Cabaret has become more than the style we associate with Liza Minelli or the famous Le Chat Noir or Moulin Rouge images of Parisian bars.  Cabaret can evoke emotions that delight, inspire, ignite and tug at the heart with engaging stories and celebrate the breadth of music

– Bernie Haldane, Head of Programming & Presenter Services, Auckland Live

The Auckland Live International Cabaret Season roars into its third annual season with an exuberant line-up of international and local artists, offering audiences a chance to experience the city’s cultural highlight and the very best in the global genre that is cabaret. 

Three central city venues are set to come alive with a dazzling programme of artists from Wednesday 28 September – Sunday 2 October. The season officially opens at the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber, while the Basement Theatre will host a selection of contemporary New Zealand cabaret, and Grey Lynn’s favourite intimate local, Frieda Margolis celebrates the festival feeling with their pop-up piano bar.

Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall

For three nights only, critically-acclaimed Songs for the Fallen draws you into an opulent 19th century Parisian boudoir for a rollicking cabaret musical with Paris’ original party girl; Marie Duplessis. This peasant-girl-turned-courtesan, whose story inspired the character Satin in Moulin Rouge, is performed by sensational siren Sheridan Harbridge. This award-winning talent, who has performed alongside John Cleese, performs her soiree of the senses all across the world.

Wellington-born Sheba Williams presents Sheba’s Tribute to Nina Simone, which sees the charismatic Sheba shake up Simone’s repertoire in a high energy show with a touch of audience interaction, glamour and stories about the High Priestess of Soul. Sheba is also a novelist, well-known for reading her own writing aloud on Radio New Zealand.

Music lovers can also take a wonderful trip through the life and songs of the legendary “James Dean of Jazz” in the acclaimed biography Freeway: The Chet Baker Journey. Starring international cabaret award winner Tim Draxl, and backed by the stellar jazz veterans Ray Alldridge (piano) and Dave Ellis (bass), these renditions of classic songs will make your heart ache for the bygone era.

UK cult comedy duo Frisky and Mannish ‘brexit’ to New Zealand to perform their fringe festival favourite Frisky & Mannish – Cabariot. This wildly talented pair creates a LOUD vaudevillian pop music romp like no other!

Homegrown talent Blackbird Ensemble brings theatrical and ephemeral musing to the stage with Dreams. Led by renowned Auckland-based composer Claire Cowan, nine of New Zealand’s foremost contemporary classical musicians take us on a trance-like sensual exploration of bedroom rituals and revelations of our own subconscious.

The Basement Theatre, Greys Ave

Basement Theatre’s lineup features Valerie; a biographical piece by Last Tapes Theatre Company and a finalist in the 2015 Australasian cabaret contest, Suits; a sassy comedic show with a stellar all-female cast and Dragons – Cabtastical; an electric night of cabaret-infused drag led by party irreverent party queen Lola La Bomb with some very special guests.


Frieda Margolis, Grey Lynn

Freida Margolis will host Love Me Tinder, an operetta for the Tinder generation. The pop-up piano bar will host a dramatic Tinder date that audiences don’t have to pretend not to over-hear. Book by Stephen Sinclair and Amy Jansen.

Collective Catering have also designed some delicious Cabaret platter packages to further delight the senses as you and your friends set out for a wild night of fun. Take a look!

Event Details

Auckland Live International Cabaret Season
28 September – 2 October 2016
Tickets on sale now: $18 – $270

Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall

The Basement Theatre, Greys Ave

Frieda Margolis, Grey Lynn

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