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Beat the heat in a nice cool theatre: What’s on in Brisbane this weekend

Buckle up, friends – there’s an action-packed weekend ahead of you. From the bites, sights and sounds of BrisAsia Festival to yoga classes with puppies, underground flamenco nights and St Jerome’s Laneway Festival’s stellar line-up, here are all of the fun things you can get up to in Brisbane this weekend …

Theatre
After a hugely successful stint in Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane locals will finally get their opportunity to join the revolution this weekend, when Hamilton arrives at QPAC for a strictly limited season. You do not want to throw away your shot to witness Lin-Manuel Miranda’s much-loved musical, which has had a profound impact on culture, politics and education since it first debuted Off-Broadway in 2015. The queens of SIX The Musical also continue their reign at QPAC’s Playhouse Theatre this weekend. Remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak, these Tudor queens turned pop princesses retell their story in this high-octane pop musical, which has taken the world by storm. A decadent evening of sensational acrobatics, operatic cabaret and tongue-in-cheek burlesque awaits at BLUSH, which is also playing at QPAC. This award-winning circus sensation is not to be missed!

Live music
It’s a big weekend on the music front with St Jerome’s Laneway Festival bringing a stellar line-up to Brisbane Showgrounds this Saturday, with the likes of HAIM, Phoebe Bridgers, JOJI, FINNEAS, Hockey Dad, Mallrat and heaps more gracing the stage for a massive day out. The festival vibes continue with a reggae lean on Sunday with JAMMIN festival taking over the Eatons Hill Hotel, with headliners UB40 with Ali Campbell joined by beat makers J Boog, Kolohe Kai, Sean Kingston, Fiji, Sons of Zion, The Original Wailers, Steel Pulse and more. Now for a gear shift – lovers of Barbra Streisand (queen) won’t want to miss  To Barbra, With Love, a spectacular remount of the iconic songstress’ most memorable hits, performed in live concert (Friday night and Saturday afternoon) by Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra alongside musical theatre royalty Caroline O’Connor and Katie Noonan. Fresh off a world tour, Sons of the East are hitting The Triffid stage on Friday night, while Byron Bay busker-turned-touring-artist Kyle Lionheart fills The Zoo with his soulful tunes on Saturday night. Fan of flamenco? Acclaimed flamenco ensemble BANDALUZIA will perform a dazzling new dance-and-music show at Brisbane Powerhouse’s underground theatre on Saturday night, set to be an explosive display of rhythm, melody and harmony.

Exhibitions
One of our favourite ways to spend our free time is strolling through an art gallery, and there’s no better place to do this than at QAGOMA. The gallery’s summer blockbuster exhibition, Air, is showcasing immersive and large-scale works by leading international and Australian artists exploring the cultural, ecological and political dimensions of air. Courage and Beauty is also gracing the gallery and this spellbinding showcase celebrates the vision and generosity of Queensland art collector and philanthropist James C. Sourris AM. Giving us the perfect excuse to wander around the city is Brisbane City Council’s Outdoor Gallery exhibition, play/ground. Art enthusiasts are set to be wowed by a series of breathtaking artworks in light boxes, banners, vitrines, and evening projections across destinations including Howard Smith Wharves, Ann Street and Fish Lane. MoB is once again inviting art lovers to escape the world outside and enter a new, far more colourful one inside its fun-filled exhibition Play Moves. Sticking around until April 16, this fantastical display is bringing together a bounty of local and national artists for a boundary-breaking art experience like no other. Exhibition-goers can stroll through six large-scale installations where every action you take makes the art around you come alive.

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The best of BrisAsia Festival 2023
Brisbane City Council’s BrisAsia Festival has returned with a show-stopping lineup of some of the best sights, sounds, tastes and experiences of Asia, with a jam-packed three weeks of festivities on offer. This Friday marks the BrisAsia Launch Party – a cultural spectacular full of light, colour and movement, held at the iconic Fortitude Music Hall. Head along to enjoy performances from Sydney-based K-pop DJ Nick Kim, hip-hop stars East Mode, an interplanetary evocation by Indian-fusion singer Menaka, Lion Dancers, martial art displays and a special appearance by drag queen Crimson Coco. On Saturday, sip boba and other bang-on beverages at Laneway ParTEA, which is taking over Burnett Lane for day of tea sampling, workshops, music and more. On Saturday afternoon, there’s the Lunar New Year Rooftop Party, which will see the entire Sunnybank Plaza rooftop transform into the ultimate celebration of culture, complete with lights,  lanterns, live music and a spectacular fireworks display. Then on Sunday, tune into some top-tier tunes from local producers and artists this Sunday at the must-do BrisAsia Beats: Shoku Beat Sessions.

Out-of-the-box activities
Love dogs? Love yoga? You can downward dog with pups at your side this weekend at DOGA classes as part of the the re-opening celebrations for myDrishti studio in Kangaroo Point –plus, it doubles as an adoption drive and fundraiser for SMART Animal Sanctuary & Rehoming Centre, so all of the pups at the classes are available for adoption too (ideal if you’re ready and on the hunt for a new furry friend). On that note, you can jump into a free (yes, free) pilates class this Saturday morning for the launch of the brand-new Premium Pilates & Fitness in Milton – join online here and start your weekend limber. This Saturday, the Mama Mia Immersive Boat Cruise returns to Brisbane, setting sail from the Mowbray Park Pontoon at various times across the day and night for a 90-minute Greek-inspired cruise-and-dine experience – you’ll devour a menu of Greek eats while dancing to ABBA tunes and soaking in the sights of Brisbane.  In the middle of Roma Street Parkland is where you’ll come across Moonlight Cinema, which is screening hits and serving up popcorn this summer. The outdoor cinema boasts a line-up of this season’s biggest blockbusters, hottest new releases and certified cult classic – it’s only in town until February 19, so if you’re yet check it out, be quick! Those feeling extra adventurous can hit up Brisbane’s most ‘grammable experience – Imaginaria. The stunning immersive play experience combines audio-visual art, inflatable architecture, light installations and futuristic gamification suitable for all ages. Nerdy about NASA? Be sure to check out space-centric experience Neighbourhood Earth before it wraps up this Sunday – it’s an out-of-this-world experience that lets visitors explore the solar system and our place within it.  Feeling hot hot hot? The Nautilus Beach Club is open for the summer to both guests and the general public, and it’s the perfect place to cool down with a cocktail in hand. For just $29, guests can enjoy the pool for up to seven hours and you’ll even get a welcome spritz on arrival.

Markets and foodie fun
Lunar New Year feasts and festivities wrap up in mouth-watering fashion at Treasury Brisbane this weekend. The special two-person banquet at Fat Noodle (hello, sour pork-rib soup) is running until Sunday, as are the sumptuous seafood specials at Mei Wei Dumplings – plus there will be one final lion dance at 7:30 pm on Sunday night. If you’re eager to stroll through some stalls and stock up on some fresh fruit and veg over the weekend, be sure check out these markets happening – Saturday Fresh MarketRiverside MarketsKelvin Grove Village MarketJan Powers Farmers MarketsDavies Park MarketCarseldine MarketsNundah Farmers Markets and the Redcliffe Markets. For delicious dinnertime eats, Eat Street Northshore is on for your snacking pleasure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights or a hint of mystery, head to Westoria on Friday – a unique night market bringing a sense of wonder, excitement and sense-enlivening magic to West End. Hot margarita summer has arrived at The Boundary with the arrival of the Patrón Pop-UpHead up to The Boundary rooftop and be transported to the beaches of Tulum, complete with margarita trees, bottomless nachos, tacos and all the good vibes you could ask for.

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