RAW: Cabaret Festival Preview – 10-25 June – Festival Centre

By Julia Loipersberger

Once the rush of Mad March is over, it is easy to forget that there is anything else going on in Adelaide until, well… the following March. That, of course, is not the case, with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2011 kicking off in grand showbiz style on 10 June 2011.

Launched by departing Festival Artistic Director David Campbell at a grand gala on 2 April 2011, this year’s amazing line-up does not end with the effervescent headline act, Olivia Newton John.

Of the 49 shows scheduled to run over the 14 day Festival, there is bound to be something for everyone, from the traditional cabaret diehard fans to those who would never consider going to a Festival like this. But how best to sum them all up?

For those who are partial to comedy, the Festival includes ‘Amy Housewine: Back to Crack’(need I explain more), Gillian Cosgriff in ‘Waitressing, and other things I do well’ (who performs in the style of the fabulous Tim Minchin), the Amazonian Storm Large presenting ‘Crazy Enough’ – a show about her attempts to avoid a descent into mental illness, ‘The Wet Spots’ (a self explanatory naughty vaudeville show), Toby Francis presenting ‘Blokelahoma!’ in a flannel shirt, and Urban Display Suite performing a parody about the glamour, seediness and fake tan of the real estate agent game.

If traditional cabaret is more your style, check out Alexis Fishman in ‘Der Gelbe Stern’, Mark Nadler in ‘Crazy 1961’ or the 1920s divebar style Jitterbug Club, presenting Mojo Juju and the Snake Oil Merchants. Night owls in general will no doubt be attracted to the fabulous Ali McGregor’s burlesque and cabaret show ‘Late Nite Variety Nite Night.’

For those who think that the past masters of musical performance have done a good enough job and don’t need to be reinterpreted, check out Ansuya Nathan in her Elvis tribute ‘Long live the King’, Nat King Cole’s story presented by Bert LaBonte in ‘When I fall in love’, the Chet Baker journey (featuring Tim Draxl), a Better Midler tribute in Josie Lane’s ‘Josie in the Bathhouse’, Melinda Schneider performing Doris Day: So Much More than the Girl Next Door, Michael Feinstein singing Sinatra and, somewhat out of left field, Michael Griffiths performing… Madonna.

Amongst the acts that need no introduction are Glenn Shorrock (of the Little River Band), the phenomenal songwriter Jimmy Webb (who brought us hits such as ‘Macarthur Park’ and ‘By the Time I get to Phoenix’, Leo Sayer, Mikey Robins and Margarita Pracaton performing live in the Piano Room at the Festival Theatre, Mark Vincent (the prodigious 17 year old winner of Australia’s Got Talent), Leo Sayer, Rhonda Burchmore, Robyn Archer and of course Australia (and America’s) sweetheart Olivia Newton John.

Whatever your tastes – get in quickly and buy your tickets before they are all gone. Otherwise everyone in Adelaide will be kicking up their heels and grooving under the watchful eyes of the gargantuan festival mascot, Mitzi, while you’re freezing somewhere lamenting the months until the Festival season ‘comes back’.

By Julia Loipersberger

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