Left – Kate Ceberano. Photo – Pierre Baroni
As the curtain was raised last night, cabaret returned to its home at the Adelaide Festival Centre.
It is said to be “bigger and better”, but there is something more than that at this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival. It has matured through a vision that challenges and inspires. The fantastic festival line-up is a testament to this, but there are also smaller things like the festival’s more streamlined visual design and the not-so-shabby Winter Garden.
Last night’s Variety Gala Performance featured a selection of artists from throughout the festival. The concert was also a continued celebration of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s fortieth anniversary.
The audience was fascinated by old footage of the building’s construction, and cheered the praises given by Dunstan and Whitlam. There is a lot to lament though, comparing the footage of the chic 1970s building to its decrepit current day incarnation.
Craig McLachlan as compere was a surprising crowd pleaser, with just the right amount of schtick and cheese. Tim Curry had better watch out, McLachlan’s “Sweet Transvestite” was sassy and hilarious.
During the evening, Kate Ceberano formally recognised Reg Livermore for his contribution to cabaret. In addition to the award, Livermore will be the subject of a retrospective exhibition and a commissioned performance (Tommy Bradson: Reg).
Highlights of the night include Miles and Simone, Tommy Bradson, Catherine Alcorn and Hans. Enjoyable though it was, the performance began to drag and lacked diversity of entertainment.
After the performance, a lucky few were given a glimpse of "what hides within". A mystery tour through the bowels of the theatre ended with impromptu performances by Kate Ceberano and The Swing Sesh.
To think that this is just the beginning of the sponteneity, excitement and warmth of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Variety Gala Performance
Venue: Festival Theatre
Dates: 6 – 7 June
Duration: 1 hour 30 mins