iconic Surfers Paradise skyline providing the ultimate backdrop, HOTA’s outdoor stage is ideal for catching a live show under the stars. Inside the HOTA space, a traditional theatre with 1135 seats, balcony and orchestra pit provides the ultimate stage for live theatre and touring shows. There’s also a black box theatre, where you can watch more intimate theatre productions and The Basement, which hosts live music, comedy nights and album launches. Upcoming performances of note at HOTA include the classic opera Carmen, musical comedy The Wedding Singer and American Psycho—The Musical, plus comedy acts from Julia Morris and Urzila Carson. To see all upcoming shows and events, head to the What’s On section of the HOTA website.
For a live show that’s a little out of the ordinary, think Pink… The Pink Flamingo SpeigelClub, that is. With its swanky art deco décor, plush pink velvet booths, fully stocked bar and purpose-built theatre, the Pink Flamingo in Broadbeach stages an array of sassy performances spanning cabaret, burlesque, acrobatics, drag and cirque. Following some of the shows, the party continues into the night and early hours of the morning, with special guest DJs and roving performers. Head to the shows section of the Pink Flamingo site to see what tickles your fancy.
Established in 1955, Spotlight Theatre at Bundall has a rich history of theatre on the Gold Coast. The venue has two theatres: The Halpin Auditorium, which seats 150, and The Basement, seating 100. Specialising in musicals with a live orchestra, Spotlight Theatre’s recent productions include timeless favourites such as Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, The Bodyguard, Footloose and Jersey Boys, all of which had sell-out seasons and additional performances added due to popular demand. Upcoming shows include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Australian classic Priscilla, Queen of The Desert and Singing in The Rain.
A dead-set favourite on the Gold Coast, Dracula’s Cabaret at Broadbeach provides a unique dinner and show experience you can really sink your fangs into. From the moment you step inside the purpose-built gothic castle, you will be transported (via ghost train) to an inescapable underworld of comedy, singing, dancing, burlesque, magic, juggling and aerial performances. Show tickets include a to-die-for three-course meal, while a fully stocked bar with specialty drinks helps keep the night alive. Dracula’s popular show Muertos—a tribute to the Mexican Day of the Dead—has just had its season extended. A word of warning: Dracula’s Cabaret is rated MA15+ and probably best left to the grown-ups!
With its eye-catching architecture and cutting-edge technology, The Theatre at The Star Gold Coast is a modern marvel. One of the biggest multi-functional theatrical venues in Australia, The Theatre can host up to 2150 people while its mechanical-thrust stage can be altered to suit any type of show, from smaller stage spectaculars to larger concerts. The Theatre has played host to a variety of world-class acts including Human Nature, Kelly Rowland and Michael Bolton plus large stage shows such as the Jabbawockeez. Home to a variety of performances each year, The Theatre has something for everyone, from stage plays to tribute concerts, live podcasts, comedy and even kids’ shows such as Bluey. Popular upcoming shows include Mamma Mia! The Musical and Eireborne—a live rock-show production that celebrates the rebirth of Irish dance. Check out The Star’s live concerts and shows to find out more.
With 70 years of live theatre under its belt, The Gold Coast Little Theatre in Southport is no stranger to sell-out shows and standing ovations. Drawing on a hotbed of local talent, the intimate community theatre produces five show seasons a year, spanning genres such as mystery, musical theatre, classic drama, one-act plays, contemporary theatre and comedy. Most recently, the theatre has produced sell-out seasons of smash-hit musicals including The Addams Family, The King and I and Bye Bye Birdie. This year, audiences can look forward to the hilarious farce No Sex Please, We’re British, the off-Broadway Greek drama Metamorphoses and explosive rock musical Green Day’s American Idiot. With ticket prices ranging from $20 to $30 and a quaint bar stocking drinks and snacks at 20th Century prices, the Gold Coast Little Theatre offers an affordable and enjoyable night of entertainment for all.
For a (whip) cracking night out, the Australian Outback Spectacular offers a dinner and live show experience like no other. Enjoy a hearty three-course meal plus drinks while immersed in a gripping tale of the Australian outback as the Spectacular’s latest show Heartland dazzles with impressive characters, livestock and cutting-edge projection technology that transforms the arena into an array of rugged landscapes. You can also book a backstage tour to learn more about the behind-the-scenes action.
Once a month, the Gold Coast Jazz and Blues Club transforms HOTA’s Lakeside Room into a classy sit-down venue, where music lovers of all ages can soak up some jazz, swing and blues tunes. Each monthly performance is different, focusing on a sub-genre of jazz or blues. On June 10, Dezzie D and the Stingrayz will transport audiences back to the American juke joint halls with ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s-style rhythm and blues, jazz, jump and swing. In July, the club traditionally has a French-themed evening, so on July 7 will be welcoming MZAZA—an award-winning six-piece revered for their unique and sophisticated blend of French folk music.
Dubbed ‘the Gold Coast friendliest theatre,’ Javeenbah at Nerang is an artist-driven community theatre with an appetite for innovative work. Staging the original plays of local writers and creatives as well as much-loved classics, the theatre has been running for almost 50 years and typically showcases five theatrical dramas or comedies a year plus one musical. Previous hits include A Streetcar Named Desire, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Cats. Upcoming shows include classic Australian comedy Two Weeks with the Queen and Playhouse Creatures, which is set in 17th Century London. Javeenbah is a local Aboriginal word that means ‘meeting place’ and with its warm, inviting atmosphere and intimate 100-seat setting, it’s no wonder Javeenbah Theatre remains a local favourite.
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