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Review: Christmas Spectacular - A Magical Wonderland at The State Theatre

Review by Cynthia Ning

We arrived at the glittering State Theatre in the unseasonal summer rain and were joined by families dressed in their Christmas best as we all gathered excitedly to our seats with toy lights and snacks. This was a sold-out Spectacular reminiscent of vintage cabarets with a modern twist showcasing talents from across Australia.

We are welcomed by singer and host Prinnie Stevens, a finalist of The Voice Australia and a seasoned musical theatre performer. Her warm presence and interaction with the audience to join in singing the classic Christmas songs are welcomed by parents and children alike with her sharing the stage and acknowledging the dancers which was a nice touch.

The showgirls and dancers wore fabulous costumes that dazzled the audience and gave off the effect of tinsel. There was clearly a lot of care in the designs to match the Christmas season colours and the entertainers made it look effortless when they did costume changes. The performers were just a joy to watch and gave 110% to their acts. They were just as happy as we were to be there, and the audience felt their energy and engagement and even had the children dancing.

The theatre has a rich history and beautiful architecture that is spacious and mesmerising with enchanted powder rooms and foyers. We were taken away on this festive journey from the moment we stepped in. The stage is tall and wide which allowed room for a small staircase in the centre to a higher platform which added another subtle dimension to the performances for the wow factor. The lighting was influential in creating different scenes and ambience for the entertainers such as Michael Boyd’s magical performance. He is an illusionist who was a finalist on Australia’s Got Talent and catered the magic tricks for children incorporating the nutcracker story for a disappearing act and even inviting one of the members on stage to be his assistant with a floating table. Watching live magic is always a treat to see and of course, no one could guess how he did it all and I don’t think we will ever find out.

The sound team were on point with the music changes for each song and dance routine which would have been a difficult feat due to some of the quick transitions and pacing of some of the dance numbers, but it went mostly smoothly throughout the show.

There was a good variety of acts for all ages to keep the audience engaged, especially the children who were anticipating a special guest appearance. Being part of a live performance brings up the energy and gives a completely different level of experience than being in a cinema. We were cheering the performers on even when things don’t always go as planned with the music being switched around early on and the hoopla hoops rolling around the theatre. It was all part of the fun, and we applaud the way they handled themselves and kept going on.

Just as Prinnie is winding down the show, the special guest, Santa Claus, comes along to say hello before making his trip around the world delivering gifts to boys and girls. The children are ecstatic to see him and the lead-up to Christmas. For a last little bit of magic, Michael and the crew created snow and it filled the theatre. All the children and even some adults were running up to the front to catch the snowflakes and make a wish. Truly joyous to see this as the last act of the night.

If you are able to give the gift of a live show to your family, I highly recommend it.

And yes, if you’re wondering, All I want for Christmas does play and we are encouraged to sing along. Naughty or Nice, there is no escaping Mariah Carey this Christmas.

These shows are truly a once-a-year treat that every family should come to. A different gift that is memories to be made and stays with you forever. Being together for Christmas and sharing the same family values of giving, love and sharing joy with all. We thank the performers for pulling this show together and making this a Christmas to remember.

I look forward to seeing what they will be doing for Christmas in 2023!

Image Supplied

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