Adelaide Cabaret Festival a Hit

Adelaide Cabaret Festival a Hit

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival under the new Artistic Direction of David Campbell is proving an artistic success and being well patronized.

Kate Peters reports that the mood around the Festival theatre is euphoric.

There’s a buzz that I haven’t felt for a long time. With up to 4 venues all featuring excellent shows (lasting well into the night with a visit to the classy Piano Bar), this is a well-funded, enthusiastically supported festival which is now regarded as world class.

While some acts aren’t what some purists would call “traditional cabaret”, Campbell is certainly giving the audiences a wide variety of theatre. It runs until 20th June, and will doubtless bring many dollars in tourist revenue to South Australia and bring in also, thousands of interstate cabaret lovers. It’s fabulous initiative, and deserves its obvious success.

The first weekend of the 9th Adelaide Cabaret Festival went off with a bang - with most of the performances putting out the Sold Out signs.

Artistic Director David Campbell’s first festival has provided a huge selection for a national audience, many of whom have traveled from other states to see an eclectic range of theatre.

This particular genre is my favourite - the performers taking the audience along on a personal journey. Campbell’s opening night took the form of a Gala Variety Concert with many of the “acts” giving a small taste of what they had in store. Compered hysterically by funny girl Julia Morris, the show ranged from Brazilian songstress Barbara Luna to veteran New York cabaret star Julie Wilson, and also featured Steven Brinberg as Barbara Streisand, Ali McGregor, Duel, Sheridan Harbridge, Mr Percival, Hayden Tee (singing with the legendary songwriter John Buccino at the piano), Phil Scott as a very credible Liberace and Trevor Ashley and Virginia Gay looking remarkably like Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Also appearing were Hugh Sheridan, Bob Downe (Mark Trevorrow) and Nick Chtisto.

Festival headliner and Broadway star Bernadette Peters made a gracious and surprise appearance singing No-one is Alone from Into the Woods. The place was packed, with audience members encouraged to “walk the red carpet”. The concert is a terrific idea and will no doubt be repeated at future Festivals.

Saturday night brought us An Evening with Bernadette Peters - a sellout at the main theatre. She did not disappoint - looking ultra glamorous and backed by a brilliant 28 piece orchestra, the Broadway star held the crowd in the palm of her hand for 90 minutes. (Her handling of a troublesome mike stand was a great example of professional behaviour…) I wondered why she restarted her rendition of “Fever” until I learned her performance was being recorded for a DVD for worldwide release.

Sunday night’s choice was a concert by New York-based composer John Buccino, with performances of his songs by other Festival stars including Hayden Tee, Ali McGregor and David Campbell himself. It was a wonderful evening of music and reminiscences - a true evening of cabaret.


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