Tag Archives: Cabaret


The Carnival of Lost Souls

Dare to enter the dark and magical world of a 19th century circus as THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS arrives in Sydney after leaving a dizzying path of mystery and mayhem for audiences along the way.

 Nestled somewhere between the madness of a Tim Burton psychosis and the darkness of a David Lynch nightmare, THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS tells the tragic tale of unrequited love & loss set amongst the splendour of a Victorian-era circus.

Featuring some of Australia’s best physical entertainers, musicians & singers, this uniquely original “circus noir” spectacle delivers a twisted bent on the familiar Circus, Musical Theatre and Cabaret stage genres.  Backed by a highly emotive and original live music score by Platonic, audiences are taken on a brooding and mystical journey into the dark heart of a vintage circus fraternity where nothing is as it seems.

Written and produced by Graham Coupland, founder of Australia’s popular GANGSTER’S BALL,THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS is a lavish production that showcases a breathtaking mix of performances from world‐class acrobats, aerial artists, illusionists and carnival characters, all whilst telling a tale of desire and betrayal under the classic Big Top.

Combined with Victorian Gothic and Steampunk-inspired costuming and stage design, a magical world comes alive where the line between life and death, real and unreal, is truly blurred.

THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS will play at the Seymour Centre 16-18 November.  To be in the running to win one of 2 free double passes email your details to editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com using LOST SOULS COMP as the subject by 6pm Thursday November 2nd.  Only winners will be notified.

For details about THE CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS : https://www.carnivaloflostsouls.com/






After a sold-out concert with his band at Sydney’s Factory Floor, Madison McKoy is getting back to basics with a piano and voice performance in his show YANK DOWN UNDER in their new late night cabaret style event 2 x 20 – September Edition.

In this concert you will be taken on a musical journey through Madison’s life growing up in America’s South.

You will hear about his days working in the tobacco fields, superstitions, church, family and haircuts. You might also  recognise songs by James Ingram, Burt Bacharach and Madison himself.

Madison has performed in the musical “Buddy”, “Miss Saigon”, “Sweet Charity” and “What The World Needs Now”.

His film roles include ‘Blood Money”, “2:22”, “South Pacific”, and “Looking For Natalie Wood”.

Madison performs around the traps to promote his soul/rnb CDs “10th Child” (2005) and “Deep Within” (1999). This guy also runs and directs The 8-Week Choir and he teaches English to speakers of other languages.

Doors open at 9:00 pm on Thursday 14 September. Performance is between 10-11pm. $10- no booking fee. The event is 18yrs+


For more about MADISON MCKOY in Yank Down Under @ 2 x 20 City Recital Hall Sydney, visit https://tickets.cityrecitalhall.com/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=3634
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Is the road to self discovery still on the map?

“The artists red light surrealism broke new ground, Body Maps socio political commentary on objectification and the beauty myth pulled no punches” – Otago Daily Times

“Original, Outlandish, provocative & not to be missed” Macandmae.com

Navigating who we are has never been tougher. Access is blocked with the promise of beauty & perfection. The personal highway to our soul is in a multi lane gridlock with diversions from the self at every exit.

Psychedelic, Satirical, Personal & Political storytelling that’s packed to the rafters with puns, punches & possibilities. BODY MAP is deep dive across the consumer bordered planet and into our inner being, highlighting our capacity to transform despite the odds.

Cult Pioneer of Australian performance art, Glitta Supernova brings her multi award winning show BODYMAP direct from the Dunedin Fringe Festival;


“BODYMAP exuded both vulnerability and subterranean glamarama” – Alt Media


BODY MAP will take place on Saturday 27th May at the Giant Dwarf Theatre. Doors will open at 7.30 pm for an 8 pm performance.

For more about Body Map, visit https://giantdwarf.com.au/events/the-glitta-supernova-experience-body-map/
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“Love is the only fire for which there is no insurance.” Edith Piaf

The fans were struggling to move the hot and humid air around The Basement, Sydney’s iconic music venue, and the atmosphere did not cool down for Nikki Nouveau’s sultry performance.

Nikki is a Sydney born Melbourne based singer and cabaret entertainer, who has had a long term fascination with Piaf, and subsequently travelled to Paris many times.

