The popularity of a cabaret spectacle last year will see Bathurst-born entertainer Lauren Wilkins return for the Bathurst Winter Festival in a few weeks for another immersive production.
(min cost $8)
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Jazz!, which will be performed at Keystone 1889 on July 8 and 9, will see Ms Wilkins and a host of performers present a multifaceted cabaret show paying tribute to the jazz-centric nightlife of the early 20th century.
Ms Wilkins said Jazz! is the spiritual successor to Let's Misbehave, which proved a roaring success at Keystone last year, even after the event had to be delayed due to COVID-19.
"We were supposed to open Let's Misbehave the night we went into lockdown last year, so we ended up pushing it through until December," she said.
"But it worked out for the better in the end. We sold over 600 tickets, which was amazing considering it had been the first time I had produced a large-scale show for an audience."
Let's Misbehave was originally meant to be performed for last year's Winter Festival, meaning Jazz! will see Ms Wilkins finally get an opportunity to perform during one of Bathurst's premier occasions.
"The Winter Festival is such a fun time, and as cabarets are massive in Europe during the winter, I want to bring the warmth and escapism of these events to Bathurst," she said.
Ms Wilkins said the creation of Jazz! was largely based on the feedback received from Let's Misbehave.
"There was a part in Let's Misbehave where the girls ran through the crowd to get to the stage, which showed us that audiences love being immersed in the show," she said.
"So with Jazz!, we've upped the immersion with four live musicians, five singers and dancers, and a fire twirler, which will be absolutely spectacular.
"It's a smaller production, but certainly more immersive."
Ms Wilkins said the experience of Let's Misbehave drew her attention to the sheer breath of talented performers in Bathurst.
"It's important to give local performers a go in their home town so they don't feel they have to give their lives up and move to Sydney to chase opportunities," she said.
Ms Wilkins said the cabaret experience differs from other forms of entertainment in the sense there's so much more to it than simply sitting down and watching a performance.
"It's quite classy and social. You go with a table of people, have dinner and drinks, and there's entertainment throughout the night," she said.
"At its core, it's a dine-in theatre experience with the entertainment taking place around you."
Jazz! will run from 7pm to 10pm on both nights. Tickets cost $75 for just the show or $110 to include a two-course dinner.
For more information, visit www.keystone1889.com.
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