The spectacular Adelaide Cabaret Festival at Tina Arena starts tonight!

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

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

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

Audiences are wowed, entertained and teased by seductive performances and sultry nights of disco – from gospel-singing headliner Marcia Hines, Australia’s Queen of Burlesque Imogen Kelly, cabaret singer and festival favorite Meow Meow to the bespoke French circus act Cirque Bon Bon .

The hottest late night club, The Piña Colada Room, brings a touch of 70’s disco to The Famous Spiegel tent – this year at the new Festival Plaza with DJs, offbeat cabaret performances and performances by Artistic Director and ARIA Tina Arena inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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

I am delighted to be attending this popular winter festival in Adelaide and can’t wait to bring the fusion of story, song, dance and all theater to life on stage. It is my hope that this year’s program will reconnect audiences and artists in the most intimate and life-affirming way, and provide 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 at its most fabulous. This program brings together artists of diverse voices and cultures who represent the very best in cabaret in Australia and abroad has to offer. From my own show and personal stories of Songs My Mother Taught Me to the decadence of The Piña Colada Room – leave your worries behind and let’s have fun.

Audiences bring their Italian heritage to the program and are given the rare opportunity to connect with Tina Arena on a personal level as she directs and hosts the world premiere show Songs My Mother Taught Me. Starring 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. Only two shows at Her Majesty’s Theater on June 24th and 25th.

Highlights of the opening weekend include:

  • Cabaret favorite Reuben Kaye is hosting the Piña Colada Room this weekend and bringing his new show Live & Intimate to the Banquet Room on the second weekend.
  • South Australian cabaret favorites Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger and Michael Griffiths celebrate the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll, the sexual revolution and the leaps and bounds of women’s liberation in “Simply Brill – The Women Who Defined Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Limited tickets available.
  • In 30 Something, a captivating show set at the Bohemia Kings Cross in Sydney on New Year’s Eve 1939, viewers will be transported back in time with the powerful voiced Catherine Alcorn and Phil Scott.
  • Swing band Davina & The Vagabonds at an Australian premiere as they draw on the last 100 years of American music, from Fats Domino to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, in a show brimming with New Orleans charm and Memphis soul at the iconic Spiegelzelt this weekend .
  • New Zealand company A Slightly Isolated Dog brings Don Juan to Space Theater, bringing together physical comedy and twisted pop songs in a hilarious and irreverent show directed by award-winning Leo Gene Peters.
  • For its cabaret debut, State Opera South Australia is performing How To Kill Your Husband (And Other Handy Household Tips) at the Dunstan Playhouse. Based on the bestselling novel by Kathy Lette, this show guarantees a night of drama and cheeky intimacy.
  • Cabaret Life Drawing – Be guided through the creation of charcoal drawings of a living model while sipping a glass of wine and being entertained with live music in the famous Mirror Tent.

Headline shows prove popular:

  • In The Gospel According to Marcia, the extraordinary Marcia Hines celebrates memories of her childhood in Boston and her early experiences with gospel music in a once-in-a-lifetime concert at Her Majesty’s Theater on June 17 that is not to be missed. Accompanied by Adelaide’s own Charmaine Jones & The Gospo Collective, audiences will be treated to hit gospel songs like “Oh Happy Day,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” and “Lean On Me.”
  • Comedian Paul McDermott presents his nightly show over the festival’s final two weekends with The Funhouse – a dark carnival of minstrels and misfits, comedy and music starring Claire Hooper and Dilruk Jayasinha, and a host of special guests each weekend.
  • Comedian and performer Oliver Twist reflects on his time as a refugee from Rwanda in Jali, a delicately narrated and unforgettable one-person show that proves extraordinary storytelling and stomach ache are a powerful antidote to trauma – three shows from 23rd to 25th. June at the Space Theater.
  • In his cabaret debut, multi-platinum Australian R&B artist Gary Pinto (member of former Australian hit 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 like “A Change is Going to Come” and “You Send Me” in an evening of storytelling and musical tunes to warm the soul.

South Australian artists include:

  • Kuko, Katie Aspel and Rob Edwards at a special Adelaide premiere featuring local First Nations musicians and artists on April 19.
  • Victoria Falconer makes her festival debut in And Then You Go – The Vali Myers Project, capitalizing on the dark-haired bohemian figure and visionary artist. The show is this year’s recipient of the Frank Ford Commissioning Award – the late founding father’s award of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival which provides $20,000 annually for the creation of new work by South Australian artists.
  • Musical theater fans will not be disappointed with Moments in the Woods – Songs & Stories of Sondheim, which pays tribute to the genius and legacy of the musical’s most seminal composer, Stephen Sondheim, starring Philip Quast, Geraldine Turner, Queenie van de Zandt and Josie Laneand Adelaide’s own Mitchell Butel for one night only at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Adelaide Festival Center CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM:

South Australia’s most popular winter festival is back and looking better than ever as the new Festival Plaza is open and ready to welcome audiences to some new and familiar spaces at the Adelaide Festival Centre. As a winter festival, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival is a fireplace seat. Warming our collective spirit and we know how important this is to our community.

Tina Arena has brought her creativity, talent and artistic know-how to this wonderful programme, contributing to the festival’s position as the country’s premier cabaret festival in Australia’s premier festival city. We look forward to giving the audience a warm welcome again.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival Executive Producer Alex Sinclair:

  • “We can’t wait to see cabaret fans and new audiences alike join in the celebrations of our favorite winter festival. Come and dance under the mirror ball, soak up the glitz, glamor and indulge in the live and intimate performances that are making the Adelaide Cabaret Festival the place to be this June.
  • Free events include All The Queens Men’s popular LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club, the fabulous Afternoon Tea Dance Party for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender and Intersex Elders and All Allies on Sunday 19th June at The Famous Mirror tent take place.

The inspirational Class of Cabaret program returns to shine a spotlight on tomorrow’s cabaret stars and is proudly supported by the Adelaide Festival Center Foundation through the Nathaniel O’Brien Scholarship, which will allow a student from the South Australian region to take part in the programme allows.

Festival favorite Trevor Jones – The Piano Man returns to the Quartet Bar in the Festival Theater foyer each night and the Corryton Burge Bar and Cabaret Lounge are once again the perfect spots for guests to settle into a quiet corner or to party in between to keep shows going.

Produced and presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival has grown from humble beginnings in 2001 into Australia’s premier winter festival and the largest cabaret festival in the world. Past artistic directors of the festival have included Julia Holt, David Campbell, Kate Ceberano, Barry Humphries, Eddie Perfect, Ali McGregor, Julia Zemiro and most recently Alan Cumming.

The festival has been a platform for critically acclaimed shows and artists, showcasing world-renowned performers such as Ms. Lisa Fischer, Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Dita Von Teese and Patti Lupone to name a few.

The 2022 Adelaide Cabaret Festival starts on June 10th and runs until June 25th.

season details

Venue: Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2022
Date: June 10-25, 2022

For further information, click here

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