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October 5, 2023

Club Broadway encores at Mary’s

Dear theatre nerds, start warming up – Australia’s touring musical nightclub returns to Adelaide this weekend for one night only.

  • Words by Sarah Herrmann
  • Photo by Anton Rehrl

After 20 years playing house music across the nation and beyond, DJ Dan Murphy received a TikTok that would change his life – as only social media can.

“I’ve got a lot of regular guests that come along [to my events] and one of them sent me a TikTok during WorldPride of an entire nightclub singing along to ‘Defying Gravity’ – and there would’ve been hundreds of people in there – and I just got goosebumps,” Dan says.

“And he’s like ‘Dan, you need to do this is Australia.’”


Club Broadway at Mary’s Poppin.

5 Synagogue Pl, Adelaide

Saturday, October 7 from 5–9pm

Dan added some “Australian flavour” to the mix and, with the help of friend Gary Nunn, just months later in May this year held Club Broadway’s first event at a small venue in Sydney.

It sold out in 24 hours. A second show was selling fast and Melbourne had the same reaction: musical theatre fever.

“In all my years of DJing and producing, I’ve never had something snowball so quickly,” he says.

Club Broadway spiralled into a national tour, with the first stop in Adelaide on a cold July night at gay bar Mary’s Poppin.

“I was a bit nervous actually to be doing it to an all-new crowd and new faces but the people that came, they just got into it right from the get-go, stayed until the end, sang along to everything, and it was just the best way to kick off the tour,” Dan says.

The event has continued to succeed across the country.

“I ask at the beginning of every show who’s been before and who is here for the first time and most of the time the first-timers outnumber the repeat guests, and then as the tour’s gone on the repeat guests are increasing,” Dan says.

“The first-timers, they all walk in and they’re just like looking at me and looking at the stage wondering what to do and then after about half an hour they realise ‘oh we just sing along to all our favourite songs, it’s easy!’.

“The most common feedback would be that people say ‘we don’t go to nightclubs normally but this is our kind of clubbing’ and our older guests will say ‘we haven’t been to nightclubs for 20 years but this is bringing back some good memories’ and they said if nightclubs played this kind of music all the time they’d be out all the time.”

Wicked’s ‘Defying Gravity’, Les Miserables’ ‘One Day More’ and anything from Hamilton get the biggest reactions, while Hairspray and Grease “go down a treat”.

You can also expect the original hits from Rent, Six, Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, Sondheim, Disney and more. Add in drag performance intermissions and you get the full picture.

DJ Dan also embraces the “so many musicals with a religious kind of slant to them”, appearing at the desk in a habit to celebrate a series of nun-themed tracks.

“It feels silly but I think that’s kind of the nature of the event, not to take it too seriously,” he says.

Dan describes the club atmosphere as “just joyous” and a place “everyone feels at home”.

“Everyone is there for the same reason and that’s the love of musicals,” he says.

“People go to a regular nightclub to pick up other people, but people come to Club Broadway to pick up a tune.”

DJ Dan is also working on creating an all-ages area at shows, based on a “big request from parents to bring their musical-loving teens along”.

Club Broadway is back in Adelaide on Saturday, October 7 from 5–9pm at Mary’s Poppin for ages 18+. Presale is sold-out but tickets are available at the door.

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