THE 80-voice-strong Melbourne Singers of Gospel get back to their soul roots in Higher and Higher. The vocal harmonies are rounded out by The Soul Train band, featuring New Orleans blues duo Andrew Ogburn on piano and Barnaby Gold on drums. Also appearing at the concert of Motown, soul, gospel and funk is a cappella quartet KeyChange.
Today 3pm and 8pm, Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote, $25-$30, trybooking.com/GQC
A FLUID mixture of string and wind instruments sustains folk outfit Eyal and the Skeleton Crew as they present songs from new release Of Beggars and Choosers. Israeli-born, Australia-living frontman Eyal penned the eclectic collection during years of travel, with each song reflecting the influence of that wandering as upbeat gypsy folk gives way to soft waltzes.
Tonight 8.30pm, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, 25 Bennetts Lane, city, $22.50, 9663 2856, bennettslane.com
THE Melbourne Chamber Orchestra honours an illustrious central European trio of composers in a matinee concert tomorrow. William Hennessy leads the orchestra in a program comprising Joseph Haydn's Symphony no. 70 in D, Bela Bartok's Divertimento for string orchestra and Mozart's Piano concerto no. 20 in D minor.
Tomorrow 2.30pm, Melbourne Recital Centre, 31 Sturt Street, Southbank, $25-$99, 9699 3333,
SYDNEY Dance Company brings out the big names for 2 One Another. Choreographed by artistic director Rafael Bonachela, with sound design by Nick Wales and text by Samuel Webster, the energetic and dynamic contemporary work is backed by a towering LED curtain designed by Iloura, the effects team that worked on feature films Ted and Where the Wild Things Are.
Today 8pm, Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, city, $50-$80, 1300 182 183, artscentremelbourne.com.au
ELLING (Darren Gilshenan) lives with his mother until her death, after which he is institutionalised for his own safety until Social Services pushes him and fellow social outcast Kjell (Hayden Spencer) out on their own. It may all sound a bit grim, but those familiar with Ingvar Ambjornsen's series of novels and the Oscar-nominated film of the same name will assure you Elling is in fact a charming "odd couple" comedy. Until December 8.
Today 4pm, 8.30pm, Southbank Theatre, The Sumner, 140 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank, $33-$99,8688 0800, mtc.com.au
MELBOURNE comedian Daniel Oldaker has honed his energetic blend of physical comedy, magic and circus acrobatics performing on the streets of Europe, Asia and North America. He brings the act home and indoors tonight with Dandyman, a cabaret show.
Today 7pm, Red Bennies, Level 1, 373 Chapel Street, South Yarra, $20, 9826 2689, redbennies.com
A SLAVE to the stage, Geoffrey Rush heads up a new production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Set in ancient Rome, the farce follows slave Pseudolus (Rush) as he attempts to win back his freedom by helping his master's son woo the girl next door. The award-winning musical, featuring songs by Stephen Sondheim, runs until December 23.
Today 2pm and 8pm, tomorrow 3pm, Her Majesty’s Theatre, 219 Exhibition Street, city, $70-$200, 1300 795 012, ticketek.com.au
ITALIAN composer Gaetano Donizetti’s tragic opera Lucia di Lammermoor receives a fresh interpretation from director John Doyle and Opera Australia. An international co-production with the Italian Teatro La Fenice and American Houston Grand Opera, the show features atmospheric lighting and projections, period costumes by Liz Ascroft and an international cast. Season runs until December 15.
Tonight 7.30pm, State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, city, $28.50-$250, 1300 182 183, artscentremelbourne.com.au
GOOD things come in small packages at The Short+Sweet Festival. From November 20 to December 9 directors, writers, choreographers and performers take up the challenge to create and present a new work with one catch: no show can last more than 10 minutes. Part of a family of festivals running in six countries, the program begins with theatre and dance, followed closely by Short+Sweet Cabaret.
Today and tomorrow 2pm and 8pm, Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran, $25-$30, 8290 7000, chapeloffchapel.com.au
CATCH the greatest hits of opera under the night sky at Opera In The Bowl in December. From Carmen to Turandot, with duets from The Pearlfishers and Lakme, the most moving and rousing highlights will be performed by Australia's best including Martin Buckingham, Giorgio Caoduro and Nicole Car, backed by the Opera Australia chorus and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
December 1, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, King's Domain, Linlithgow Avenue, city, free, 1300 182 183, artscentremelbourne.com.au
THE blockbuster National Theatre of Great Britain stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse is on its way to Melbourne. The stars of the show are the uncannily lifelike horse puppets created by South African Handspring Puppet Company using steel, leather and aircraft cables. The moving tale has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, five Tony Awards and four Outer Critics' Circle Awards since opening in 2007.
January 2-February 10, State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, city, $79.90-$129.90, 1300 182 183, artscentremelbourne.com.au
CATHERINE McClements stars in The Other Place, the first play of the Melbourne Theatre Company's 2013 season, opening on Australia Day. US playwright Sharr White's drama follows a biophysicist whose life and family begin to unravel in a slow-burn mystery. The Australian premiere is directed by Nadia Tass, with compositions by celebrated jazz pianist Paul Grabowsky.
January 26, Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, city, 1300 182 183, artscentremelbourne.com.au