Cabaret Festival

2013 Adelaide Cabaret Festival Program Revealed

238-2Adelaide Cabaret Festival Artistic Director Kate Ceberano has upped the ante at this year’s Festival with not one, not two, not even three leading ladies making their Adelaide Cabaret Festival debut but four divas will reign supreme, including both the good and bad witches of Broadway smash hit Wicked, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel as well as Cassandra Wilson and Molly Ringwald.

The 2013 program features 411 artists in 161 performances over 18 days and nights. 52 international artists from across the USA and the UK and the best from Australia with 369 Australian artists, 250 of those South Australian performers. Showcasing 17 world premieres, seven Australian premieres and 17 Adelaide premieres, the vibrant program also features 12 international shows.

Opening on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend 7 June and running until 22 June, this year’s Festival program is bigger than ever before. Festival Artistic Director Kate Ceberano set the bar high in her first year. The 2012 Cabaret Festival broke all previous box office records, claiming the highest box office ever in the event’s 12 year history, including the 2011 Festival’s record by 12 per cent. This year’s Festival line-up looks destined for the same success.

Headlining the opening weekend is Tony and Emmy Award winning performer Kristin Chenoweth. A true cabaret artist who has won hearts on stage and screen, best known as the original Glinda in Wicked, she won a Tony Award for her role in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.  Kristin has appeared on television in Glee, Pushing Daisies, GCBThe West Wing. In her Australian Premiere performance, Chenoweth will perform with the Adelaide Art Orchestra before embarking on a national tour with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival as Associate Presenter for her Australian tour.

Molly Ringwald star of 80s hit films, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club makes her Australian stage debut in An Evening with Molly Ringwald, and it’s an opportunity to see this iconic performer as you’ve never seen her before – an accomplished jazz vocalist who cut her first LP at the age of 6.

Two-time Grammy Award winning jazz singer and composer Cassandra Wilson, renowned for her ability to cover everything from British pop to American country, will appear with her incredible sextet made up of some of the best musicians in the USA.

Headlining the closing weekend of the Festival is Tony Award Winning performer, Idina Menzel, star of Broadway’sWicked and the original stage production of Rent. Menzel will be joined on stage by her performer/actor husbandTaye Diggs, and backed by the 55 piece Adelaide Art Orchestra. Menzel will enchant audiences and demonstrate why she is one of the great vocal performers of our time.

Festival Artistic Director Kate Ceberano says, “I am borderline hysterical over the program. Who could have believed the juggernaut this festival has become? What an honour it is to be presenting some of the most talented and diverse artists from all over the world! Cabaret becomes a bigger and more recognised art form every year, taking it beyond its humble beginnings and yet maintaining its up close and personal branding”.

This year’s Festival explores the theme of ‘See What Hides Within’ and that’s exactly what the program does, going beyond the realm of performers on stage. It provides audiences with a unique look at the artist and the ever evolving art form. From the satirical, nostalgic, contemporary, to the traditional, magical and vagabond, fresh-faced Cabaret artists and industry stalwarts all go to extreme lengths to share their inspiring journeys showcasing their incredible talent on very different platforms.

Ceberano’s program continues to build on the Festival’s reputation for excellence, presenting a star studded line-up of international artists.  They include the UK’s Barb Jungr, the spellbinding songstress returns in Stockport to Memphis. New York Cabaret icon Joey Arias is pure cabaret gold, Arias on Holiday will showcase his channeling of legendary jazz and blues singer Billie Holiday. Also hailing from the US is Lady Rizo a Grammy award-winning diva known for being the Mistress of Ceremonies at New York’s current hotspot The Darby.

Experience the bright lights of Broadway when the grandson of the great Richard Rodgers, USA’s Tony Award winning theatre composer/lyricist Adam Guettell takes to the stage with Haley Bond. In addition to seeing him on stage audiences can get up close and personal in a Masterclass.

It’s no secret Kate made plenty of friends during South Pacific, therefore it’s not surprising that some of those fellow performers are in this year’s program. Michael Lindner performs Mark Campbell’s off-Broadway hit musical for one actor Songs from an Unmade Bed. Lieutenant Cable aka acclaimed tenor Daniel Koek returns home with his eight-piece band from London to present A Decade Down the Road. And in what is destined to be a Festival show-stopper, Kate herself will take to the stage with Teddy Tahu Rhodes in Meet Me in the Middle, a collaboration that merges opera, musical theatre and rock’n’roll. The two will be joined on stage by the Adelaide Art Orchestra and conductor Vanessa Scammell.

All-time Festival favourite Eddie Perfect will hit a six as acclaimed Australian Director Simon Phillips guides an exciting new production of Shane Warne the Musical in concert with the 24 piece Adelaide Art Orchestraconducted by the award winning Iain GrandagePerfect heads up an exceptional cast including Lisa McCune as Simone Warne, Shane Jacobson as Terry Jenner, Verity Hunt-Ballard as Bridgette Warne (Shane’s mum!) andChristie Whelan Browne as Liz Hurley.

