Cabaret comes to Niagara

Posted Sep 20th, 2013 in In the News

Cabaret comes to Niagara

Niagara This Week - St. Catharines, By Pieter Van Hiel

The cabaret is a quintessentially European form of entertainment. An evening of song, dance, performance and ribald comedy, they are places where people from all walks of life can relax and enjoy something out of the ordinary. Cabaret-style entertainments exist in North America, but are far less common. In October, Niagara residents will get the chance to sample the delights of a night at the cabaret, combined with fine Niagara wines, at the appropriately named Cabaret Sauvignon.


The four-night show, hosted by Rockway Vineyards in St. Catharines, presents the talents of neXt Company Theatre and the Zacada Circus. The show will include everything from torch song performances to contortionists and much more. Shelly Traver of Rockway said the cabaret nights would appeal to locals and tourists alike.


“People can see a professional cabaret in Niagara, in St. Catharines. You don’t have to go outside of the city. I think it’ll help draw people in to the area, and I think it’ll be great for local people to see the talent we have,” she said.


Zacada Circus provides many of the Cabaret performers. Zacada is a Stoney Creek business founded by two former Cirque de Soleil performers. In addition to training performers, Zacada provides circus style entertainment for corporate and public events. Owner and director Kosta Zakharenko said Niagara has rarely seen anything like the Cabaret Sauvignon.

“I believe this is something this region needed very badly. I myself am from Europe, and if you want to see something like this you don’t have to search for it,” he said. “Here, we’re bringing something new. Cabaret is not new, but it’s new for this area.”


Zakharenko said Zacada has collaborated with neXt Company in the past, and the cabaret is the result of ideas fired by past partnerships.


“We did some corporate events and a flash mob and other projects. There has been collaboration between the companies for a long time, and that’s when the ideas start to flow around,” he said. “The winery is a perfect setting for it.”


neXt Company is providing the dramatic performers for the cabaret, including singers and actors. Artistic director David Fancy promised performances in the best traditions of the cabaret.


“The person who comes to this is a person who likes to entertained. They like some music, they like some dancing, but they also like something cheeky and inventive, but they also want something unexpected, like a contortionist at the table beside them,” he said.


Fancy said both neXt and Zacada had worked hard to present a uniquely Niagara experience. The performances have been specially catered to the Niagara audience, with subtle and not-so-subtle call outs to Niagara’s landscape and culture.


“We’re always looking for some unique that expresses Niagara’s identity. We want to do high quality work, but we want it to be homegrown,” he said. “We have themed songs like ‘Wine Don’t You Love Me?’ We have songs about the casino, songs about migrant workers. We have a woman singing a song about her lover, and she’s comparing him to a grape that not’s ripe yet.”


The show is about 20 songs long, with slapstick and comic presentations between. Cabaret Sauvignon runs at Rockway Vineyards on Oct. 2 to Oct. 5, starting at 6 p.m. The show includes a three-course dinner. Tickets are $75 per person, or $560 for a table of eight. To order tickets, call the Brock Centre of Arts at 905-688-5550 x3257, or visit


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Brock Congress 2014

  • "Our sincere appreciation goes out to all involved for the phenomenal evening in tribute to the bicentennial of the Battle of Lundy's Lane. Those involved had no choice but to be imaginative in order to try to recreate that evening, given the geographical limitations and logistical challenges. What resulted was the best possible solution and it went off extremely well."
    - D. Link, Fonthill

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