From Eurovision stars to RocKwiz Live, Adelaide Cabaret Festival artistic director Julia Zemiro has put together a very Julia Zemiro cabaret festival.
Zemiro’s Eurovision connections are on full display in the newly-announced 2019 program, with two of Australia’s representatives at the international song contest receiving top billing in former X Factor winner Dami Im and pop-opera songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke. Miller-Heidke will perform at the festival fresh from competing at Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv, in her first Adelaide performance since collaborating with the ASO during 2018’s Adelaide Festival.
Eschewing the opening night gala of previous years, Zemiro’s festival will open with a new, standalone event dubbed The House is Live at key 2019 venue the Thebarton Theatre. Set against the 90 year old theatre’s art deco glamour, the show will include Zemiro, Meow Meow, Reuben Kaye, Saskwatch vocalist Nkechi Anele and new State Theatre director Mitchell Butel. Thebarton Theatre will also host a reunion of Zemiro’s RocKwiz team on Friday, June 21 for an evening dedicated to rock musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar and Living In The Land Of Oz.
Another new addition comes in the festival’s weekend musical nightcap The 11 O’Clock Number, to close out the night at The Famous Spiegeltent (set to pop up in the riverbank area once occupied by Lola’s Pergola) with performances from the positively ubiquitous Hans and Zemiro’s own comedic creation Bronya. The Spiegeltent will also host shows from seasoned international musical theatre vet Ruthie Henshall, Black Comedy star Steven Oliver and local alt. country wag Max Savage.
Other musical highlights include vocal powerhouses Vika and Linda Bull, who will premiere their new show Between Two Shores on June 20-22 in the lead up to their first original album in 17 years. Lior will reinvent songs from his own back catalogue with the help of composer and former Adelaide Festival artistic director Paul Grabowski. David Campbell will swap his recent morning television role for the night with the debut of his new show Back In the Swing Of Things, featuring a 14-piece swing band performing hits by Sinatra, Louis Prima and Bobby Darin.
Closer to home, the posthumous legacy of festival founder Frank Ford will bear fruit with Amelia Ryan and Libby O’Donovan’s Unsung, an exploration of the under-recognised women of Australia’s 1960s music scene. The first production to be funded by the $20,000 Frank Ford Commissioning Award, it’s unlikely to be the only tribute to Ford we’ll see across the festival.
When Zemiro spoke to The Adelaide Review in February she highlighted the importance of story, a sentiment on show with Presentation Night, a collaboration between former Western Bulldogs captain turned author Bob Murphy and Tex Perkins. Tripod’s Steven Gates Suburban Gothic will explore the uncomfortable underbelly of suburbia, while Adelaide’s own Zephyr Quartet will collaborate with Canadian Yiddish hip hop artist Socalled in a show spans old Hassidic melodies, Yiddish theatre and songs from the Holocaust among contemporary material.
These latest additions join the suite of shows Zemiro revealed to us earlier in the year, including Ute Lemper’s Rendezvous With Marlene, Megan Mullally’s Nancy and Beth, satirist Dan Ilic’s A Rational Fear, intimate free-for-all The Swell Mob and the State Theatre Company’s End of the Rainbow.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival
June 7 – 22, 2019