Tributes are a-plenty in this year’s Festival: Tommy Bradson pays homage to Australian stage legend Reg Livermore in Reg as he performs a retrospective on his illustrious career; and soul sensation and star of last year’s hit TV series The Voice Darren Percival, brings his phenomenal celebration of a musical legend A Tribute to Ray Charles.

USA’s Award-winning composer/performer, David Pomeranz’s one-man musical tour de force Chaplin A Life in Concert is based on the life story of the brilliant cinematic genius. Australian star of stage and screen Tom Burlinson performs his sensational salute to the masters of swing in Now We’re Swingin’.

Catherine Alcorn presents Go Your Own Way, the story of Christine McVie – the other woman’ in Fleetwood Mac. The intriguing tale of international fame, songwriting, privacy and the decision to Go Your Own Way. From Fleetwood Mac to Annie Lennox and Bruce Springsteen, Adelaide own star of Jersey Boys Michael Griffiths returns with Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox whilst another Adelaidean Michelle Nightingale demonstrates her Springsteen-inspired journey in Born To Run.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival will be alive with the sound of Julie as award-winning West End singer and actress Sarah-Louise Young lovingly recreates the sound of Julie Andrews in Julie Madly DeeplyMarika Aubrey celebrates Sophie Tucker’s brilliant life and career in Last of the Red Hot Mamas, a personal salute to the original red hot mama.

If you like your cabaret contemporary there’s plenty to keep you satisfied;  Mojo Juju’s Pony Takes A Powder will be the perfect introduction; Also fitting the bill is RRamp created by Christine Johnston who is renowned for her creation of the Kransky Sisters. RRamp is an eclectic mix of original music, dance, story-telling, humour and animation. Purr-fect post-post-modern diva Meow Meow returns with her unique brand of kamikaze cabaret and performance art exotica.

Paul Capsis Australia’s charismatic Cabaret King is back, the multi-award winning star of stage and screen including two coveted 2012 Helpmann Awards will present the Paul Capsis Revue, Performance Partner Lexus of Adelaide. Cult musical UK duo Bourgeois and Maurice make their Australian premiere with their critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe hit Sugartits! Unlike her persona in popular television series Winners and Losers Virginia Gay is a little bit naughty in  Songs to Self-Destruct To which explores the motto “Take your tragedy and make it marvellous!”.

Paul McDermott’s highly acclaimed 2013 Fringe exhibition The Dark Garden is now a stage show, TV’s favourite funny man has created a world premiere especially for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. If you like your cabaret spicy don’t miss the world’s biggest one man band Puta Madre Brothers, the wanna-be Mexicans pay homage to their heroes of outlaw rock and roll, soul and Mexican folk music. Cabaret Survivor is pianist, singer, writer and satiristPhi Scott’s personal, idiosyncratic and at times hilarious take on his mid-life cabaret career.

Magician and philosopher Sunny Leunig presents the Adelaide premiere of his 2012 Melbourne Fringe Festival hit A Guide to Unhappiness, his unique take on magosophy – magic and philosophy combined.

Cabaret traditionalists won’t be disappointed. A selection of Irving Berlin’s songs will be delivered with style by Lucy Maunder in Irving Berlin: Songs in the Key of Black.  She will also embrace Jacques Brel along with John O’Mayand Helen Morse in Love. War. Death. BREL.  Robyn Archer the Doyenne of Cabaret is back; Que Rest-T’il?explores the classic cabaret traditions of Paris and Vienna.

In a nod to Cabaret’s French roots Abby Dobson songstress extraordinaire and front person for Leonardo’s Bride, with Lara Goodridge, violinist/singer from the celebrated string quartet Four Play present a passionate tour de force of French songs in Baby et Lulu. Hear the voice of a musical dynasty as Martha Wainright presents a richly diverse repertoire from several of her albums including her most recent acclaimed release and the title of her showCome Home to Mama.

Those who missed the sold-out critically acclaimed Australian tour of Songs for Nobodies will be able to seeBernadette Robinson as she returns to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with a concert of songs by her favourite performers and songwriters.

An evening of sumptuous songs, stunning strings and tantalizing tango My Latin Heart will be presented by internationally-acclaimed baritone José Carbó who will be joined by Adelaide International Guitar Festival Artistic Director and celebrated classical guitarist Slava Grigoryan and his equally renowned guitarist brother Leonard.

Compositions: A Musical Close Up is a theatrical and visual masterpiece concert that brings together the celebrated musical theatre talents of Tyran Parke, with the astounding images by his brother, one of Australia’s most acclaimed photographers, Trent Parke.

Larrikans of Aussie rock Brian Cadd and Russell Morris swap tall stories and sing classics from the Aussie rock industry from the 1960s to today, whilst folk and country genres are honored as Miles O’Neil and Simone Page Jones create a divine musical collaboration in Home in Your Heart. Adelaide creative talents Cameron Goodall, Quincy Grant and Andy Packer have come together to create a boisterous new cabaret adventure You, Me & The Bloody Sea featuring original music and invoking traditional sea shanties and siren songs.

