Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes.

Music

POP

THEY'RE young, Irish and churn out fist-pumping epic pop anthems. Sound familiar? U2 comparisons aside, three-piece Two Door Cinema Club have made quite an impression with their platinum-selling debut album Tourist History and recent follow-up Beacon. They're supported by London indie-rockers The Vaccines and Brisbane group The Jungle Giants.
Today 7.30pm, Festival Hall, 300 Dudley Street, West Melbourne, $70, 136 100, ticketmaster.com.au

COUNTRY

REUNITED country band The Dingoes head east to Oakleigh this weekend for two headline shows at the Caravan Music Club. The Melbourne band charted with early singles Way Out West and Boy on the Run in the '70s before briefly moving to the US and joining the A&M Records stable. Supported by Steve Hoy and Ross Hannaford.
Tonight 8pm, tomorrow 3pm, Caravan Music Club, 95-97 Drummond Street, Oakleigh, $35-$45, caravanmusic.com.au

FOLK

OVER the past three years, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten has released three albums of haunting folk-pop songs, collaborating along the way with everyone from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Zach Condon (aka Beirut) and The National. Playing a Falls Festival sideshow with her three-piece band this weekend, Van Etten is supported by local act Grand Salvo.
Tomorrow 8pm, The Corner Hotel, 57 Swan Street, Richmond, $42, 9427 9198, cornerhotel.com

FESTIVAL

ONE of the more accessible summer music shindigs, Pyramid Rock Festival takes up residence on Phillip Island this weekend, hosting a variety of local and international acts. World-conquering Perth experimental psych band Tame Impala headlines the festival, joined by political punk rockers Anti-Flag and PNAU, who get leave from the rocket man to perform their hits. Ends January 1.
Today until Tuesday, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, 381 Back Beach Road, Ventnor, $279-$424, thepyramidrockfestival.com

SOUL

GET down! PBS FM's monthly funk and soul night Soul-A-Go-Go is throwing a party to ring in the new year. DJs Miss Goldie, Manchild, Richie 1250, Pierre Baroni, Zack Rampage and Vince Peach will spin records until the early hours of what they deem to be "both kinds of music: soul and funk!"
Monday 8pm, The Workers Club, corner Brunswick and Gertrude streets, Fitzroy, $38, 9427 9198, theworkersclub.com.au

SOUL

CLAIRY Browne and the Bangin' Rackettes return to Melbourne for a final show following a 10-country, 20-date tour sparked by the exposure of the single Love Letter, which featured in a Heineken television advertisement. The CBBRs will be joined by fellow soul outfit Saskwatch, a band that also found success in 2012 with appearances at Golden Plains, Falls Festival and Earth, Wind & Fire shows.
Tonight 9pm, The Hi-Fi, 125 Swanston Street, city, $35, 1300 843 443, thehifi.com.au


Live entertainment

<i>War Horse</i> opens in Melbourne on New Year's Eve.

War Horse opens in Melbourne on New Year's Eve.

THEATRE

THE Australian Shakespeare Company's summer production of Romeo & Juliet freshens up the original teen love story with a soundtrack from Melbourne singer and composer Paul Norton. The production, staged in the Royal Botanic Gardens, is directed and adapted by Glenn Elston and stars Jamieson Caldwell and Madeleine Field. Until March 9.
Today and tomorrow 8.30pm, Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, $25-$40, 1300 122 344, shakespeareaustralia.com.au

THEATRE

THE National Theatre of Great Britain's stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse opens in Melbourne on New Year's Eve, after final previews this weekend. Featuring life-size puppets created by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company, the show has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, five Tony Awards and four Outer Critics' Circle Awards since opening in 2007. Runs until March.
Today 2pm and 7.30pm, tomorrow 3pm, State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, city, $80-$130, 1300 182 183, artscentremelbourne.com.au

NEW YEAR

FEDERATION Square is prime real estate this new year. The entertainment starts early evening with a family-friendly program including percussionists King Marong and Afro Mandinko and their 10-piece West African dance band, along with breakdancers Wickid Force Breakers. The main square will be alcohol and glass free, making it appealing to families.
December 31, Federation Square, city, free, fedsquare.com

 

Coming up

CIRCUS

THE Canadians are coming. Innovative circus troupe Cirque du Soleil brings its family-friendly show OVO to the big top next month. Portuguese for "egg", OVO is set within an insect ecosystem where a mysterious egg appears. The show features a trapeze act in which six performers fly 14 metres high, a finale with performers leaping up an eight-metre vertical wall, and Cirque du Soleil's characteristic eye-popping costumes and set designs.
January 17, 453-507 Docklands Drive, Docklands, $64-$265, cirquedusoleil.com

CLASSICAL

THE Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performs on Phillip Island for the first time next year in an outdoor concert on the ample grounds at Churchill Island Heritage Farm. Framed by the bay and the farm's heritage buildings, conductor Benjamin Northey will lead the 70-piece orchestra through classics from Rossini, Puccini, Tchaikovsky and other greats, joined by soprano Antoinette Halloran.
February 2, Churchill Island Heritage Farm, Samuel Amess Drive, Churchill Island, $40-$102.50, 9929 9600, mso.com.au

THEATRE

TENNESSEE Williams' autobiographical "memory play" Vieux Carre promises to be a highlight of the Midsumma Festival. Based on a young, naive Williams' experiences living in a New Orleans boarding house, the play follows the writer as he observes the lives of his co-tenants, which in turn awaken his own desires. Directed by Alice Bishop for ITCH Productions, the play stars Thomas Blackburne, Josh Blau and Des Fleming.
January 17-February 3, fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, city, $35-$40, midsumma.org.au