Play around and experience world-class culture in Brisbane
BEFORE they even utter a well-crafted word on stage, veteran actors Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones have won over their audience.
Oozing star quality, their presence as they emerge from the curtains is enough to captivate theatre fans in Brisbane's packed Playhouse at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
The Brisbane premiere season of Driving Miss Daisy has a short run, finishing on February 24.
It's sure to be a sell-out, if the response from applauding play-goers the night we had the good fortune to see the production is anything to go by.
Lansbury, as the crusty Southern belle of advanced years Daisy Werthan and Jones as her African-American chauffeur Hoke Colburn demonstrate impeccable comic timing.
In an acting career spanning 70 years, Lansbury has appeared in almost 60 motion pictures and made television history as Jessica Fletcher on Murder She Wrote, the longest-running detective drama series on TV.
Her co-star Jones was presented with an honorary Oscar in 2011, in recognition of his long and distinguished career.
Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-earning classic play, Driving Miss Daisy, which inspired an Academy Award-winning film, is expected to entertain 15,000 showgoers while based at the Playhouse.
If you can only see one play this year, make it Miss Daisy.
And while you're in Brisbane, take a look around.
A short taxi ride from QPAC, the charmingly refurbished Royal on the Park hotel spreads out a warm welcome for out-of-towners.
In a prize-winning location adjacent to Brisbane's City Botanic Gardens, Royal on the Park is handy to the city's nightlife meccas.
I can vouch for the relaxing aspects of a top-notch spa suite, and the mouthwatering quality of The Walnut Room restaurant pre-show dinner.
A short walk from The Playhouse, the Bacchus bar turned on great hospitality to satisfy late-night urges for drinks and bite-size snacks.
Next morning, after an ultra-comfortable overnight stay at Royal on the Park, the well-guided tour of fascinating must-see attractions in Brisbane resumed.
Our group of six was treated to an illuminating lesson about perfume.
At first glance, the elegant Libertine Parfumerie at New Farm, with its chandeliers and delightful scents, calls to mind an era of decadent French opulence.
Perfumes created for the ultra-rich and famous - royalty like Grace Kelly and Princess Diana - line the mirror-backed shelves.
Our sense of smell had been activated, in a heavenly sort of way. Now it was time to thrill the tastebuds.
Thirty minutes from Brisbane central, Sirromet Wines at Mt Cotton is a breath of fresh air, literally.
This hilltop estate is worthy of a whole-day visit with attractions like informative tours, wine-tasting and superb dining.
Fans of Channel 7 food presenter Andrew Mirosch can stop off at Restaurant Lurleen's, where he's executive chef, to taste-test his signature dishes.
The chef puts an emphasis on seasonal and regional produce, and caters for vegetarians and special culinary requests.
I couldn't resist taking home a bottle of 2006 Sun Wine from Sirromet's private collection range.
World-class arts and cultural events are scheduled for Brisbane in 2013, and there's plenty to do and see already.
The sights and attractions of Queensland's capital city collectively are impressive enough to warrant a standing ovation.
Brisbane, take a bow…