The show’s introductory number was an evocative instrumental piece by Andrew Scott on his piano accordion, conjuring up the feelings of an old French café. Continue reading NIKKI NOUVEAU CHANNELS THE GREAT EDITH PIAF @ THE BASEMENT


00 mc - Brendan Hay - CRUELLO DE VIL 01 Debbie Neilson-1 02 AlexandraChambers FANGIRL medium  low res 03 Anna Canillas-1 04 Double Trouble by Cardistry 05 BOYS BOYS BOYS-1  low res 06 Being Betty LR-1 07 Rosie Rivette  low res 08 SongsForSarahConnor low res 09 Lady Cool2 10 A-Man-and-his-Organ-  low res 11 Thao Thanh Cao-1 12 Melody Beck-1  low res 13 Kay Armstrong BIKE image 1 14 Girls on Tap-1  low res

Production photography by Sylvi Soe, and displayed in performance order.

The Short + Sweet Cabaret Gala Final took place last Sunday evening at the swish inner city  cabaret venue, the Slide. in front of a huge sold-out audience. Master of ceremonies Mr. Cruelo de Vil (Brendan Hay) cleverly entertained between acts.

– (1) Diamonds Last ForeverDebbie Neilson is magnificent as Marilyn Monroe, and Luke Reeves is the spy, James Bond 007. Yes Debbie speaks exactly like, and sounds exactly like MM as she sings “Diamonds Are Forever” wearing a beautiful red and diamonds gown. Debonaire spy arrives and dances to the music of the “James Bond Theme”. However they are both on secret missions to kill each other. Debbie dances and sings “My Heart Belongs To Daddy”, “Everyone Talks” and “I’m Through With Love”. Clever storyline, beautifully paced and in a unexpected surprise twist, MM gets her man. Delicious audience favourite.

– (2) Fangirl – Now wearing a beautiful blue tardis gown, Alexandra Chambers is super fangirl Stephanie Sparkle and sings her unique stalker story via familiar tunes with comic lyrics. She takes a deep and meaningful look inside Fangirls Anonymous (FA) where she is in the process of recovering from her stalking obsession for Jenna Coleman (Clara – the companion on TVs Doctor Who). Featuring ‘Girl Crush’ and ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ with the performance generating lots of laughs from the clever story and lyrics. Guitarist: David Macaulay.

– (3) Dear DiaryAnna Canillas, at the age of thirty, re-discovered her deliberately long forgotten 1997 Catholic high school diary. Using imaginative song lyrics, with humour passion and warmth, she detailed in song the diary contents, all about friends, being in and out of love, and many many things that needed to be forgotten. She dedicated her fresh version of lyrics for “Nine the Musical – A Call From the Vatican” and “Willy Wonka – Pure Imagination” to her long lost crush Dylan Andrews. Accompanist: Dave Collins on the piano.

– (4) CardistryLucas Itrawan and Ash Hodgkinson are DOUBLE TROUBLE as the two boys from “Cardistry” and are just fourteen years old, and already are seasoned professionals on the Australian entertainment circuit. Crowned Australian Junior Magic Champions at the age of twelve, then starred in their own sell-out show at the 2015 Melbourne Magic Festival. Craig a volunteer from the audience, using random colours, hand coloured a gigantic sketch of their black and white JOKER CARD, to which the magicians produced a deck of colour 52 JOKER CARDS that exactly and precisely matched the random colours. Superb magic entertainment. Short+Sweet Magic+Comedy winner of ‘Best Magic Act 2016’.

– (5) Boys Boys BoysEmma Nicolazo is the woman who freely admits to being an atypical Virgo, and always obtains a unique trophy from each and every new lover, just before she disappears through his front door. All the trials and tribulations of a troubled young woman, constantly looking for a good time with lots and lots of young men. Majestically funny and full of joy, plus wonderful entertaining dialogue and lyrics, all about her multitude of failed relationships. Danny the Cheater, received a dose of her versions of “Who’s That Girl” and “The Language Of Love”. Accompanied on the piano by Matthew Jonathan Ogle. Perhaps you were thinking “serial murderess”, however she just collects insane quantities of t-shirts.

– (6) Being BettyJulianne Sisinni is a beautifully dressed, very hip 1960s secretary, telling her psychiatrist all about her relationships and her very complicated life in song, from the comfort of a gigantic red-coloured egg-shaped chair. Songs included “Im Hip Not Square”.

