2016 Adelaide Cabaret Festival revealed

ACF Variety Gala photo by Claudio RaschellaLast year, Barry Humphries put the ‘F’ back into the Festival and this year’s co-Artistic Directors Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect aim to inform you in 2016 Not What Cabaret Is but What Cabaret Could Be. Prepare to find out just What Comes Next…

Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre, the 2016 program features more than 425 Artists in 150 performances over 16 days and nights. There are 42 international artists from as far afield as the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom and Germany as well as the best from Australia with over 383 Australian artists including 182 from South Australia.

“Cabaret is at a turning point with a long and rich history, and a bright and exciting future,” says Co-Artistic Director Ali McGregor. “We have made a point of celebrating the icons of Cabaret, and aspects that have shaped it; political satire, songbook interpretation, comedy, burlesque – while reveling in the new and unique ways artists are working in the genre.”

The Festival kicks off on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend with the perennially popular Variety Gala – a glittering night of stories and song. Artistic Directors Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect play host to a supercharged showcase of international and local stars flaunting their cabaret wares.

The popularity of the Gala has ramped up each year, so this year audiences can delight in two Gala’s. The Festival will conclude with The Last Galah paying tribute to Australia’s greatest songwriters featuring performances by local and international cabaret stars.

“Each piece of the 2016 program represents a surprising and intelligent suggestion not of what Cabaret IS, but of what Cabaret CAN BE,” says Eddie Perfect. “You may be drawn in by one particular artist in the program, but Ali and I have designed the program so that it’s the moment of What Comes Next that leads you to an exciting discovery.”

Adelaide Cabaret Festival features an incredible star studded line up of Sexy Sirens and Chanteuses. In an amazing Cabaret Festival coup Adelaide will play host to the world’s most famous burlesque star Dita Von Teese. Her Adelaide premiere will be a 90 minute spectacle of her most impressive work, joined on stage by MC Murray Hill (Club Swizzle) along with a cast of Dita’s favourite burlesque acts from around the globe.

Critically acclaimed star of stage and screen, Megan Hilty is set to shine when she performs in Adelaide. Megan rose to prominence on Broadway for her musical roles, including her performance of Glinda in Wicked and Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5: The Musical. Megan is also well known for her starring role as Ivy Lynn on the musical-drama TV series Smash. Her voice has been featured in multiple Disney and DreamWorks Animations.

Another Glinda taking centre stage, Helen Dallimore who played opposite Idina Menzel and has been a constant favourite on our small screen, most recently as Olivia O’Neil in Here Come The Habibs. Don’t Bother to Knock is her tribute to the platinum pioneer performers who’ve led the musical way from Marilyn Monroe and Mae West to Dolly Parton and Madonna.

One of the finest interpreters of song, Barb Jungr returns to perform the works of song writing legends Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen in Hard Rain. Adelaide’s own fine interpreter Robyn Archer will delight audiences in Dancing on the Volcano with a truly authentic interpretation of German cabaret from Brecht and Eisler, Frederich Holleander, Wilhelm Grosz, and Kurt Tucholsky. Artistic Director Ali McGregor will guide you through torch songs, jazz reworkings and trashy mash-ups in an evening of irresistible cabaret in Decadence.

For more than a decade, Adelaide Cabaret Festival Crooners have been swooning audiences. Kick back to the big band sound of Frank Sinatra with Tom Burlinson performing Sinatra at the Sands, while Australia’s original Frankie Valli, Bobby Fox will have you swinging to his grooves and high altitude falsetto in 4 Seasons in 1 Night.

The Wharf Revue are back with a parade of past and present indignitaries – all skewered on the stake of seriously side-splitting satirical silliness and musical mayhem. And after sell-out seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe and coming direct from the UK, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho is a mischievous political pantomime with an ‘iron lady’ punch.

In a wonderful combo of classical music and comedy, Frank Woodley joins the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in The Composer is Dead. Friends of Barbra revive Barbra Streisand’s iconic power duets combining comic silliness with musical know-how in The Way We Weren’t. Infamous for her nude, rude and lewd cabaret appearances, Yana Alana will appear fully clothed in Covered. And described by the Herald Sun as “the dashing love child of Eddie Perfect and James Corden” don’t miss Dash Kruck in I Might Take My Shirt Off.

Maeve Marsden and Libby Wood explore the history of gin through story and song, Mother’s Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin. Sheridan Harbridge’s Songs for the Fallen is a wild and hilarious tale of a woman who knew one thing: good girls don’t make history. Andrew Strano celebrates the insane, brutal and hilarious things we do when we’re falling in and out of love in Nailed It, while the overtly talented, Emmy award-winning composer, lyricist, performer, producer and music director Lance Horne launches his album, First Things Last.

Debora Krizak pays special tribute to icons of screwball hilarity Betty White, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers and our very own Jeannie Little in Laugh Be a Lady, Kate Ceberano and Paul Grabowsky reinterpret some of the great love songs of the past 50 years in Love Songs; while Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith return with a brand new gothic, erotic airborne variety show, The Birds.

Rhonda Burchmore and Trevor Ashley pay tribute to the icons of outrageous glitz and glamour in Twins, David Hobson and Colin Lane collide In Tails, while Jane Clifton, Nichaud Fitzgibbon and Carla Lippis celebrate the sassy, red-blooded female musicians of the late 60s and early 70s in Southern Belles.

Hosted by Amy G and Miss Behave, Jan van de Stool and Libby O’Donovan, expect the unexpected as cabaret’s elite team-up for unique collaborations and celebrations of all things cabaret in The Backstage Club.

The 2016 Adelaide Cabaret festival runs 10 – 25 June. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au for details.

Image: The Adelaide Cabaret Festival Variety Gala – photo by Claudio Raschella