by the partae

Get ready to kick up your heels and warm up this winter with a sparkling program of the best and boldest  performers at the 22nd Adelaide Cabaret Festival, starting tonight at Adelaide Festival Centre.  

International star and Australian icon Tina Arena AM proudly presents her curated program with this year’s star studded line-up, featuring 377 artists and musicians across 97 performances over 12 decadent days and nights. 

The world’s largest cabaret festival features 14 world premieres and 15 Adelaide premieres by a large contingent  of Australian artists and performers from the USA, Germany, Rwanda, and New Zealand at Adelaide Festival  Centre and Her Majesty’s Theatre. 

Audiences will be delighted, entertained, and teased by alluring performances and sultry disco evenings – from  headline artist Marcia Hines singing gospel tunes to Australia’s queen of burlesque Imogen Kelly, cabaret  chanteuse and festival favourite Meow Meow, and bespoke French circus act Cirque Bon Bon.  

The hottest late-night club, The Pina Colada Room, will bring a touch of 70s disco to The Famous Spiegeltent – this year located on the new Festival Plaza and featuring DJs, off the cuff cabaret performances, and  appearances by Artistic Director and ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Tina Arena.  

In her debut as Artistic Director, Tina Arena is ready to start the festival fun and frivolity: 

“I am thrilled to be in Adelaide for this much-loved winter festival and can’t wait to see the fusion of stories,  song, dance, and all things theatrical come to life on stage. I hope this year’s program reconnects audiences and  artists in the most intimate and life-affirming way, offering some much-needed connection and joy.  

“I’ve always loved cabaret – long before my role as Sally Bowles, it’s a beautifully eclectic art form and escapism  of the most fabulous kind. This program brings together artists with diverse voices and cultures, representing the  best cabaret has to offer in Australia and abroad. From my own show and the personal stories of Songs My  Mother Taught Me to the decadence of The Piña Colada Room – leave your worries behind and let’s have some  fun!” 

Bringing her Italian heritage to the program, audiences will get a rare chance to connect with Tina Arena on a  personal level, as she headlines and hosts the world premiere show, Songs My Mother Taught Me. Featuring  Tina, and special guests Lior, The Voice 2022 finalist Thando, Jess Hitchcock, Wendy Matthews and Sophie Koh,  the show celebrates culture, legacy and love and is inspired by storytelling and family. Two shows only at Her  Majesty’s Theatre on June 24 and 25.  

Opening weekend highlights include:  

  • Cabaret favourite Reuben Kaye hosting this weekend’s The Pina Colada Room and brings his new show  Live & Intimate to The Banquet Room in the second weekend.  
  • South Australian cabaret favourites Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger and Michael Griffiths celebrate the  golden age of rock ‘n’ roll, sexual revolution and the leaps and bounds of women’s liberation in Simply  Brill – The Women Who Defined Rock ‘n’ Roll. Limited tickets available. 
  • Audiences will travel back in time with vocal powerhouse Catherine Alcorn and Phil Scott in 30  Something, an immersive show set in Sydney’s Bohemia Kings Cross on New Year’s Eve 1939.
  • Swing band Davina & The Vagabonds in an Australian premiere where they draw from the past 100  years of American music, from Fats Domino to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits in a show led with New  Orleans charm and Memphis soul in The Famous Spiegeltent this weekend.  
  • New Zealand company, A Slightly Isolated Dog bring Don Juan to the Space Theatre, bringing together  physical comedy and twisted pop songs in a hilarious and irreverent show directed by award-winning  Leo Gene Peters.  
  • In its cabaret debut, State Opera South Australia performs How To Kill Your Husband (and other handy  household hints) at Dunstan Playhouse. Based on Kathy Lette’s hit novel, this show guarantees a night  of high drama and cheeky intimacy.  
  • Cabaret Life Drawing – be guided through creating charcoal drawings of a live model while sipping  on a glass of wine and being entertained with live music in The Famous Spiegeltent.  

