Get the gladioli ready, Possums! Australia’s most famous housewife Dame Edna Everage is set to make a glittering guest appearance at the Gala of this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
In a salute to yet another royal favourite, the Festival will open on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend tonight and run until June 20 – three weeks of unbelievable entertainment, all produced and presented by Adelaide Festival Centre.
Australian comedy legend Barry Humphries makes his debut as Artistic Director for this year’s Festival, promising to capture your heart and soul along with plenty of “beauty, wit and astonishment” in an outstanding program of music, story-telling, comedy and incredible talent.
Barry has also promised to put the ‘F’ back into Festival this year with his “there are no rules” program philosophy. The mind boggles!
The Festival opens with the highly coveted sold-out Variety Gala Performance. This extravaganza is a tasting plate of the eclectic performances in store over the 14 days and nights and this year will see charismatic Queen of Kamikaze Kabarett performer Meow Meow take to the stage as emcee, backed by the Adelaide Art Orchestra. Meow Meow also performs in her solo show His Masters Choice, where she’ll show audiences why she’s one of cabaret’s best exponents of on-the-edge and in-your-face entertainment.
Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier says: “Adelaide Festival Centre’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival is now in its 15th year and is the largest Cabaret Festival of this type in the world. It’s been a delight seeing the Adelaide Cabaret Festival programming team working alongside Artistic Director Barry Humphries, undoubtedly Australia’s greatest cultural export, to create this year’s very special Festival program. Don’t sit in the dark this winter, get down and experience Australia’s truly most entertaining Festival.”
Mr Humphries himself is looking forward to seeing his year-long vision come to fruition: “I have assembled artists from all over Australia and the world for this Festival. I’m looking forward to enjoying the unique atmosphere this Festival creates through the abundance of excellent food, art, wine, and above all entertainment; all made possible by you, the enthusiastic audience member. We need your energy as much as the price of your ticket!”
Opening weekend highlights include the world premiere of Peter & Jack, curated and narrated by Barry Humphries and starring world-renowned baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, a cappella sensations The Idea of North and South Australian soprano Greta Bradman. Accompanied by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, this remarkable production pays tribute to two legends of Australian music, Peter Dawson, the Adelaide baritone who at one time was the biggest-selling classical music singer in the world, and Jack O’Hagan, who penned the immortal Road to Gundagai.
Do not miss the spectacular one-woman show Pennsylvania Avenue. Experience the power house that is Bernadette Robinson’s unique vocal transformation. Based on true stories and encapsulating 40 years of famous performances, she portrays the life, politics and social change through the eyes of Harper, who was the event coordinator at the White House during the heady days of the JFK Presidency and beyond. Bernadette will channel some of the most famous and infamous performers of the time including Barbra Streisand, Eartha Kitt, Diana Ross, Maria Callas, Marilyn Monroe, Sarah Vaughan and Bob Dylan.
Clown Heart will give you a good dose of Aussie humour as Adam Hills shows why he is one of the world’s most in-demand comedians. And for something completely different, My Vagabond Boat stars Australian cabaret performers Mitchell Butel, Gillian Cosgriff and Nigel Ubrihien, who’ll sail you through songs of humour and heartache by displaced composers Freidrich Holleander, Kurt Weill and Cyndi Lauper.
Fresh from playing Jean Veljean in the West End production of Les Misérables, tenor talent Daniel Koek returns to his hometown to present personal songs and stories from his decade on the musical theatre world stage, as well as treats from his second studio album.
Or, take Barry’s recommendations and witness The Netherlands’ Laura Fygi in Concert – you’ll be blown away by her distinctive sultry voice and unique renditions of famous jazz, bossa nova and latin hits. BBC award- winning jazz singer, songwriter and comic Ian Shaw is a sure thing in his A Bit of a Mouthful – a delicious confectionery of witty songs and stories. Direct from New York, the Karrin Allyson Quartet are set to win hearts with their astounding versatility – with a spirited musical repertoire that includes bebop, Brazilian, blues and ballads – Barry says this is a must see!
Proudly presented and produced by the Adelaide Festival Centre, the 2015 program features more than 350 artists in 152 performances. There are 50 international artists from across the world as well as the best from Australia, with 300 Australian artists and 192 South Australian performers. The 2015 Festival showcases 18 world premieres, six Australian premieres, 15 Adelaide premieres, as well six Adelaide exclusives. The dynamic program also features 11 international shows.
Tickets are on sale through BASS 131 246 or go to adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au
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