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Review: Class of Cabaret at The Space Theatre

Class of Cabaret began in 2010 under the artistic direction of David Campbell at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival to provide a learning opportunity for talented and passionate secondary students to share their perspective on life through the art of cabaret performance.

Now it’s fourteenth year, Class of Cabaret provides an expert team in the form of an experienced accompanist, a leading vocal teacher and mentorship from two renowned Adelaide artists to help these students explore issues and ideas to use the medium of cabaret to be a voice for their generation.

Class of Cabaret shines a spotlight on tomorrow’s promising young stars.

Two spectacular shows were staged, and I got to see the half of these young entertainers at the 6pm session.

This year’s expert team comprised of mentors Joanne Hartstone and Mark Oates, director Brock Roberts, vocal coach Rosie Hosking and accompaniment and musical direction by the incredibly talented Ciara Ferguson.

They opened with a group number, a medley/mash up of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colours and Sara Bareilles’ Brave before the first performer, Lillian Crocos told her tale of the troubles of choosing between the ‘standard’ job and pursuing musical theatre. A talented violinist also, Crocos was a great opener to the show.

Oliver Lawes described the well-known struggles of talking to banking staff over the phone, with a rousing rendition of ‘People [Who need People]’.

The contradiction and coexisting of chaos and quiet were communicated by Leyla Hurmuzniya’s take on minimalism and included Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet and ‘Alone in the Universe’ from Seussical the Musical.

We were taken on an emotional journey by Brooke Bannon, who described the woes and advantages of being a twin and concluded her set with a heartfelt original song dedicated to her sister.

Ella Spiniello hit the stage with a vivaciousness and animation reserved for a teen with a big personality and an even bigger Italian heritage. She talked about her love for her family and being a teenager, intertwining ABBA songs and great comedic timing in a very entertaining set.

The next young performer was a highlight for me, Samuel Cannizzaro; using his time to talk about identity and what it meant for him. Starting with an alter ego named Fred, and then moving into his inner self, his version of Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful, was simply beautiful. He was charismatic and honest with a gorgeous tone to his voice. His finale song, This is Me from The Greatest Showman, included the other students and drew huge applause from the audience.

Inspired by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, Sammi Keough’s glorious sounding vocals took us through a juggernaut of ‘should she choose university or should she pursue a life like Judy’. Her interpretation of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was divine; she displayed maturity and control well beyond her years.

Rounding out the performances was Eryn Crane, who delivered a set based on her relationship with her mum. Sometimes tumultuous, but always appreciative, she also sung an original song as an ode to her mother, and all the mums in the audience. This set was poignant and touching and a fitting way to end the night.

The final group number once again brought all the participants back to the stage to sing Ready for the Sky – which is exactly where they are heading.

Class of Cabaret is an excellent initiative and I look forward to seeing the next cohort of young stars in the making!

Well done!


Lia Loves.


Lia Loves
Lia Loves
Theatre. Dance. Culture. Events. Follow her adventures as Adelaide's premier theatre buff, arts contributor, educator and ambassador!

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