Festival Theatre, Fri 9th Jun.
Tonight’s uplifting performance was a both showcase of some of the incredible shows on offer for this Cabaret Festival and a celebration of the rich history and iconic moments that have spanned the 23 years since it all began. Directed by Mitchell Butel and hosted with poise and a hint of naughtiness by Virginia Gay we are treated to a range of insights and memories from former Cabaret Festival Artistic Directors, who this year banded together under the banner of The Cabaret Collective to curate this Festival event.
In front of a striking backdrop of suspended Cabaret Festival historic posters a night of variety and talent begins. Paris Combo open the musical part of the show with their gorgeous jazz-infused Frenchness, before rushing off to get ready for their own first of three performances. Kate Ceberano presents her 1989 anthem Brave to be followed by Mark Trevorrow (AKA Bob Downe)’s sensitive rendition of Bacharach’s classic Alfie. Eddie Perfect treats us to his hilarious Death To The Critic, from his upcoming musical. Not only are the lyrics razor sharp but Eddie’s rich voice and stage performance are totally commanding.
Sarah-Louise Young then gives us a side-splitting lesson on the art of dancing as if you were Kate Bush, while still giving a mighty fine rendition of Running Up That Hill. THNDO is someone new to me, but having reached the grand final of The Voice she clearly is celebrated by many and so she should be. Her powerful, velvet voice is a perfect match for I Am Changing from the film Dream Girls and together with Musical Director Mark Ferguson she owns the stage with style.
Other outstanding acts follow including Vince Jones and Nina Ferro’s sublime arrangement of You Got Me Under Your Skin, and Ali McGregor’s memorable and fabulous transformation of Radiohead’s Creep.
Meow Meow remembers her friend Barry Humphries and tells us about his quest to trace the fates of some of the songwriters from the German Weimar cabaret scene, before giving us a taste of one of those songs. It is haunting, melancholic and wonderful.
Adelaide’s Hans has the audience in stitches singing and cavorting his way through a medley of Tina Turner songs, before being presented with this year’s Cabaret Icon Award.
The show closes stylishly with David Campbell singing beloved songs by some of Adelaide’s most successful songwriters, including Little River Band’s Reminiscing, Master’s Apprentices’ It’s Because I Love You, Cold Chisel’s Cheap Wine and SIA’s Chandelier.
What a showcase and what a night of pure class and entertainment!