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More Christmas Cabaret Gift Guide



 I was inspired by Matthew’s cabaret gift guide and created my own. It’s not so much a wish list for me, but a collection of CDs, DVDs, books and gift voucher ideas that I’d like to recommend to the cabaret fans out there. Don’t just stop at Christmas – you can give or receive these goodies any time of the year!


[Email subscribers may find that images or links don’t appear in this post. Click here to view the Cabaret Gift Guide in your web browser.]



Overseas artists

Barb Jungr - Man in the Long Black Coat

After the success of Every Grain of Sand, this second Bob Dylan compilation album by Barb Jungr showcases her brilliant talent and skill at reinterpreting lyrics and melodies of the iconic songwriter. She sings those songs with genuine and raw emotions -  I get shivers down my spine every time I listen to “Sara”. Her show of the same name was deservedly chosen as Best Cabaret Act of 2011 by New York Time Out.

Click here to order the CD from


 Jim Caruso - Swing Set

Matthew has already mentioned this CD on his list, but that doesn’t stop me from putting it on mine as well! Jim Caruso not only hosts the best party in New York at Birdland and other cities in the US, but also records smashingly good albums. Sophisticated yet irreverent, Swing Set never fails to lift my mood. This CD has everything from finger-snapping, toe-tapping swinging tunes to a few tender numbers and fabulous duets with Michael Feinstein, Stephanie J. Block and Billy Stritch.

Click here to order the CD from


Natalie Douglas - To Nina…Live at Birdland

I stumbled across multi-award winner Natalie Douglas’ YouTube clip a few years ago and have been a fan since. Her infectious charm comes across on this live album as she pays tribute to the legendary Nina Simone. Douglas encapsulates the depth and complexities of Simone’s songs and sheds new light on the remarkable singer/pianist. Her powerful rendition of “I Put a Spell on You” is my favourite song on the album. 

Click here to order the CD from


Lance Horne - First Thing Last

We can’t go past Lance Horne’s compilation album featuring his original compositions and cabaret/musical theatre guest stars, including  Meow Meow, Amanda Palmer, Alan Cumming and Cheyenne Jackson. The songs range from big ballads to whimsical tunes about asparagus and a haircut. His duet with Amanda Palmer is a pure delight.

Click here to order the CD from



Nancy LaMott - Come Rain or Come Shine

Nancy LaMott’s exquisite voice and beautiful readings of Johnny Mercer’s well-loved songbook got me playing this CD countless times. 16 years after her untimely and tragic death, the magic of this ethereal cabaret artist’s legacy lives on. From the haunting “Moon River” to playful “Talk to Me Baby”, her thoughtful interpretations make this album one of a kind.

Click here to order the CD from




Australian artists

Trevor Ashley - Liza With A 12 Piece Band (On An EP) 

I was bowled over as I saw Trevor Ashley morph into Liza Minnelli at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival last year. His tongue-in-cheek and affectionate tribute to the showbiz superstar was hysterically entertaining. From “Teach Me Tonight” to “New York, New York”, his sheer energy and vocal prowess, not to mention his uncanny resemblance to Ms Minnelli, will blow you away.

Click here to order the CD from Middle Eight Music.



Ali McGregor – Jazz Cigarette 

This cabaret and opera extraordinaire’s new album blends the classic jazz standards and reinvented contemporary pop songs. Her stunning vocal range makes each song come alive with a few surprises. I never get tired of listening to the brilliantly mashed-up version of “Cry Me a River”.

Click here to download the album from iTunes or order a hard copy from Middle Eight Music here.



Gillian Cosgriff - Waitressing…and Other Things I Do Well 

The Fresh voice of Gen Y in cabaret, Gillian Cosgriff’s debut EP has all my favourite songs from her hit show of the same name that covers job hunting blues, break-ups and a smart song about…a song. The quirky, observant lyrics and catchy melodies will have you hooked. Sing along to “The Song Song” or laugh out loud to “Waitress/Actress”.

Click here to download the EP from iTunes. You can also get the hard copy of the CD at Gillian’s shows.