No stranger to the Cabaret Festival is Australia’s stunning soprano siren Ali McGregor in her new hit show Alchemy,Performance Partner Investec Specialist Bank. She transforms into a 1940s siren creating some unique mash-ups. Australian brother and sister duo Emma and Thomas Hamilton perform La Musique, an intoxicating blend of jazz-pop standards sung in both French and English.

It was only a matter of time before local media identity Matt Gilbertson’s alter ego Hans took to the Cabaret Festival Stage, along with his band The Ungrateful Bastards and dancers The Lucky Bitches. The boy wonder of Berlin is back for the world premiere performance of Like A German.  Matt can also be seen hosting the final night of theBackstage Club.

David Bromley is back as design consultant having designed the Backstage Club, is where you’ll find the artists kicking up their heels after their show and possibly even onstage.  This year’s club will be hosted by an array of stars from the Festival including Joey Arias, American comedian and impressionist Jim Meskimen and Festival Artistic Director Kate Ceberano. Tickets for the club are $10 and it’s the perfect place to kick on after seeing a show or two.

When the club reaches capacity patrons can still party in the Piano Bar where a host of FREE entertainment and Cabaret Festival guests can be seen throughout the Festival. A diverse range of catering options is available before, between and after each performance.  Experience the Winter Garden on the Festival Terrace featuring pop-up style eateries and A Little Italy, a Trattoria style casual dining experience in the Piano Bar. Patrons can also purchase platters from the bars to enjoy during the performances.

Patrons in the Winter Garden can enjoy an intimate 20 minute performance with roving artist Tawdry Heartburn (James Berlyn) in Tawdry Heartburn’s Manic Cures, a FREE one on one manicure or palm reading under the proviso that you divulge a secret of your own.

In a first ever the Variety Gala Performance will be held over two nights. The performance on 6 June will toast the 40th Anniversary of Adelaide Festival Centre whilst 7 June performance will celebrate the opening of 2013 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Always a star studded line-up, the stunning showcase is an appetizer to the performances on offer throughout the Festival.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier says “Cabaret Festival’s Variety Gala performances will salute the traditions of cabaret and variety so central to the rich history of this great arts centre, the first ever purpose built arts centre of its kind in the country”.

The next generation of cabaret continues with Class of Cabaret 2013 as some of the most talented music and drama students from secondary schools across South Australia study the practical art of cabaret with Musical DirectorMatthew Carey and vocal coach Kim Spargo, culminating with a masterclass with Ceberano. This program features 30 students from 17 schools and is supported by CentreEd and The Department for Education and Child Development. Class of Cabaret 2013 is proudly supported by Performance Partner Telstra.

Class of Cabaret Graduates is a new initiative. Three of last year’s most talented Class of Cabaret students take to the stage in their own show as part of the inaugural Adelaide Cabaret Festival Mentorship Program. Don’t miss star graduates Claudia SigallaAshley Bronca and Jack Degenhart, they are bursting with talent.

2012 Australian Cabaret Showcase winner Bradley McCaw and runner-up Amelia Ryan make their Cabaret Festival debuts and will prove just why they are Australia’s newest emerging cabaret artists; they are a force to be reckoned with in Australia’s cabaret landscape.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s Performing Arts Collection in conjunction with the Melbourne Arts Centre’s Performing Arts Collection and Reg Livermore presents Reg Livermore: Souvenirs from the Stage; Reg shares souvenirs from a celebrated life in the theatre as performer, writer, director and designer.

Media partner 891 ABC Adelaide embrace the Festival spirit on Saturdays during the Festival. 891 ABC Adelaide Afternoons Presenter Sonya Feldhoff will join a variety of Cabaret Festival artists on stage between 4 – 5pm, this Cabaret Catch Up will coax the artists to reveal their creative impulses.  The inimitable 891 ABC Adelaide Evenings Presenter Peter Goers will broadcast live from the Festival on Thursday 13 June, audiences can experience Peter’s unique audio vaudeville – Cabaret style!

Adelaide Festival Centre’s youth arts membership program GreenRoom have a range of special offers to Adelaide Cabaret Festival for 16 and 30 year olds, including heavily discounted tickets to a variety of shows. For more information on the GreenRoom program visit

Thanks to Great Southern Rail who have been supporters of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival since 2008, patrons who subscribe to four or more shows go in the draw to WIN an extraordinary travel package valued at $9,000. Patrons who purchase tickets before 1 May will go in the draw to:

WIN a deluxe Ghan package for two people which comprises:

  • Platinum Service travel on The Ghan (Two nights and three days from Adelaide to Darwin)
  • All on-board meals
  • All standard wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks
  • Exclusive Off Train Excursions at Alice Springs and the beautiful Katherine Gorge
  • Chauffeured transfers to the terminal
  • Flights from Darwin back to Adelaide or your nearest Australian capital city

Full program and tickets are on sale now through BASS 131 246 or online . Program details are available in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival brochure.  Get one free by calling the Adelaide Cabaret Hotline on (08) 8216 8901 or go to

Download the new Adelaide Cabaret Festival App, like us on Facebook, and follow the Festival on Twitter andInstagram @AdelaideCabaret to stay up to date with all the latest news on artists and performances.

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