2016 Queensland Cabaret Festival

BPH Michael Griffiths ColeQueensland’s favourite late-night party is back for another year with heart-warming storytelling, fabulous songs, and exciting antics to be enjoyed at the Brisbane Powerhouse for two weeks in June.

The Queensland Cabaret Festival invites you to be thrilled, beguiled, excited and bewildered by the unique cabaret style and talents that will be on display. Arts Review takes a look at what’s on offer.

Hard Rain – The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen
Visy Theatre: Friday 3 June (sold out)
The UK’s finest interpreter of song, Barb Jungr returns to the songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen with her album, Hard Rain. Experience her insightful and intelligent interpretations of well-loved songs combined with her powerful and often witty performance style.

An Evening with Molly Ringwald
Powerhouse Theatre: Friday 3 June (sold out)
Best known from cult classics like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, you’ll soon love Molly for her sultry jazz tones and stunning stage presence. In An evening with Molly Ringwald, the star pushes aside her pop culture status and takes centre stage to perform classics from the Great American Songbook along with some unexpected musical favourites.

I See Me & Meryl Streep
Visy Theatre: Saturday 4 June – 7.00pm
Charting the extraordinary life and talents of the most celebrated actress of modern times, Alexandra Keddie reminds us all what it feels like to have stars in our eyes and the world at our feet. Audiences will be presented with a whirlwind tour of Streep’s most famous roles, accents, acceptance speeches and songs from the poster-filled bedroom of Meryl’s greatest fan, a 17 year old girl with the dream of being a ‘somebody’.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
Powerhouse Theatre: Saturday 4 June – 7.30pm / 9.30pm
The smash hit of the 2016 MELT Queer Arts Festival returns for the Queensland Cabaret Festival. Featuring eight of Brisbane’s finest vocalists with a mighty 12-piece supergroup behind them, they come together again to perform David Bowie’s masterpiece album in its entirety along with an entire second act of other Bowie material from this, and other, eras of his astounding career on Earth as an artist and musician.

I Get the Music in You
Powerhouse Theatre: Sunday 5 June – 6.00pm
Hot on the heels of her recent appearances in Women in Voice and Australia’s Got Talent, musical comedy star, Queenie van de Zandt brings her cult-character Jan van de Stool back to Brisbane. In this multi-award nominated satirical swipe at self-help, ‘Musical Therapist’ Jan flogs her courses, books and BBQ aprons with hilarious monotony, takes interpretive dancing to new heights and finishes with a ‘colonic irrigation of the spirit’.

Michael Griffiths – Cole
Visy Theatre: Sunday 5 June – 6.30pm
Internationally acclaimed cabaret performer Michael Griffiths explores the colourful life and timeless songs of Cole Porter. Hedonism, grave misfortune, enduring love and a legacy that sparkles with wit and wisdom, Griffiths takes audiences on a timeless musical journey. Performing classic Porter tunes, including You’re The Top, It’s De-Lovely, Let’s Do It and Night and Day, Griffiths is considered one of the best Cole Porter interpreters and is not to be missed.

Broadway Hootenanny
Visy Theatre: Tuesday 7 June – 7.00pm

Mark Nadler’s Broadway Hootenanny began as a mad-cap weekly variety show at the New York City landmark theatrical restaurant, Sardi’s. A favourite event around the world, including a staple performance at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, anything can happen at the Hootenanny, and it usually does. This is a show that is completely created according to the local guest stars the producer provides, including Catherine Alcorn, Darren Percival and Lizzie Moore.

Songbird – Songs of Eva Cassidy
Visy Theatre: Friday 10 June – 7.00pm
Bringing to life the story of a performer who has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. A voice so beautiful, her unique arrangements of beloved classics would become a global phenomenon. Melbourne singer and harpist Alana Conway showcases a collection of Eva’s stunning arrangements including Over the Rainbow, Fields of Gold and Autumn Leaves, but also the story and inspiration behind the artist.

Sun Rising – The Songs That Made Memphis
Powerhouse Theatre: Friday 10 / Saturday 11 June – 7.30pm
Relive the history of rock’n’roll with songs from Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and many more music icons. This critically acclaimed production pays tribute to the incredible roster of artists who launched their careers at the famous Sun Records in Memphis after being discovered by the great Sam Phillips.

Tyrone and Lesley in a Spot
Visy Theatre: Sunday 12 June – 5.00pm

For one night only the inimitable Tyrone and Lesley entwine their beautiful, funny music with moving images of skies, suns and moons, clarity and clouds, flickering bulbs and high windows. A ukulele-led dance of screen and song where there are no wallflowers, Tyrone and Lesley in a Spot will transport you all the way to exactly where you are. It’s funny ha ha, funny weird and a little bit funny valentine. Charming, poetic, absurd and unique, you have never seen anything like this.

This Infernal Racket
Powerhouse Theatre: Sunday 12 June – 6.30pm
Witness comedy-mastermind Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap) and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Judith Owen tackle life head-on in this special performance. In This Infernal Racket, the real-life couple deal with the subjects of fame, celebrity, politics, religion and relationships the only way they know how! There will be laughter, music, compassion and cruelty, and by the end of the night Owen and Shearer’s opposite approaches will help you make perfect sense of the world around us.

Visy Theatre: Sunday 12 June – 7.00pm
If you love folk music, you will love this show. If you hate folk music, you’ll love it even more. Everyone enjoys good roots, and Warmwaters stand ready to folk you right up with their songs of romance and other issues. They’ve got a lot of issues. Lena and Luke Warmwater have been described as “…the southern hemisphere’s most inspirational nu-folk duo.” Never heard of them? What is going on in your life?

The 2016 Queensland Cabaret Festival runs 3 – 12 June. For more information, visit: www.brisbanepowerhouse.org for details.

Image: Michael Griffiths stars in Cole – courtesy of Brisbane Powerhouse