Miriam Waks - Waksing Lyrical

I saw this gem of a performer last year in Melbourne and was mesmerised. Her debut album features an eclectic collection of American Songbook standards and world music repertoire sung in 6 languages. Produced by jazz great Kerrie Biddell, it features tracks such as the show stopping “Hard-Hearted Hannah”, the sultry “Peel Me a Grape” and the irresistibly romantic “La Vie en Rose”.

To order the CD, email Miriam Waks at



Eddie Perfect - Misanthropology 

Perfect’s sold-out solo cabaret Misanthropology dissects various social and cultural phenomenon as well as human behaviour. This live recording from the Spiegeltent during the Sydney Festival 2011 is a fearless satire that takes on cyclists, the wealthy, theatre directors and humankind. Not for the easily offended, but his examination on society is thoroughly thought provoking.

Click here to download the album from iTunes or order a hard copy from Middle Eight Music here.




Intimate Nights: The Golden Age of New York Cabaret by James Gavin

This book came highly recommended by two excellent cabaret artists Matthew Carey and Kim Smith. It chronicles the rich history of New York cabaret from 1930’s to present. It also features of performers including Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen and Jason Robert Brown, who all began their career on the cabaret circuit. This is what I call a cabaret bible.

Click here to order the book from



Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life by Donna McKechnie

Seeing Donna McKechnie - the original Cassie in A Chorus Line - at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival was one of the highlights of my life. Reading this memoir deepened my appreciation for her even more. In the book she candidly talks about her career in musical theatre, her marriage with Michael Bennett and her harrowing battle with depression and arthritis. Truly inspiring.

Click here to order the book from





Fascinating Aïda - Silver Jubilee

This British satirical cabaret act has had a few member changes, a tragedy (their pianist and musical director Russell Churney passed away in 2007) and retirements during the 25 years, but it’s going stronger than ever now. This DVD has both new and old material – some risqué, some rude, but all sharply observant, witty and hilarious with lots of extras.

Click here to order the DVD from

Note: This DVD comes in PAL format. Make sure your DVD player is multi-region before you make your purchase.


Sondheim! The Birthday Concert

This is a DVD was recorded at the 80th birthday celebration concert for Stephen Sondheim. The star-studded cast, including Mandy Patinkin, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, perform the songs by one of the greatest composers of all time. Marin Mazzie’s “Losing My Mind”, Elaine Stritch’s “I’m Still Here” and Bernadette Peters’ “Not a Day Goes By” are the absolute stand-outs.

Click here to order the DVD from

Note: This DVD comes in NTSC format. Make sure your DVD player is multi-region before you make your purchase.


Gift Vouchers


Adelaide Fringe Festival Fringe Vouchers

With 107 cabaret acts on the 2012 program, giving someone a Fringe Voucher would make their holiday season even brighter. For the time-strapped, the Fringe online shop is your best friend. The vouchers start from $15 and go up to $200.

Click here to buy Fringe Vouchers.



BASS Gift Vouchers

A BASS Gift Voucher is a great present for cabaret and theatre lovers in Adelaide. Choose the value of your gift voucher and the recipient can redeem this for any event on sale with BASS.  The vouchers are valid for 12 months after the date of issue.

Click here to buy BASS Gift Vouchers.



Ticketek Gift Vouchers

Ticketek sells tickets to cabaret and musical theatre events Australia wide. You can buy the hard copy of the voucher or virtual voucher via email online. The price starts from $50 and goes up to $250.

Click here to buy Ticketek Gift Vouchers.


Edinburgh Festival Fringe Gift Vouchers

It’s never too early to surprise someone with Edinburgh Fringe Festival gift voucher for next year. There will ALWAYS be 100-plus cabaret acts at the Festival. The gift vouchers are available in denominations of £5, £10 or £20.

Click here to buy Edinburgh Festival Fringe Gift Vouchers. Gift Card

If you’re looking for gifts for a musical theatre lover in America, look no further – Telecharge Gift Cards are available in any amount from $25 to $500 and may be redeemed for tickets to shows sells online, by phone, and in person at the box office.

Click here to buy Gift Cards.


*Calling all Adelaide Fringe 2012 cabaret performers! If you are interested in having your Fringe show featured on Cabaret Confessional, click here for more information.

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