Hayes Theatre: Cabaret Season 2014
While it may indeed be a long way to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the distance between Sydney audiences and the best in Aussie cabaret just got a whole lot smaller.
The Hayes Theatre Company this week have announced their 2014 Cabaret season and Aussie Theatre’s David Allen is on hand to offer you our top picks…
Though the name Mario Lanza may not be so widely known in the 21st century, the legacy of his incendiary career lives on. The last of the great romantic Hollywood leading men, Lanza’s tempestuous life will be brought to the stage of the Hayes Theatre in this two-hander cabaret written by Phil Scott (The Wharf Revue) who will be joined on stage by Blake Bowden (South Pacific) as Lanza himself. Examining the meteoric rise and stormy fall of the great tenor, this cabaret, directed by Eamon Flack (Angels in America), replete with this talented trio, will unquestionably be a highlight. If you are unaware of the work of Mario Lanza at the outset, you will be fascinated by his life at the end. Fired by MGM due to his on set behaviour, noted as an alcoholic and a food-aholic, yet still considered to be the most famous singer alive, he died aged 38 under extremely mysterious circumstances and no autopsy was performed. Whatever happened to Mario Lanza? Blake Bowden, Phil Scott and Eamon Flack are here to tell us. Mario will play at the Hayes from Wednesday 9 till Saturday 12 in July.
Tom Sharah in That 90’s Show
Calling all children of the 90’s! Does Tom Sharah have a show for you! With tight pants, big hair and even bigger vocals, the star of Que Sera Sharah and It’s Raining Me is back with a big, new cabaret about the decade that forged his childhood. With his own inimitable style of camp and blazing showmanship, Sharah will take his audience on a ride through those guilty pleasure songs of the 1990’s – just without the guilt part! Fresh from the stage of The Drowsy Chaperone at the Hayes, Sharah is a cabaret hit-maker with multiple successful national tours under his belt. A child of the Australian music theatre industry and a worthy successor to the likes of Paul Capsis and Reg Livermore, the up and coming star will appear for three shows only – Sunday’s both the 6th and 13th of July with musical direction by Nigel Ubrihien.
Toby Francis in Love, Death and an American Guitar
Jim Steinman! The name conjures up so much. The composer of some of the greatest hits of the latter part of the 20th century including “Bat out of Hell”, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, “Holding Out for a Hero” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”, he may be known for his rock and pop hits – did you know he started out in musicals? Steinman has, in his time, been attached to projects including a metal adaptation of The Nutcracker, Batman: the musical, Tanz der Vampire (NOT Dance of the Vampires – he hated that!), a musical adaptation of the Wagner opera Das Rheingold called Rhinegold, Whistle Down the Wind (with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber) and a rock opera called Neverland, based on Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. One of the most gifted rock tenors to hit the music theatre in recent years, Toby Francis (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Carrie, Truth Beauty and a Picture of You) will bring alive a period in the legendary musicians career where he was desperately seeking recognition and a creative direction. Turn around bright eyes and buy tickets. The show will run from Friday 4 till Sunday 6 of July.
Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox
A show written and directed by Dean Bryant demands and commands attention. Throw in the fantastic creative talents of cabaret star Michael Griffiths and you have the whole package for a great evening of cabaret. Griffiths may be best remembered for his show In Vogue: the Songs of Madonna. Now he’s back and ready to storm the hottest new cabaret venue in town with the music of cultural icon: Annie Lennox. Known for her powerhouse vocals, sweeping melodies and incredibly nuanced vocal performances, Lennox is putty in Griffiths talented hands and the audience lucky enough to watch him interpret the Eurythmics divas work is in for a treat – and more than a few surprises. This is cunning cabaret, skillfully performed and cleverly written. To be seen at all costs. Sweet Dreams will play at the Hayes from Wednesday July 2 till Saturday, July 5.
Gillian Cosgriff in This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Gillian Cosgriff is unquestionably one of the brightest new stars in the Australian cabaret firmament, and set only to rise. Following in the wake of such luminaries as Tim Minchin and Katrina Retallick, she is the whole package: a gifted composer, a fantastic vocalist and a truly uproariously funny comedienne. The stage is hers from the moment that she appears as audiences to her sold out Australian tours have swiftly discovered. Taking nest at the Hayes in 2014, Cosgriff will present her latest self-penned vehicle: This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: a parable of booze, texting, band aids, grammar, hangovers and profanity. With a career of growing diversity behind her and a future ahead sure to be littered with her inimitably penned comic showstoppers, see this young starlet now at the Hayes. In ten years time you may be seeing her at the Opera House. This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things will be staged from Thursday June 19 till Saturday June 21.
David Campbell Sings John Bucchino
Set to debut at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, this production will in a sense bring Hayes Theatre Company producer David Campbell home. Joined on stage by the fabulously talented American composers, Campbell’s friend, John Bucchino, the duo will bring to life songs of the composer that have bound them together as friends and seen them along in their respective careers. Recorded by everyone from Barbara Cook to Liza Minnelli, Bucchino is a 21st century standard writer and Broadway composer with the musical A Catered Affair to his credit. Campbell may be most famous for his TV work these days, but the once (and future?) music theatre star will once again display his popular vocals on the stage of the theatre he helped to create. Sure to be a very personal show as well as a trip down memory lane, this is a rare opportunity to see one of Australias most popular male vocalists alongside one of America’s most gifted composers. David and John will appear at the Hayes from Wednesday June 18 till Saturday June 28.
Hilary Cole in OCD(iva)
Carrie is now to make her cabaret debut. The star also of The Drowsy Chaperone at the Hayes Theatre, the young actress will return to the stage on Greenknowe Avenue in her new show about confronting an obsessive personality and what it means to find a solid footing in the midst of a manic existence. Featuring songs from everyone by Stephen Sondheim to Jerome Kern and covers from The Beatles through to Blondie, this is set to be a show that is so much more than a music theatre star talking about life, career and the songs you love her singing. This is one of the most talented young actresses in Australia exploring a new art form and taking us all along for the ride. Secure tickets by any means! OCD(iva) will play three Sundays on June 15, 22 and 28.
Rhonda Burchmore in Vinyl Viagra
Rhonda Burchmore – the first lady of fabulous and one of the reigning divas of the Australian music theatre today – will bring to life the sex appeal and songs of some of the worlds most famous divas in her own inimitable way. Combined with a hint of Berlin’s Weimar cabaret and mixed with the boldness of burlesque, this sensual evening will include hit songs by artists ranging from Marlene Dietrich to Katy Perry, Shirley Bassey to Beyonce and Chrissy Amphlett to Lady GaGa – but all with a twist. One of the most powerful performers on the Australian stage, and also unquestionably one of the most intelligent in delivery, a performance by Rhonda Burchmore requires no hyperbole but commands it anyway. This is a diva at the height of her powers making a Sydney debut with a new cabaret – this is a must see event and a coup for the Hayes Theatre. Vinyl Viagra will run for a strictly limited season of three performances from Wednesday June 11 to Friday June 13.
More information about the Hayes Theatre and their 2014 cabaret season is available on their website here.