Wednesday 25 May 2016

Songbook singers have long been the cornerstone of the cabaret genre and this year we have some of the finest purveyors of interpretation. Some are taking the work of one composer or artist and exploring their body of work and some are taking a theme and exploring the work of diverse artists. All are at the top of their game and will either re-introduce or introduce you to some of the finest songs ever written for the voice.


BOBBY FOX - 4 Seasons in 1 Night
10-12 June

Bobby was handpicked by Frankie Valli himself to play him in Jersey Boys. He captured the nation with his portrayal and after releasing a song with Miranda Kerr (there’s a video and everything!) and touring the country he now comes to Adelaide to celebrate the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Expect falsetto and some pretty sweet moves…


MEGAN HILTY - In Concert
11 June

Megan has just been nominated for a Tony Award; she has been Glinda in Wicked on Broadway and was the star of the Marilyn Monroe musical TV hit show SMASH! Expect a world-class voice and an insight into this world-class performer's life and career.


BARB JUNGR - Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen
12-13 June

Many of you will already know Barb Jungr’s prowess over the songs of some of the most iconic songwriters of our age. In this show she tackles the repertoire of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. Barb is considered cabaret royalty wherever I go - from New York to London and here in Australia. I last saw her in Edinburgh singing the songs of the Beatles - she never disappoints.


​ROBYN ARCHER - Dancing on the Volcano
11-12 June

Robyn Archer is an icon of the industry. She began performing at the very beginning of what we now know as the cabaret community in Australia. A proud South Australian, she was the Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival and having her here at this year’s Cabaret Festival was an absolute given. This year she explores what was almost the birth of cabaret - the period between the wars in Germany. Think Brecht and Eisler, Hollaender, Heine and more.


THE WEILL FILE - With your Master of Ceremonies Robyn Archer
13 June

Robyn will also be hosting and performing in this celebration the work of a seminal composer who’s songs have become synonymous with cabaret performers. Weill's songs have been interpreted by some of the greatest singers and musicians in the world. Many know of his Wiemar songs from his works with Brecht but there is also a rich period of French chanson as well as some of the most wonderful Broadway songs from the golden age of Broadway musicals. This show will feature some of our finest singers in this year’s program.


17-18 June

The Zephyr Quartet are well known for their beautiful arrangements and in this show they have got together with four wonderful local artists to retell the incredible Elvis Costello and Brodsky Quartet album of 2004, The Juliet Letters. It is one of my favourite albums of all time and I can’t wait to hear these wonderful singers reinterpret these inventive songs.


JOE STILGOE - Songs on Film
17-19 June

I met Joe years ago when he was the bandleader for the legendary Edinburgh variety night The Horne Section. The son of a renowned composer (Sir Richard Stilgoe) Joe has become one of the most enigmatic jazz pianists and bandleaders in the UK. This show was a hit in Edinburgh and beyond and Stilgoe, along with the wonderful jazz musicians he is bringing with him, will be taking a beautifully entertaining stroll through your favourite songs from the silver screen.


18-19 June

I am so excited to have Lisa finally coming to Adelaide to present her show and let us hear her remarkable voice up close and personal. Recently she has found fame as one of the most intriguing stars of the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. The film celebrated the most famous back up singers of all time and Lisa is one of the most well respected singers out there having been the first choice of the Rolling Stones, Sting and others for years. This will be a very special night.


EMMA PASK - A Latin Fiesta
16-18 June

Some of you might know of Emma from her star turn on The Voice (Ricky Martin was a HUGE fan), but Emma has been slowly working her way to the very top of he game as a jazz singer after being discovered by James Morrison when she was still in school. She has one of the finest jazz voices in the country and this show celebrates the Latin songs that are her favourite repertoire to sing. It will be joyous and full of Latino fever!


FRIENDS OF BARBRA - The Way we Weren't
18-19 June

The gentlemen performing this show are each, as individuals, three of the most loved people in the industry. Together they are raucous and this show that revels in their shared love for Barbra Streisand is silly, clever, camp, a little dirty and hilarious. If you love Babs AND good singing AND idiocy then you will LOVE this!


TOM BURLINSON - Performs 'Live at the Sands'
24 June

In 1987 I was in school in the Victorian bush and one day as we were hiking in the high country we ran into a number of cast and crew from Snowy River 2. I, of course, met Tom Burlinson and he signed my hike notes. It was one of the greatest moments of my school years and I still have the autograph (don’t think I am not going to fish that out and show him in some sort of deranged, old-time fan girl situation during the Festival). Tom was chosen by Tina Sinatra herself to be the voice of her father in the acclaimed biopic of his life. His ability to channel one of the truly best singers of the last century is uncanny. The Live at the Sands album was one of Sinatra’s finest so these shows are going to be OFF THE HOOK!


24-25 June

Our esteemed former Artistic Director and one of the finest and most recognisable voices in Australia teaming up with one of the most respected Jazz musicians and composers in the country to sing their favourite love songs. Seriously.. If you haven't already bought a ticket to this I'm not sure we can even be friends.


SOUTHERN BELLES - Jane Clifton, Nichaud Fitzgibbon, Carla Lippis and the Southern Bells Band
22-23 June

Jane Clifton, Nichaud Fitzgibbons and Carla Lippis are three acclaimed singers (Prisoner! Jazz Royalty!  Italiana-Adelaideian Bombshell!! – you can Google which one is which!). In this show they, together with Clare Moore and Rosie Westbrook (two amazing musicians and arrangers and people) celebrate the songs made famous by the beauties of the American South (and some that sung their music – I’m looking at you Dusty!) – Dolly, Dusty, Bobbie Gentry – think' D.I.V.O.R.C.E', '9 to 5', 'Jolene' and 'Ode to Billy Joe'... I dare you not to sing-a-long to every single song.


YANA ALANA - Covered
24-25 June

Some may have had the pleasure of seeing Yana Alana and her Piranhas in a previous show, and will know that Yana takes no prisoners. The brainchild of acclaimed performer Sarah Ward, this creation is a feminist icon, a poet and revelation. She has created a beautiful show full of unique imagery and definitive interpretations of some classic songbook songs.


RUMOUR HAS IT - Naomi Price as Adele
23-25 June

I had the pleasure of seeing Naomi Price in Ladies in Black recently and instantly fell in love with the talent of this incredible woman. I’m really excited to see her take on the songs and personality of Adele. This show, by all accounts, is full of humour, pathos and the undeniable charisma of both Naomi and Adele.


STARMAN - A Show with the Music of David Bowie
22-25 June

Were you at AdCabFest 2014? I was, and I was hosting the Backstage Club when I was told that this Dutch performer was going to do a spot in my show but couldn’t come and meet me beforehand. So I, like many in the audience got to fall in love with Sven the instant he strutted on stage, mounted the piano and, with feathered epaulets and the confidence of a performer at the top of his game he captivated that room for 15 minutes of utter delight. This year he returns with his show celebrating the work of David Bowie. He has been performing this show around Europe and America for over a year, and the untimely death of David Bowie has made this show even more important and kick-ass and heart wrenching.


There are of course, other songbook singers in the program (me for instance but I feel weird writing about me!) - everyone else will be covered in other blog posts. Do a search and you will find it somewhere!


Next post is DANCE & BURLESQUE


Originally published on 9 May 2016 at



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