Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cabaret Festivals

It has been a while between blog postings. But I was inspired by our Membership Meeting last night and our ambitious plans to finally present our first version of a local Cabaret Festival this Fall. It is an important step in shining our light, growing our audiences and sharing our passion with other strong performers that should be among our ranks. Here are two other Festivals on the map that are huge and have brought much attention to the work we do. I don't know if the Twin Cities will ever be in the same league as them, but it is something to aspire to.

Image result for new york cabaret convention 2016The New York Cabaret Convention is a few weeks after ours in mid October. In it's 27th year, it is presented in conjunction with the Mabel Mercer Foundation. From what I can see, it is entirely performance based and is a fireworks grand finale of the artists we likely gravitate to. There are 4 HUGE themed cabaret concerts with a theme - Sondheim, Sheldon Harnick, Charles Strouse and performer Sylvia Syms. Each night has a slate of over 20 performers and composers; notables like Maureen McGovern, Christina Bianco, Karen Akers, Steve Ross, Donna McKechnie, Billy Stritch. (It definitely appears more female heavy.) And then ends with two honorary awards in name of Julie Wilson & Margaret Whiting. Tickets max out at $100.
Image result for adelaide cabaret festival

On the other side of the globe is the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Australia. For my money - this is the ultimate in a cabaret experience. I think TCCAN needs to plan an excursion in the next five years and charter a trip down for members. It embraces the vast diversity in what cabaret can be. It started in the late 1990's as big musicals were in decline and the Fringe comedy circuit was also eroding the local landscape. So in usual Aussie attitude - they carved their own niche where political satire and musical theater collide - much like the early roots of cabaret. The idea began as a showcase for local talent. But in the coming decades it has reached a global outreach. It is inclusive enough to include billing Bernadette Peters and Ben Vereen alongside Dame Edna as they pursue all that cabaret can be. There are tribute concerts, performance art, alter ego shows and pure drag burlesque. There is a nightly Piano Stage bar, Songwriters workshops, Symposiums, Live Radio Broadcasts and backstage Artist sessions which show the process. There are scholarships for young artists. It encompasses 15 days and over 50 artists from around the world. Epic is the word! It is almost done for this year - but please visit the website and think about an outing South mates!

Adelaide Cabaret