What is surely one of the most passionately debated topics there is - or at least, between musical theatre fans and their reluctant live show accompaniments - may finally be answered.
On Friday, May 24, the Australian Musical Theatre Festival's Great Debate will see two teams will go head to head over one big question: is musical theatre art?
Featuring notable Launceston's musical theatre performers and comedians, it is being billed as a memorable night of laughter and silliness, with the winning team chosen by the audience.
Insisting that musical theatre is art will be Errol award-winning theatre performer and comedian, Kerri Gay; Chilli FM breakfast host, Dan Taylor; and artistic director of the local Mudlark Theatre, Cheyne Mitchell.
Protesting that musical theatre is not art will be ABC breakfast radio host and founder and executive producer of Encore Theatre, Belinda King; performer, musician and writer of new musicals, Bradley McCaw; and RAW Comedy state finalist, Ned Townsend.
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The Great Debate will also include performances from a few recognisable faces: Denise Sam, John X, Ross Marsden and Chris Bryg.
The comedy extravaganza is part of the four-day program of activities presented by the inaugural Australian Musical Theatre Festival, which will take place in Launceston from 23-26 May.
The billing includes two major shows at the Princess Theatre, dozens of workshops and masterclasses, pop-up musical performances, a Schools Program and a late-night Festival Club, with experienced actors, singers, coaches and industry insiders flying in along with headline performers, Rob Mills and Jemma Rix.
Festival manager Jane Forrest said the program was diverse and entertaining, with something for comedy-lovers to musical theatre enthusiasts to aspiring stars.
"I am so excited that we will soon be sharing this brand new festival with the world," she said
"We aim to make Launceston a recognised centre for musical theatre excellence and bring economic and social benefits, and we are really seeing that with lots of interstate and intrastate bookings. It's clear that passionate musical theatre people from around the country are willing to travel for the art form."
To book tickets for The Great Debate or other events visit www.amtf.org.au