FOR 1960s pop sensations Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, New Jersey offered only three things to do: join the army, join the mob or write a hit song.
Fortunately, the entertainment outlook for Queensland's capital, Brisbane is far more vibrant.
While the nights are still laced with winter's bite, Brisbane is heating up with plenty of entertainment and arts options for all ages.
Headed down the highway from the Sunshine Coast with cloudless blue skies in the distance, I played tunes including Sherry, Walk Like a Man and Oh, What a Night to get pumped for the Queensland premiere of the world-wide musical hit Jersey Boys.
But this is not the only chance to see world-class acts in Brisbane in the latter part of 2012.
The city is playing host to a range of international cultural, arts and sporting events and performances.
Jersey Boys comes off the back of Cirque du Soleil's latest magical performance OVO, which premiered under the big top at Eagle Farm in July.
Brisbane's arts and cultural experience is centred on South Bank.
The 42-hectare urban oasis is home to venues such as The Queensland Museum, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Convention and Exhibition Centre and Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
Throw into the mix eccentric street performers, South Bank Lifestyle Markets and Young Designers Market and you have the ultimate hub for arts, entertainment and creativity.
After we checked into Novotel Brisbane in the city, we jumped on a bus to make our way over the Victoria Bridge and Brisbane River to South Bank.
With plenty on offer, the area was buzzing with visitors and locals alike, all taking in the fine weekend weather.
We found ourselves "people watching" as we dined al fresco for lunch along Little Stanley St.
There's something about city living that makes me feel alive.
People constantly are scooting around you. Where are they going?
What's their story?
From the gym-fit mum and dad jogging past with the latest model yuppie stroller, to the music-mad 14-year-old dancing to her own beat and the hipster couples simply enjoying a latte and browsing the markets, people from all walks of life converge on the popular area.
With daytime winter temperatures barely falling below 20C, South Bank's River Quay is the perfect place to take in sunny skies and undisturbed city views.
Situated at what is arguably Brisbane's finest intimate riverfront location, River Quay is set in the southern end of South Bank.
From the sweeping green of the purpose-built outdoor amphitheatre to the thrilling Brisbane city skyline, nowhere else can you see experience Brisbane so spectacularly.
The area was created after the 2011 floods and is now home to some of Brisbane's finest restaurants including The Jetty, Popolo, Stokehouse Q and Cove Bar and Dining.
As we took a seat for an early dinner with tasting plates at The Jetty, the grassed fields started to become speckled with sun-starved visitors, reserving their place riverside.
Some set out a picnic rug, while others perched themselves on a sling-back deck chair.
After a stellar evening at the theatre, we returned to the hotel for a cocktail, Jersey Boys-style, in the lounge and bar.
Oh What a Night!
While South Bank is a favourite, it is just one of many eclectic areas on offer in Brisbane, with suburbs such as West End, Fortitude Valley, Teneriffe and Newstead hot spots in their own right for exploration.
Brisbane, I Can't Take My Eyes Off You.
The writer was a guest of Brisbane Marketing, Novotel Brisbane and the Jersey Boys production
WHERE TO STAY
Until October 14, Accor Brisbane's city hotels will offer a Stay and See overnight package to give guests a chance to see the worldwide stage show hit, Jersey Boys.
Rates are per person twin share from $223 at Novotel, $213 at Mercure and $200 at Ibis
Enjoy a dinner and show package from $148 per person, which includes a choice of seafood buffet or two-course pre-show dinner with a glass of wine, beer or soft drink and tickets to the show.
Novotel Brisbane is at 200 Creek St, phone 3309 3309
BRISBANE WINTER HIGHLIGHTS
Jersey Boys will be showing at QPAC until October 14
Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb exhibition will be at The Queensland Museum South Bank until October 21.
Cirque du Soleil's OVO will be performed under the big top at Eagle Farm until September 2
Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado, showing until November 4 at Queensland Art Gallery.
Hamburg Ballet, Philharmonic Orchestra and State Opera at QPAC until August 23
EKKA August 9-18, RNA Showgrounds
Brisbane Festival, September 8-29.
Queen St Mall birthday celebrations, August 7 with free lunchtime concert at noon
For more Brisbane events information go to visitbrisbane.com.au
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