Cabaret season is in full swing with the annual Variety Gala launching the 13th annual Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Traditionally a one-night-only event, the Gala played over two nights this year to meet demand, showcasing of over a dozen acts that can be seen in the coming weeks.
The Festival’s Artistic Director Kate Ceberano (pictured) took the opportunity to toast the 40th anniversary of the Adelaide Festival Centre and to pay homage to celebrated entertainer Reg Livermore as the first recipient of the inaugural Cabaret Icon Award, aptly presented by Livermore impersonator Tommy Bradson.
Compared by Craig McLachlan, the glamorous evening featured a broad variety of styles, from the rocking rhythms of Mojo Juju to swinging Darren Percival. Overhead, large scrabble pieces engaged in fun word play from “Get Craig Off” to “Cabaret Lives”
Amelia Ryan’s musical comedy was only topped by the camp fabulousness of McLaughlan’s Sweet Transvestite in fishnet stockings which, itself, was only trumped by a Gangnam Style mash up by Hans and The Lucky Bitches dance troupe.
Bradson’s beautiful rendition of The Kinks “Celluloid Heroes” and the folksy harmonies of Simone Page Jones and Miles O’Neil provided more reflective numbers, as did Joey Arias’ opening Billie Holiday number and former Hollywood Brat Pack member Molly Ringwald seducing the crowd late in the night with a new arrangement of the song Don’t You (Forget About Me).
The 13th annual Adelaide Cabaret Festival runs now until 22 June, featuring around 350 artists in 160 performances. Bookings for all shows are through BASS.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Venue: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 6-7 June
Duration: 90 minutes