It was a legendary era of singers, songwriters, clubs and stages. It was New York in the golden age of Cabaret. Acclaimed duo Sidonie Henbest and Matthew Carey bring the songs, stories and sizzle of New York in the 1930s, 40s and 50s to the stage in their new show New York Nights.. Intimate Mornings, at The Garden of Unearthly Delights and the Adelaide Fringe in 2011.
New York Nights… is the third new full-length cabaret show from the pair in just over 12 months, and is testament to a vibrant live arts scene in Adelaide. As the country’s home of Cabaret, audiences get three annual festivals (Adelaide Fringe, Cabaret Fringe Festival, The Adelaide Cabaret Festival) as well as numerous independent productions and popular monthly events such as CabaretLive! at La Boheme, Carey and Henbest are both proud custodians of the local scene.
Carey says, “before the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Cabaret Fringe, before I had ever been to the United States, I had an idea from reading books and listening to recordings of how great cabaret would look and sound. I imagined dimly lit, sophisticated Supper Clubs in Manhattan. Songs written by classic songwriters – keenly observant, comically pointed and heartbreakingly tortured. Artists of great personality, whether it be a quirky young Barbra Streisand, a political Sammy Davis Jr or the European elegance of Edith Piaf or Hildegaarde. I’ve subsequently been to New York many times since then, and while those rooms barely exist any more, we’re going to recreate that atmosphere, that type of event for the Adelaide Fringe.”
Pianist and Musical Director Matthew Carey was nominated for a Helpmann Award for his musical direction of State Theatre Company’s ‘Metro Street’ and in the past eighteen months has toured with Tony award winner Lillias White, Broadway legend Donna McKechnie and performed with Liza Minnelli at the Sydney Opera House. He co-created acclaimed show Flat on Your Bacharach in 2000 and is about to present the inaugural Australian Cabaret Summer School in January 2011. Sidonie Henbest is a diverse talent; an acclaimed vocalist and award-winning producer, she has collaborated with pianist and musical director Carey since 2009 and performs regularly at live music venues La Boheme, The Promethean and is the voice of Late Night Lyrics at the Adelaide Festival Centre. She was the associate director of the Cabaret Fringe Festival in 2009 and 2010 and co-hosts CabaretLive! monthly with Nikki Aitken.
The duo’s previous offerings, Last of the Red Hot Mamas – a tribute to Sophie Tucker and Lady Sings the Blues have seen London-born, Adelaide-based chanteuse Henbest as the front woman with Carey doing what he is famous for – “playing heavenly piano and saying clever things from side stage”. This time however, it will be a little different. “The condition that I did the new show was that we could sing more duets” says Henbest. “We have a lot of fun singing numbers together, so this seemed like the perfect excuse.”
Expect to hear the songs of Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Julie Wilson, Sammy Davis Jnr and friends as the pair swing, sizzle and soar their way through the American songbook. No cabaret outing would be complete without a few tales – and the stories behind the hey-day of Cabaret in New York are the stuff of legend. Says Henbest, “ Think skylines, hemlines, storylines, songs. The playboys, the bombshells, cigar smoke and stage doors. Late nights, early mornings, no regrets…”. Think, an unforgettable evening of song.
New York Nights … Intimate Mornings
Sun 13 February @ 3:30pm, The Speigeltent – The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Sun 20 February @ 9pm, Fri 11 March @ 8pm, Sat 12 March @ 9pm The Promethean – 116 Grote Street, Adelaide