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Awesome pop, Theater Camp and new Zadie Smith: Australia’s best to see, read and do this weekend

See in theaters

Laugh at the theater kids.

Anyone who has lived through the chaotic highs and humiliating highs and lows of school musicals will appreciate this American mockumentary like jazz hands to a show tune. Directed by Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman, it stars Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) and Gordon as overzealous teachers at a summer theater camp for children struggling to produce an original musical to honor the camp’s director, Joan ( Amy Sedaris), who is in a coma after a strobe lighting incident. It’s very funny and it’s already in theaters. – Janine Israel

look at home

Gritty Prestige Drama (Netflix)

Billed as Britain’s The Wire and set amid the gang wars of East London, Top Boy enjoyed cult success for two short seasons in the UK before being canceled in 2014. A few years later, Drake and Netflix joined forces to bring it back, and throughout its next three seasons it continued to garner plenty of praise, with a final run of episodes this month that The Guardian received five stars.before calling it a program that “changed television forever”. – Stephen Harmon

Comfort Food Romantic Comedy (Netflix)

Haley Lu Richardson and Ben Hardy star as two strangers who meet on an international flight, in a romantic comedy that’s exactly what you’ve come to expect from Netflix right now: oversaturated colors, clichéd location shots, and a heartwarming, upbeat plot that you can ignore. halfway with a second screen. Does that sound horrible to you? Maybe! But, writes Adrian Horton, “what it loses with Netflix and cheesiness… it gains in two engaging, surprisingly naturalistic performances from its magnetic leads.”


Zadie does Dickens

Zadie Smith’s new novel fictionalizes the life of a real-life failed Victorian novelist, William Ainsworth, who once outsold Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist and, at least by Smith’s account, never shut up about it (Dickens is also a character here, along with William Thackeray). The real protagonist is Ainsworth’s abolitionist housekeeper, Eliza Touchet; Through it, Smith questions what truth means in fiction and the stories told (and untold) about slavery in Britain. The guardian loved it. Andrea Long Chu No. Two weeks later, Australia can finally catch up. –SH

Zadie Smith’s The Fraud is now available in Australia. Photography: IBL/Shutterstock

Rethink ambition

Two years have passed since the beginning of the great resignation, and now the end of ambition He has his own fashion book. In All the Gold Stars, journalist Rainesford Stauffer (who previously chronicled quarter-life crises in An Ordinary Age) questions who gets to have #goals, what it’s like to be frustrated, and a more humane path forward. Much of this book draws on a distinctly American flavor of hustle culture, but given Australia’s growing inequality problems, it could be a postcard from a bleak near future. –AG

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Stunning orchestral pop

Since announcing her retirement from music in 2019 (she didn’t follow through), any Mitski Miyawaki production feels like a gift, however sad, that breaks open and then rearranges its fragments into something sardonic and surprising. On this, his seventh album, Mitski ventures into country-influenced pop territory, with 32 melancholic minutes that, like Alexis Petridis wrote in his five-star review.“slip between the sincere and the sardonic without ever losing control over the listener.” – J.I.

Album: End of Explosions in the Sky

Kings of progressive rock

A breakup album you’ll want to make love to, Explosions in the Sky’s first studio release since 2016 has all the brilliant walls of sound existing fans will expect. Given how focused the band has been on nature in recent years (their last project was a soundtrack for a PBS documentary about Big Bend National Park), End also seems like a poignant paean to the climate crisis. Young people: imagine if “lo-fi beats for relaxing/studying” had a lot more guitars. –AG


It's time to enjoy Levins Japanese and Middle Eastern BBQ
It’s time to enjoy Levins Japanese and Middle Eastern barbecue. Photograph: Lizzie Mayson/The Guardian. Kitty Coles food and prop styling. Food assistant Florence Blair.

Mixing techniques and flavors from Japanese, Chinese and Middle Eastern cuisine may seem like a recipe for a fusion bomb, but in In the hands of London chef Aika Levins, everything somehow works. Cucumber and radish salad is especially appealing at this time, since both are on sale in many vegetable stores and supermarkets.

Book in advance

Both Melbourne Theater Company and Sydney Theater Company They announced their 2024 programs this week and there are good things ahead. In Sydney, Dear Evan Hansen will have its first original production since Broadway, and a new “cinema-theater” show from Dorian Gray director Kip Williams: Dracula, starring Zahra Newman in each role. In Melbourne, My Brilliant Career is being adapted into a new musical, Nikki Shiels will star in A Streetcar Named Desire and Pulitzer-winning plays Topdog/Underdog and English will make their Australian debut. Full subscriptions for STC and TCM on sale now; Stay tuned for specific sale dates later in the year.. –SH

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