5 Tips for Navigating the Adelaide Cabaret Festival

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival is upon us for another year – from June 8th through until June 23rd, Ali McGregor‘s latest program is set to bring some revered international names together with some of Australia’s brightest musical and theatrical talent for some truly indulgent, entertaining nights out.

If you’ve not been exposed to the delights of the Cabaret Festival before or if you’re looking at heading to Adelaide to check it out for the first time; I’ve got some tips on how to get through it, from the Opening Gala to the late night bar sessions at the Adelaide Festival Centre. It can be an expensive venture but if you know how to size the program up, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival can provide some of the best times you’re likely to have in a South Australian winter.

Support the Next Generation

Each year, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival opens its doors in welcoming a crop of talented students in the arts to learn from the best. This year, 20 senior students from across the state will perform at the Space Theatre a personally curated set list that demonstrates their flourishing talent.

Mentored by Amelia Ryan and Michael Griffiths, with Charmaine Jones in the fold as dynamic vocal coach, this year’s Class of Cabaret features students from schools including Adelaide High School, St Michael’s College, Glenunga International High School, Eynesbury Senior College, Trinity College Gawler and more.

Buy your tickets for the shows on June 23rd here.

Bear Witness to a Legend

Along with many other things, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival manages to bring some iconic names to Adelaide to premiere shows unlike any other. This year, Broadway legend Patti LuPone headlines the festival, bringing her one woman show to the Festival Theatre. I mean, the stories this woman can tell about being in show business for over four decades alone is worth the ticket price.

LuPone’s show comes at the tailend of the festival’s season (June 21st) – the tickets are slightly more pricey than others on the program, so if you’re looking for that one big show to blow your budget on, definitely make it this one.

Buy your tickets here.

Get a Taste of the Festival Early

Okay, so the opening night Variety Gala of each Adelaide Cabaret Festival is always one of the most popular points of the program. It’s a night where dressing up to the extreme is encouraged and anyone who’s everyone will be walking that red carpet. Years gone past have seen the likes of Molly RingwaldKristin ChenowethBarry HumphriesLea Salonga and more show up on opening night, while the event itself provides a great opportunity for the audience to get a little insight into what the program is offering that year.

Last year’s Gala saw Artistic Directors McGregor and Eddie Perfect joined by the cast of BRIEFSMurray HillNaomi Price and others, so it’s going to be exciting to see who joins McGregor at the Festival Theatre this year. A perfect event for those who might not be able to attend many shows at the Cabaret Festival this year, but still want to get a good idea of the general vibe.

Buy tickets to the show on June 8th here.

Don’t Forget, the Night Really Starts After Curtain Down

The good thing about the Adelaide Cabaret Festival is that, for the most part, all the shows happen at the Adelaide Festival Centre, so you can venue hop with ease. If you’re looking for a place to kick on though, they got you covered.

The Backstage Club is usually where things get a little more raucous; you’ve got artists who are looking to let their hair down a bit or have a wind down drink, while your hosts are musical, often devilish, and a heck of fun. This year, Frisky and Mannish (pictured) host the opening weekend (June 8th – 10th), Libby O’Donovan takes the reins from June 14th – 16th, while the inimitable Sven Ratzke takes the final weekend, June 21st – 23rd.

Buy tickets for the Frisky and Mannish dates here.
Buy tickets for Libby O’Donovan’s dates here.
Buy tickets for Sven Raztke’s dates here.

Don’t Pass Go Without Securing Time With Joey Arias

Famed New Yorker Joey Arias is a beloved member of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s family and his shows are bloody staples of the event. If you’re going to prioritise any on this program, Arias’ Three Floors of Madness has to be up there. Teaming up with Charly Zastrau this year, the duo revives the spirit of Club 57 in performing their own songbook in their own unique style.

Buy your tickets to the show at the Festival Theatre on June 14th, here.

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival opens on June 8th. For full program information and tickets, visit www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au.