What's On

Editor’s Picks: What’s On In Sydney In May

By Sammy Preston
3rd May 2021

The dance floor at the Kings Cross Hotel with laser lights and a disco ball.

Yes, the weather's getting chilly—but don't let that get in your way this month.

Sydney's culture scene is really amping up with musicals and theatre galore. While we're hoping the sold-out season of seven methods of killing kylie jenner gets extended, make tracks for Fun Home from Sydney Theatre Company. Hungry? Impress someone you like with the sex-inspired, aphrodisiac-laced degustation happening at Metisse this week, and keep an eye out for the fancy new hotel bar from the Maybe Sammy crew. 

There's also a 24-hour party spread across 11 different venues, a stunning new light and sound festival down south for road trip fiends, and a one-off Californian wine festival where you'll be sipping delicious Zinfandel from Sonoma. 

Ready? Here’s everything I’m excited to get out and see, drink, and eat in May. 

Go See Fun Home, Another Award-Winning And Boundary-Pushing Musical

From Hamilton to Frozen, and now Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella too—Sydney has been teeming with musicals to see across the last few months. Another to add to your list is the Australian premiere of the Tony Award-winning show, Fun Home.

Presented by the Sydney Theatre Company, like Hamilton it’s another rule-breaker for the genre—though there are no slick raps United States history lessons here. Based on the graphic novel and memoir by Alison Bechdel, it’s a coming-out story led by a lesbian protagonist and a heartening tale about family and the delicate balance of a father-daughter relationship. Mia Honeysett totally steals the show as a young Alison. Tickets are here.   

Be Moved By This Super-Scale Multi-Sensory Monet Exhibition

Claude Monet is one of the most famous names in the world of art. He was a part of the crew that founded the French impressionist movement, was fascinated by light, colour and changing seasons, and really (really) loved to paint water lilies. His work is peppered throughout major art institutions all around the world, but sadly, none reside here in Sydney.

Right now though, Sydney is getting a major dose of Monet. The follow up to Van Gogh Alive is Monet & Friends — Life, Light & Colour, and it follows the same super-scale immersive make-up. Instead of peering at canvases from afar in a hushed museum, you’ll plunge into the sights and sounds of 19th century Europe, this time soaking up the luminous green and blue of Monet’s lily ponds, the punchy red of his poppy fields, and the soft light of fading summertime in the French countryside.

As the exhibition's title suggests, Monet & Friends will also feature paintings from Monet’s Impressionist contemporaries, like Paul Cézanne’s pears, Edgar Degas’s ballerinas in blue tutus, and Camille Pissarro’s lamplit Montmartre Boulevard. Read more and find tickets here

Feel The Romance At This Sensual Sex-Inspired Degustation

This month, Potts Point fine diner Metisse is celebrating its second birthday with a one-off menu inspired by executive chef and owner Opel Khan’s 2004 cookbook, Sex In The Kitchen. Happening this Thursday 6 May, expect a seven-course degustation infused with Khan’s signature French-leaning creativity, as well as classic aphrodisiacs and ingredients the veteran chef and his wife personally love, like oysters, shellfish, avocado, saffron, and chocolate.

Paired with a captivating collection of wines, you’ll get to try a version of beef quarante-cinq, and duck à l'orange, as well as some of Metisse's hero dishes like the zero-waste "Texture of Tomato" and stunning “Mosaïque”, a two-part course featuring a literal mosaic of carpaccio, followed by a light, creamy cup of lobster ravioli. And just like falling in love, the rest is all a mystery. Seatings are available from 5.30pm and bookings are available here.

Dance All Night, All Over Town At This Free 24-Hour Party

Editor's note: The 24 Hour Party event has been postponed due to COVID restrictions currently in place. Sign up here to learn about the new date. 

Across the last decade, Sydney's nightlife hasn't exactly had the best reputation. Now though, the era of lockouts has ended, COVID restrictions on dancing have been dropped, and there's a lot (like, heaps) of talk about Sydney blossoming into a bustling, vibing, always-on 24-hour city.  Here to help kick start this bold new age of nightlife in Sydney is a wild 24-hour party that is dedicated to awesome local artists and getting sweaty on the DF. 

Put together by Solotel, alongside a band of Sydney's best events and party organisers, including Motorik, Heaps Gay, Picnic, Fruit Bowl, and FBi Radio, the event is called "24 Hour Party" and it'll go down at 17 stages and 11 venues across the city with entertainment planned for the full 24 hours. Did I mention it's totally free too?

Covering ground from Newtown to Kings Cross and out to Parramatta, venues in on the gig are Kings Cross Hotel, The Marly, The Bank, Goros, The Golden Sheaf, The Albion Parramatta, Barangaroo House, The Erko, Public House Petersham, The Sackville Rozelle, and The Clock in Surry Hills. Suss out tickets and more here

Head South For The Free Moama Lights Festival

Way down on the border of NSW and Victoria is a little spot called Moama. This charming country town is hemmed by the Murray River, sharing a close bond with its Victorian neighbour, Echuca. This month, Moama will be kicking off a brand new sound and light festival that celebrates the river and the town's history. Taking place along Moama's stunning horseshoe-shaped Horseshoe Lagoon, you'll be able to wander along a 600-metre-long trail drenched in a spectacular light show that reveals Moama's indigenous roots, its riverboat heritage, as well as what life on the Murray currently looks like. The festival runs from Saturday 8 May through to Saturday 22 May, and if that doesn't sound like a good reason to get out and explore more of NSW, I don't know what does. More info is here

Try Some Californian Pinot At This One-Off Wine Tasting

Californian wines are some of my faves—but thanks to some annoying tax rules, they're also super hard to come by in Australia at a reasonable price. In May, Coogee Wine Room's cellar door series is hitting the West Coast with a super special tasting hosted by Andres Aragon from Jackson Family Wines. You'll get to sip your way through some of Northern California's best: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cab Sav, and (my personal favourite) Zinfandel, with wines hailing from Napa, Monterey, and beautiful Sonoma. It's all going down on Thursday 13 May, and there are two seatings available, one at 6.30pm and the second at 8pm. The tasting is $75 per person, with a specially matched three-course dinner included. Book here

Get Fancy At Maybe Sammy's New Hotel Bar, Dean And Nancy On 22

Fresh from opening Sammy Junior, an all-day espresso and cocktail bar in the heart of the city, the cocktail geniuses behind Maybe Sammy have yet another cocktail concept for Sydney. Due to open this month, Dean and Nancy on 22 will deliver a slick spin on the Maybe Sammy brand of award-winning cocktail drama from within the brand new A by Adina hotel. Yes, a fancy hotel lobby bar—which feels downright perfect for Maybe Sammy and their Rat Pack aesthetic and signature Sinatra-esque dinner jackets.

Maybe Sammy's creative director Andrea Gualdi has crafted 15 new signature concoctions, including some high roller cocktails made with super-premium spirits and non-alcoholic cocktails too. I'm super intrigued by the Coffee Champagne cocktail, where—mysteriously—your hands become the garnish. The “Rolling A Double” comes with a pair of dice; roll a double and you’ll win a cocktail upgrade. While we wait for an open date, you can read more about the bar here

Need more ideas?

And for even more fun stuff to do in Sydney this month, head over here.

Sammy Preston is the editor at Urban List Sydney. 

Image credit: Solotel, Prudence Upton, Grande Experiences, Metisse, Solotel, Moama Lights, Leigh Griffiths, Steven Woodburn

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