Headline shows proving popular:  

  • The Gospel According to Marcia sees the extraordinary Marcia Hines celebrate memories from her childhood in Boston and her early experiences with Gospel music in a one night only unmissable concert at Her Majesty’s Theatre on June 17. Accompanied by Adelaide’s own Charmaine Jones & The Gospo  Collective, audiences will rejoice with hit gospel songs including ‘Oh Happy Day’, ‘I Don’t Know How to  Love Him’, and ‘Lean On Me’. 
  • Comedian Paul McDermott presents his nightly show on the last two weekends of the festival with The  Funhouse – a dark carnival of minstrels and misfits, comedy and music and featuring Claire Hooper and  Dilruk Jayasinha plus an array of special guests each weekend.  
  • Comedian and performer Oliver Twist reflects on his time as a refugee from Rwanda, in a delicately told  and unforgettable one-person show, Jali, that proves exceptional storytelling and belly-aching laughter  are powerful antidotes to trauma – three shows from June 23-25 at Space Theatre. 
  • In his cabaret debut, multi-platinum Australian R&B artist Gary Pinto (member of former hit Australian  band CDB) will bring his soulful voice to Dunstan Playhouse in Sam Cooke: The Music. Celebrating the  legacy of “The Godfather of Soul” Sam Cooke, Gary will belt out classics including ‘A Change is Going to  Come’ and ‘You Send Me’ in an evening of storytelling and musical melodies to warm the soul.  

South Australian performers include:  

  • Kuko, Katie Aspel and Rob Edwards in a special Adelaide Premiere where First Nations regional  musicians and performers present a mix of blues, jazz soul and folk in a night of remarkable sound and  story telling in T.R.A.I.L on June 19.  
  • Victoria Falconer makes her festival debut in And Then You Go – The Vali Myers Project, harnessing the  flame haired-bohemian figure and visionary artist. The show is this year’s Frank Ford Commissioning  Award recipient – the award by Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s late founding father provides $20,000 a year  towards the creation of new works by South Australian artists.  
  • Musical Theatre fans will not be disappointed with Moments in the Woods – Songs & Stories of  Sondheim paying tribute to the genius and legacy of musical theatre’s most ground-breaking composer,  Stephen Sondheim, featuring Philip Quast, Geraldine Turner, Queenie van de Zandt, Josie Lane and  Adelaide’s own Mitchell Butel for one night only at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: 

“South Australia’s favourite winter festival is back and looking better than ever with the new Festival Plaza open  and ready to welcome audiences to some new spaces and familiar ones at Adelaide Festival Centre. As a winter  festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival is a seat at the fireside, warming our collective spirits and we know how  important that is for our community. 

“Tina Arena has brought her creativity, talent and arts expertise to this wonderful program, contributing to the  festival’s position as the country’s premier cabaret festival in Australia’s premier festival city. We look forward to  warmly welcoming audiences back.” 

Adelaide Cabaret Festival Executive Producer Alex Sinclair: “We can’t wait to see cabaret fans and new  audiences alike joining in the festivities of our favourite winter festival. Come share a dance under the mirror ball,  enjoy the sparkle, glamour and revel in the live and intimate performances that make Adelaide Cabaret Festival  the place to be this June.” 

Free events include the popular LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club by All The Queens Men, the fabulous afternoon tea  dance party for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex elders and all allies will be held at The  Famous Spiegeltent on Sunday, June 19.  

The inspiring Class of Cabaret program returns to shine a light on the cabaret stars of tomorrow, proudly  supported by Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation through the Nathaniel O’Brien Scholarship which allows one  student from regional South Australia to participate in the program. 

Festival favourite Trevor Jones – The Piano Man is back at the Festival Theatre foyer Quartet Bar nightly and the  Corryton Burge Bar and Cabaret Lounge return as the perfect places for patrons to settle into a quiet corner or  keep the party going between shows.  

Produced and presented by Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Cabaret Festival has grown from modest  beginnings in 2001 to become Australia’s major winter festival and the largest cabaret festival in the world.  Previous Artistic Directors of the festival include Julia Holt, David Campbell, Kate Ceberano, Barry HumphriesEddie Perfect, Ali McGregor, Julia Zemiro and most recently, Alan Cumming.  

The festival has been a platform for shows and performers who have achieved critical acclaim and featured  world-renowned artists including Ms Lisa Fischer, Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Dita Von Teese and Patti  Lupone to name a few.  

Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022 opens on June 10 and runs until June 25. 

Tickets on sale March 25 from 11am at adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au 

Get Social: Facebook @adelaidecabaretfestival / Instagram @adelaidecabaret / Twitter @AdelaideCabaret  #AdCabFest 

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