[AUSTRALIA AND INTERNATIONAL – ADELAIDE EXCLUSIVE]
Festival Theatre, Fri 8 Jun.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2018 is here! The amazing Festival Theatre has reopened, with entrances now along Elder Park with beautiful views of the river Torrens, the footbridge and the equally iconic Adelaide oval.
The glitz, the glamour, the tuxes, the amazing dresses and of course the sequins are out in force – and that is just the audience! The excitement is tangible in the air as patrons walk the red carpet and glasses are filled with our favourite beverages. The hum and buzz as people meet once again in the lobby to talk about what shows to go and see and of course reminiscing about past cabaret festivals and anticipating how the directors are going to take this year’s event to new heights.
The chimes ring out, and we take our seats in the Festival Theatre, ready to immerse ourselves in the entertainment for the night. We were not disappointed.
Artistic director, Ali McGregor emerges and sings a beautiful welcoming song, then Jack Buckskin enters stage right and sings his haunting, goose bump raising traditional Welcome To Country, he tells us not only him, but his ancestors welcome us to Kaurna country. Modern Maori Quartet arrive with their welcome song and greet Jack with the traditional forehead to forehead greeting, a moving and heart-warming moment. All three finish the welcome performance.
Ali explains the Variety Gala is a sample from over 50 acts performing in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, with the theme of eyes wide open. This is to hopefully open people to new views and perspective of not only cabaret, but in life in general.
Our first performance for the night begins with Todd McKenney with The Class Of Cabaret singing a powerful rendition of Delta Dawn with a real gospel feel to it.
Antoinette Halloran had us in absolute stitches as she has to decide between 500 years of traditional opera and 50 Shades Of Grey, a compromise of singing chapter 7, page 231 of 50 Shades in an amazing and hilarious act. Opera meets erotica!
Janis Joplin A.K.A. Amber Martin certainly channelled the late great Janis with a strong and powerful rendition of Maybe. This is definitely a show to see for Janis Joplin lovers and for new fans alike, not only for Amber’s talent, but also for the icon that Janis was, and still is.
I have found a new love in Modern Maori Quartet; these guys are A-MAZING, I want to go to all of their shows! They performed a war medley to honour our ANZACs, the harmony and mix of traditional Maori Waiata with the smooth new tunes. Love, love, love!
Hans, with his love of bargain DJ Fabrics quite apparent sings the theme song of The Love Boat, with his effervescent camp style, he is on the lookout for ‘those people’ who avoid eye contact! Our uncoordinated arm swaying made him sea sick as he exclaims that he “can’t believe he is singing this shit either”. His show promises to be very fun and entertaining.
Nancye Hayes, the staple of cabaret, is joined on stage by Class of Cabaret, sings Own Best Friend and says you can achieve anything if you stick at it long enough! Todd McKenney collaborates with her and, although he won’t disclose how long Nancye has been performing, he does go on to say they have had a combined experience of 90 years and he has been in the business for 35! Their show Bosom Buddies looks really interesting.
Yma Sumac performed by the brilliant Ali McGregor brings a sultry mambo feel to the stage, the high notes are an effortless feat that is beyond words to explain; you need to see this to understand the magic of her voice and emotional presence on stage!
Mark Holden brings his family circus history to life with his smooth and silky easy listening voice. He sings Shine (co-written with Vanessa Amorosi) from his show Mark Holden’s Greatest Show On Earth. I look forward to seeing this show.
Matthew Floyd Jones (one-half of UK’s Frisky & Mannish) gave us such a giggle, as he takes on the role of Richard Carpenter, without six words or notes the same so as to avoid plagiarism and the “suey” real life Richard. We promise not to tell him!
Cristina Bianco wowed us with her amazing vocal talents as she impersonated a substantially large range of artists from Liza Minelli through to Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland to Celine Dion, all with their take on the song – Life Is A Cabaret.
Em Rusciano tells us of her first concert she went to – John Farnham – as a young girl in the ‘80s and her dream to be a young Mrs Farnham! Her dream of getting close to him is getting closer, with his musical director and his band and the restraining order will end in six months! Em sang Touch Of Paradise, including an ‘elegant’ jump onto the piano!
Rubber Man Captain Frodo from Glorious Misfits had our jaws hanging as he climbed as he built a tower of buckets, all the while telling us to follow our dreams no matter how outrageous or weird!
Unfortunately the end had to come and the stage was filled with all the performers singing their last hoorah for the night. A night that left us wanting more and looking forward to the next 12 days and nights of talent and entertainment.