– (7) Mrs Rivette’s Wild Night In – delivered a female-fantasy laden comedy burlesque starring Rosanna Nadine Cramer. The programme suggests you should expect to see a whip fetish using “the cat o’ nine tails”. Instead a total of nine fluffy tails have been sewn onto a child’s cute fluffy toy cat. Everything is not quite correct, especially with pearls in the wrong place, and this cute and clever take on female burlesque drew gasps from an appreciative audience, with the denouement gaining lengthy applause.

– (8) Songs for Sarah Connor – Starring Alistair Tomkins as THE TERMINATOR mix-tape cabaret style, with very entertaining new comedy lyrics sung to very familiar music, played on the piano by accompanist Dom Woodhead. With songs from Gershwin to Radiohead, all with new comedy lyrics, laugh-out-loud-funny starring THE TERMINATOR on electric guitar. Singing new versions of “Yesterday” and “There’s Always Tommorrow” and there were those unfortunate deaths of everyone named “Sarah Connor”. This was an audience favourite.

– (9) Tales From The Psyche WardLady Cool sang her new playlist, delivering clever storytelling comedy lyrics direct from her personal Psyche Ward, whilst playing her electric ukulele, generated lots of laughs. With its many superb original songs, we quickly learn about “Dating A Vegan Man”. Her previous show was “Conversations With My Shrink – so many problems so little time”. Lady Cool vividly over-shares, all about her life, love, family, by telling raw honest tales of her psychological battles from the inside of the white walls.

– (10) A Man and his Organ – organ player, Ben Palumbo sang an excellent mash-up of well-remembered french language songs, all whilst playing his accordion. Ben has a classically trained voice, with a unique falsetto extension. Comedy based around the classic French song “Deshabillez Moi” (undress me), and with some help from the audience, and there was unexpected male burlesque, as Ben removed layer upon layer of his clothing, as he talked and sang.

– (11) APPROPRIATELY INAPPROPRIATEThao Thanh Cao delivered dry, self-deprecating and female politically incorrect comedy. Vietnamese born, and originally a boat-person, she delivered perfectly paced, a quite unique and very refreshing female based comedy, and easily got away with discussing sensitive issues, without using decorum and tact. All her detailed explanations created constant, laugh out loud comedy, and her methodology included situation based humour. When you see outdoor public sex, just get up close and ask politely “Do you mind if I watch?”. When your dog eats your school homework, eating the dog prevents a repetition. Her parents live with her, and she keeps her elderly parents under her control by asking them “Do you want to visit the Nursing Home?” Short+Sweet Magic+Comedy Winner of ‘Best Comedy Act 2016’.

– (12) Unsung: The Voices of Rita Hayworth – Rita Hayworth from the Bronx to Hollywood, that everyone always remembers as Gilda, lived a full life with passion and many dramas. Hear the complete range of each of the stunning voices of the many ghost singers, who sang in each movie for non-singer Rita Hayworth, the screen goddess with undeniable sex appeal. Singer Melody Beck, accompanied on the piano by Benjamin Burton, performed many of Rita Hayworth’s well remembered songs.

– (13) BIKE Kay Armstrong in character as BIKE, fabulous cabaret entertainment, Australian Style. Unfortunately she lost her voice, and was unable to perform at the Gala Final.

– (14) Girls On Tap – Stage-filling performance with seven of the best of the best tap dancers performing clever routines with an unexpected fast costume change. This sparkling cast delivered joyful high energy dance routines, which easily won The People’s Choice Award 2016. Cast: Laura Scarfo, Peta Anderson, Siobhan Shibby Parker, Maria Costa, Georgia Shae Anderson, Natasha Window, Sally Hare.

The team of judges had a very difficult task choosing the winners as all the performances had a lot to offer. Here is the published list of winners:-

Best Cabaret Show – Melody Beck in Unsung: The Many Voices of Rita Hayworth

Best Female Performer – Anna Canillas in Dear Diary

Best Male Performer – Ben Palumbo in A Man and his Organ

People’s Choice – Girls On Tap

Professional Encouragement Awards- 

Week One – Martin Charles in False Gods

Week Two – Maddison Hegarty

Week Three – Christian Cavallo in Boy Wizard

Week four – Olivia Cianci in Dirty Martini






Inset pic- Angela Lumicisi sings the songs of Karen Carpenter in WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN. Featured pic- Ben Palumbo sings a collection of French songs accompanied by his accordion. Pics by Slyvi Soe.
Inset pic- Angela Lumicisi sings the songs of Karen Carpenter in WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN. Featured pic- Ben Palumbo sings a collection of French songs accompanied by his accordion. Pics by Slyvi Soe.

