Review: Variety Gala Performance, Adelaide Cabaret Festival

“The Variety Gala encompassed the essence of the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and offered an exciting teaser of what is to come.”

Showcasing the very best of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the Variety Gala Performance proved to be the ultimate night of glitz and glamour and the perfect start to what is sure to be a tantalising few weeks of cabaret. Alongside local star Hugh Sheridan, dazzling host Meow Meow kicked things off with a risqué Weimar routine. The curtains opened and Artistic Director Barry Humphries joined the stage, accompanied by The Tap Pack, and delivered a spectacular performance that rung true to this year’s slogan, “There are no rules”. With more than 50 shows to choose from, Humphries has sewn together an eccentric range of acts that will surprise and delight fans. From Broadway to opera to cabaret, the Variety Gala provided a preview of the exciting program. The night’s epic line-up included powerhouse performances from West End musical theatre star Daniel Koek, New York jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson and the astonishing vocals of Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Greta Bradman. The highlights didn’t stop there, with the infectiously upbeat Tap Pack, the hilarious bikini-waxing tales of Marney MacQueen, the whacky but decadent Strange Bedfellows, the exuberantly sassy Reuben Kaye, the soaring voice of David Gauci and the brilliant Adam Hills conducting an Advance Australia Fair singalong to Working Class Man. The evening was beautifully tied together by the glamorous Meow Meow who kept the audience awake with her sensual performances and humours wit. The night ended with Dame Edna gracing the stage in a glittering gown singing My Public, stealing the show and receiving a standing ovation from a delighted crowd. It could have been shorter – the absence of an intermission made the night drag on a bit – but the Variety Gala encompassed the essence of the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and offered an exciting teaser of what is to come. Words by Giselle Bueti

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