Adelaide Cabaret Festival

By Katrina Sichlau

Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Despite being around since the late 19th century, cabaret is still incredibly relevant today – and Adelaide’s annual Cabaret Festival is proof of this.

“Put down the knitting, the book and the broom, it’s time for a holiday. Life is a cabaret, old chum, come to the cabaret.” Although these lyrics from the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret could use some updating (when was the last time you knitted anything?), one thing remains true: you should go to the cabaret.

Despite being around since the late 19th century, cabaret is an art form that is still incredibly relevant today – and Adelaide’s annual Cabaret Festival is proof of this. As the biggest festival of its kind in the world, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival showcases both local and international artists in a wide variety of shows and this year is no different. With 400-plus artists in 161 performances across 18 days and nights in June, here is just a small sample of what the 2013 program has on offer:

Variety Gala Performance  – June 6-7, Festival Theatre

Deciding which shows to see at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival is like being in an ice-cream parlour and trying to select a favourite flavour – so incredibly difficult. Thankfully, the Variety Gala Performance provides an opportunity to sample some of the Festival’s best offerings with highlights from this year’s program. Warning: It’s guaranteed to leave you hungry for more.

Idina Menzel  (June 22, Festival Theatre) & Kristin Chenoweth (June 8-9, Festival Theatre)

For musical theatre fans, the line-up doesn’t get much better than this year’s Festival. Two of Broadway’s biggest stars, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth (the witches from the original production of the hit show Wicked), are headed Down Under to cast their spells over audiences in Oz (Australia that is, not the land of munchkins and flying monkeys). Although the pair – also famous for their appearances on TV’s Glee – are not scheduled to perform together, these are two powerhouse singers and class-act performers that should not be missed.

Tom Burlinson – June 12-13, Dunstan Playhouse

Let loose and get dancing with Australia’s King of Swing, Tom Burlinson. Famous for his role in the 1982 feature film The Man From Snowy River, as well as his extensive work in theatre, Burlinson showcases another facet of his talent with his Adelaide Cabaret Festival show Now We’re Swingin’. Featuring tunes from musical greats such as Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra through to Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr, the show is sure to have audiences jiving in the aisles.

Shane Warne The Musical – June 5-9, Her Majesty’s Theatre

Cricket and musical theatre may seem like an odd match, but Australian actor, composer and lyricist Eddie Perfect proves that, like Shane Warne and his fiancée Liz Hurley, sometimes the most unlikely combinations can work. Based on the life of the controversial spin-bowler, this laugh-out-loud musical will bowl audiences over (pun intended) with its witty, satirical humour and show-stopping numbers. The show also stars Lisa McCune, Shane Jacobson, Verity Hunt-Ballard and Christie Whelan Browne.

Shane Warne The Musical will also have a short Melbourne run June 20-21, Arts Centre Melbourne

For the full program head to





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