24 hours in Brisbane and Anything Goes
FROM Saturday noon to Sunday noon was the time limit we had given ourselves to escape home and enjoy a taste of Brisvegas life.
We're like many others in that we are always planning to do things on the weekend only to park it for another day. This time we decided there would be no turning back.
We locked in a schedule a fortnight before D Day centred on the first matinee performance of the classic musical, Anything Goes, at the Lyric Theatre.
The show is only booked for a short run in Brisbane, finishing on August 16 before it ships out to Sydney, which meant no changing our minds.
A noon arrival in Brisbane allowed for an easy check-in to the Sofitel, which is just a 25-minute stroll from the Lyric Theatre. With the matinee starting at 1.30pm that meant a drop-in to a favourite pub for a quick counter lunch was easily manageable.
Before I detail how we filled in the remainder of our day in Brisbane let me reflect on our musical.
The storyline involving shipboard frolics on the Liner SS American has been told and retold numerous times since Cole Porter first penned it way back in 1934, and while it has been modernised I'll be brutally honest and say that after 15 minutes I started to think maybe we had chosen the wrong play to watch.
That is a strange comment to make because an hour and a half later I was one of the first to give it a standing ovation. Suffice to say it's a little slow in the beginning, but it ends with a bang.
Theatre royalty Caroline O'Connor is superb in the lead role as Reno Sweeney and it's worth buying a ticket just to watch her perform.
Just a breath behind her as the star of the show is Wayne Kermond who plays Moonface Martin. It's a role that could well have been written for him.
Aussie favourite Todd McKenney's part in the show doesn't shine until after the break. The packed matinee crowd gave him plenty of support and he didn't let them down.
The clock chimed 4pm as we left the theatre, leaving us with plenty of time for a different type of Brisbane sightseeing trip. We clambered onboard Steve and Lyndal Torpey's CruiseMe luxury pontoon for a ride down the waterway.
Champagne and cheese platters were welcome friends on the sedate ride. If you are visiting Brisbane with a group of up to 11 friends it's an ideal way to spend the afternoon discovering the beauty of the river.
After a few hours gliding along the waterways we were back at the Sofitel for a freshen-up before our dinner booking at Jellyfish. It was our first visit to the seafood speciality restaurant we had heard glowing reports about.
A packed house vindicated the reputation when we arrived at Jellyfish which is located right on the Brisbane River in the heart of the action precinct.
Jellyfish prides itself on sourcing the best and freshest fish and our table certainly tested them out.
Between us we ordered rainbow trout, barramundi, garfish, mahi mahi and snapper and the conversation soon turned to who had selected the best.
We were united in that all varieties were cooked beautifully and while the voting was close the whole-baby barramundi won the gold.
Washed down with a Reserve Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc the meal has now gone down as one of our best in Brisbane.
A walk back up to the Sofitel was needed, but we were keen to close off our 24 hours in Brisbane with a good sleep, so instead it was a quick cab ride.
The next morning a late breakfast at the Sofitel reading the Sunday paper before a noon checkout wound up a 24-hour break that ticked all the boxes.
It wasn't the cheapest way to spend a day in Brisbane, but who doesn't need spoiling now and then?
*The writer was a guest of Brisbane Marketing.
Anything Goes: Season runs until August 16 at QPAC, Brisbane
Ticketing: 136 246
Sofitel Brisbane Central: Cruise into town with the Sofitel Brisbane Central's Anything Goes Breakfast Drive package. Starting from $305 per night, package includes overnight accommodation in a Superior or Luxury room; daily breakfast for two; car park and welcome drink.
249 Turbot St, Brisbane
07 3835 3535 or http://www.sofitelbrisbane.com.au
CruiseMe: Personalised cruises on the Brisbane River
0418 754 461 or cruiseme.com.au
Jellyfish Restaurant: Boardwalk Level, Riverside Centre
123 Eagle St, Brisbane
07 3220 2202 or jellyfishrestaurant.com.au