Thursday, June 8, 2017

S.A. Weekender #9: Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Ramsay Art Prize, Fine Dining...

What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a cabaret, old chum
Come to the cabaret!

Who could ever forget Liza Minelli’s rousing performance of this song in the 1972 Bob Fosse directed film, Cabaret? I’m sure that song will be heard more than once when Adelaide’s annual Cabaret Festival kicks off tomorrow night for two weeks of music, dance, comedy, and raunchy in your face theatre. All presented by some of the best practitioners from around the world. 

Conceived by Adelaide arts identity and founding father of the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Frank Ford, the Festival emerged during a period of change and uncertainty. During the late 1990s the number of big stage musicals was in decline across the country forcing many talented performers out of work. At the same time, Frank Ford, had become concerned about the flood of visiting comedians in the Fringe program. ‘The Fringe was intended to be a national showcase for new talent in Australia but it was being upstaged by these comedians who were stopping on route to the Melbourne Comedy estival,’ Frank says. 

Australians have a great tradition of musical theatre and political satire and both form a large part of the cabaret genre. And so the idea for a new festival was born. Frank approached then Arts Minister, Diana Laidlaw who committed funding to establish the first cabaret festival at Adelaide’s creative heart, the Adelaide Festival Centre.

The first Festival took place in May 2001 and featured Australian Jazz maestro James Morrison, musical satirist Phil Scott, and Australian musical theatre star Caroline O’Connor who was a late replacement for the legendary Nina Simone. A critical and commercial success, the state government committed to a further three years funding. “I loved that we started something from scratch where there was no existing audience and found 48,000 attendances by the second year,” said the inaugural Festival Director, Julia Holt.

Now in its 17th year and the biggest festival of its kind, Adelaide Festival Centre's Adelaide Cabaret Festival has continued to attract truly outstanding artists from around the country and the world. The Festival not only highlights the big names but makes them, too.

Past Festivals have featured the likes of Dame Edna Everage (AUS), Dita Von Teese (USA), Lea Salonga (PHIL), Cassandra Wilson (USA), Olivia Newton-John (AUS), Molly Ringwald (USA), Lenny Henry (UK), Mary Wilson (USA), Tim Minchin (AUS), Natalie Cole (USA), Paul Kelly (AUS), Bernadette Peters (USA), Eddie Perfect (AUS), Rhonda Burchmore (AUS), Caroline Nin (FRA), Michael Feinstein (USA), Mandy Patinkin (USA) and Anthony Warlow (AUS), just to name a few.

Here’s Liza Minelli in a clip from Cabaret, performing that now classic song. The video also includes the lyrics, so lubricate your tonsils and song along. Liza won’t mind — but the neighbours might!

More Information

2017 Ramsay Art Prize winner Sarah Contos with: Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye, 2016.
Art Gallery of South Australia, 2017 photo: Saul Steed.

2017 Ramsay Art Prize 
Congratulations to Sarah Contos, winner of the inaugural $100,000 Ramsay Art Prize, Australia’s richest prize for young contemporary artists. Presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Ramsay Art Prize aims to support and encourage contemporary Australian artists to make their best work at a pivotal moment in their career.

The winning work of art is titled Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye and brings together personal remnants of Contos’ practice from the last four years, resulting in a colossal quilt that she describes as her most ambitious work to date.

Chosen from more than 450 entries from across the country, and selected by a panel of international and national contemporary art experts, Contos’ 2017 Ramsay Art Prize entry now becomes part of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection.

All selected works can now be seen in a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia. The exhibition runs through August 27, 2017. You can take a quick look at the other finalists from this years competition here…

More Information

Hains & Co. brings us Nashville Hot Chicken
According to the reviewers at CityMag: "The Hains & Co. kitchen has taken a turn towards Tennessee and is your new favourite spot for fried chicken."
Hains & Co., the West End’s premier whisky and gin drinkery (located a very convenient distance from CityMag HQ) has long been known for their Break Even Bottle (three cheers for drunken socialism), and for being the one salve for the souls in need of spirits on public holidays. Recently they’ve added another card to their deck and have fired up the kitchen out back, letting chef Drew Aitken bring his Alabaman flair to the venue.
“I used to run a catering company out of there. We did some of our own food, but I closed the catering company at the end of October last year,” says Hains & Co. owner Marcus Motteram.
“We’ve been doing our own food still, but wanted to have something more focussed, so it’s Southern American.”
Read the full article here…

If You Go
Hains & Co. 
23, Gilbert Place, Adelaide
Ph: (08) 8410 7088

Opening Times
Sunday to Friday: 4:00pm - late
Saturday: 6:00pm - late
Note: Closed Mondays

Ten of SA’s Best Regional Restaurants
Speaking of food and restaurants, the latest issue of SA Motor, the magazine of the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia has a very tempting feature by David Day, in which he lists his selection for the ten best regional restaurants in the state. Among his choices are The Current Shed, McLaren Vale (“The lime tart – made from fruit from the orchard – with fresh coconut is a notable signature and a must-try.”); The Lane Vineyard in Hahndorf (“Chef James Brinklow shows great culinary poise, embracing prime local produce to conjure dishes of flair with an element of surprise.”); and The Loxton Hotel, Loxton (“shines as a star Riverland dining attraction”). Read the full article here…

Not Only, But Also…

Adelaide Cabaret Festival: June 9-24, 2017

In The Saddle — On The Wall
A Kimberley Aboriginal Artists touring exhibition
Flinders University City Gallery at the State Library of South Australia
Now through June 25, 2017

Tuesday—Friday: 11:00am—5:00pm 
Saturday & Sunday: 12:00—4:00pm

Raggers and Radicals: Student Activity and Activism from 1880
Level One, Barr Smith Library 
Adelaide University, North Terrace
Now through June 30

At the Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace, Adelaide
Now through July 2, 2017

YIDAKI: Didjeridu and The Sound of Australia
At the South Australian Museum
Now through July 16, 2017

Kings, Queens & Courtiers
At the David Roche Foundation House Museum
Now through July, 2017

Now Get Out of The House!

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