Sydney’s Biggest Little Cabaret Festival is back, with a brand new round of performers every week, for four weeks during January, and ending with a Gala Final on 7th February.

Short and Sweet Cabaret Week Two had a superb assortment of talent on stage, with a huge range of cabaret style songs, including female burlesque, farce and comedy, dance and musical theatre. In under 100 minutes, seven superb ten minute performances were presented and with all the impressive talent, it was almost impossible to pick the winner.

(1) DRAG IN THE FOLK- starring Daniele Gianotti and the Dusha Balkana Dance Ensemble. Well costumed extravaganza as a bearded drag queen lip-synced an amazing octave range of songs, with comedic support by the one person dance ensemble.



MEOW MEOW'S LITTLE MERMAID, another great show playing the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
MEOW MEOW’S LITTLE MERMAID, another great show playing the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent

If you’re a sucker for a good collection of original songs, daahlings, sweetie, one that takes you on a journey through different styles and moods, telling stories, plucking at your emotions and showcasing the virtuoso skills of the musicians and singer, then MEOW MEOW’S LITTLE MERMAID is the show for you.

If you’re also a fan of eclectic, hybrid blending of styles, ideas and form that mixes a classic children’s fairytale with cabaret satire creating a decent platform for allowing all manner of mayhem and moments of meaning to bubble to the surface, then definitely line up early for a good seat.

Stir that into the repertoire of an accomplished performer waxing on the most explored and adored topic of all – love; or more specifically, trying to find the damn thing. ‘Love – do we have to hunt it down and kill it?’ Continue reading MEOW MEOW’S LITTLE MERMAID @ MAGIC MIRRORS SPEIGELTENT


Kay Armstrong

01 Nata Forte LR-10 02 Songs for Sarah Connor LR-16 03 Being Betty LR-1 04 Martin Charles - False Gods-1 05 Carolyn Burke - Get the Love You Deserve-1 06 Girls on Tap-1

One of the highlights between each ten minute cabaret act, was the gorgeous Kay Armstrong as the MC. Armstrong contributed plenty of audience participation, great one liners, and some corny jokes, plus one crazy ballet number. All very entertaining and well worth seeing. Later in January, Kay Armstrong is also bringing her one woman show to Short and Sweet Cabaret 2016.

Sydney’s Biggest Little Cabaret Festival is back, with a brand new round of performers every week, for four weeks during January. Short and Sweet Cabaret has a new festival director this year, James Taylor (Royal Ballet London, The Magician’s Cabaret, El Circo, Risque Revue).

In under ninety minutes, six superb ten minute performances were presented from 7:30pm on Tuesday night. This week a unique and very entertaining evening of brand new cabaret was experienced, with a huge range of cabaret style songs, including comedy, dance and musical theatre. With so much talent on stage this week, very very hard to pick the winner.   Continue reading SHORT AND SWEET CABARET 2016 WEEK ONE SYDNEY

Sydney Festival 2015 preview

January is a lazy languid time in Sydney, so it’s slightly unfair that the art lover’s idylls should be rudely interrupted – but in the best possible way – by the massive feast of cultural events that is the Sydney Festival.

Like a refreshing summer shower, some of the festival’s most appetising events are fleeting, lasting for only one or two nights; others, like a lingering heatwave, bask the greater Sydney region in their glow for weeks.

This year’s 179 events spread from the CBD to the Blue Mountains, 85 of them are free and there are almost 500 performances in total. Eight of them have exclamation marks in their title (one even has two!!) so expect some very exciting shows!

As always with the Sydney Festival, it’s best to get in early: by the time you hear about them they have may have vanished or sold out.

Continue reading Sydney Festival 2015 preview


Elvis Second Image
Nick Nicolas as the King courting his coterie of showgirls

Nick Nicolas and his colleague Natalie Bauer have come up with a winning show with their new production, ELVIS CABARESQUE  VEGAS SHOW which I saw last night at Newtown’s warm, intimate cabaret venue, The Vanguard.

The audience, in the middle of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, were in the mood for feel good, uncomplicated, risque entertainment, and that was what was delivered with panache.