The 2014 Your Theatrics International Cabaret Contest was the first to invite contestants from recent heats in 5 cities, with 10 winners from Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Auckland coming together to present an exceptional evening of cabaret and to crown the newest cabaret sensation in Australasia.
And they found her: Melody Beck, from Sydney, took out the ultimate prize.
Judges on hand for the evening included live music Producer Jeremy Brennan, Adelaide Cabaret Festival Producer Torben Brookman, Noosa Long Weekend Artistic Director Ian MacKellar, Ballarat Cabaret Festival Artistic Director Graeme Russell, Sydney Agent Les Solomon, and Tasmania Cabaret Festival Producer Lucinda Wilson.
The full line-up of finalists included Sydney heat winners Sarah Gaul, Brendan Hay, Monique Salle, and
audience vote winner Ben Hudson, as well as inaugural Adelaide heat winner Candy Chambers (aka Jamie Jewell), Brisbane winner Jessica Papst, Melbourne winner Jenny Wynter and wild-card Ivy Lucille, and Auckland winner Joanna Millett.
Previous contest winner Sheridan Harbridge and acclaimed Australian musical theatre performer Michael Cormick co-hosted the evening, which also included special guest performances from previous winners Bradley McCaw with Cath Alcorn, Toby Francis, and entertainer extraordinaire Trevor Ashley.
Beck;s eight-minute cabaret snapshot gave audiences a glimpse of the illustrious career of vocalist Marni Nixon, the not so seen but often heard “Voice of Hollywood.” Melody weaved history and humour through a selection of musical theatre classics such as “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “I Feel Pretty” to win a huge prize package which will see her tour a fully developed solo show on the subject in the coming months.
Her prize package includes the opportunity to present her newly devised solo show at The Noosa Long
Weekend Festival, Slide Lounge Cabaret Festival, and the cabaret festivals of Adelaide, Melbourne, Ballarat, Queensland, and Tasmania respectively. All appearances include flights and accommodation for the artist and musical director. The winner also receives a website, headshots, and $1,000 cash courtesy of the Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation. The Foundation will also provide flights and accommodation to the value of $3000 to present her show at the prestigious New York Musical Theatre Festival.
A 23 year-old recent graduate of The University of New South Wales (Bachelor of Music with a BA in Vocal Performance and Theatre Studies), Beck has performed in multiple productions at Parramatta Riverside Theatre, The New South Wales University Theatrical Society and she was also a finalist in last year’s Cabaret Contest.
To see Melody’s full show in coming months, stay tuned to the Your Theatrics website where updates of her tour will be posted.