Mark Nadler - The Old Razzle Dazzle

The Old Razzle Dazzle Cabaret Festival 2023Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Banquet Room 15 Jun 2023


Mark Nadler is back in town.

Thank dog and all powers that be,

He is one of THE great showmen. For a while he was a regular at the Adelaide Cab Fests and we took him for granted.

Then there was a decade-long hiatus. Woe.


Being back in a Nadler audience was the most invigorating and soul-restoring experience. This was for one-night-only  The Old Razzle Dazzle performance in the Banquet Room. He’s following on with two of his famous Hootenanny shows.


But, oh, the pleasure of a one-man concert, beautifully and carefully contrived with a theme of liars and lies and conmen.

There will be one truth in this show. See if you can pick it, he jokes 


From Pinocchio to Trump went he, commanding and eliciting magic from that mellow old grand piano. His musicianship is such that he can kill on the keys while all the time eyeballing the audience and, for heaven’s sake, doing a spot of percussionistic seated tapdancing at the same time. 


And that barely touches the surface of his skills as an entertainer. Consummate and then some.

One swoons in ardent fandom as he pairs politics with fairy stories, love and loss with victory and fury, belting out big, big songs connected by the solid thread of a maddened morality. 


Why do we lie to our children? Tooth fairy, Father Christmas. And wasn’t Jiminy Cricket worse than Pinocchio as a liar? 

When You Wish Upon a Star. Pretty song, but, ironic perhaps? Blizzards of lies pour forth and he whams the piano and sings in a lather of passionate commonsense.


 He’s satire and musicianship, he’s cabaret at its essence. 


He delivers a rollingstock of relevance and wit with an interlude of mellow reflection before rolling forth yet again with The Great Pretender and a wickedly funny Little Tin Box song of corruption and deception. From George Washington’s cherry tree to Goebbels, to the value of illusion and the oftentimes need just not to know. We laughed and laughed. We went misty and reflective. And then, of course, a great showman has to have a grand finale…. It was what everyone had awaited. Glorious, daring, twinkle toe, razzle dazzle - original, fearless, funny, brilliant.


And, just because he is such an impeccable pro, he not only praised, and so rightly, the contemporary CabFest transformation of the Banquet Room, but also he gave a list of credits mentioning all the techs and backstage crew by name, oh, except for that one Irish surname, She’d challenged him before the show that he wouldn’t remember it. And if you’ve ever seen a star kicking himself.

Good man and true.


Welcome back, Mr Nadler. We’ve missed you. Please don’t leave us again. You’re a bloody cabaret pinup.


Samela Harris


When: 15 Jun

Where: Banquet Room

Bookings: Closed


Mark Nadler - Hootenanny

When: 16 to 17 Jun

Where: Banquet Room