HAVING weathered 12 months that would tempt a teetotaller to drink, Speakeasy HQ's Apollo Theatre is back open with two exciting and evocative shows.
One of Melbourne's best-kept secrets, the venue is keen for visitors to experience some beautiful cabaret, starting with Edith Piaf - Love, Life & No Regrets and Chicago the Concert.
Since opening at 522 Flinders Street in 2016, Speakeasy HQ has revived Australian cabaret and vaudeville. It is the only vaudeville theatre in the southern hemisphere.
Just stepping inside is an experience of its own. As a boutique theatre, it has a seating capacity of only 60 seats. The plaster moulding on the ceiling is akin to the French and Edwardian boudoirs of the end of the 19th century, with rich rugs and velvet seating.
Performances can include feature shows, or mixed-act (vaudeville) shows that include a dozen performances in total, each a few minutes long.
From a tap dancer to a jazz singer, followed by a circus artist and then a fire performer, the performances are sure to mesmerise.
But the top of the bill for would have to be the cabaret stars.
The longest-running performance at the theatre to date is also one of the most acclaimed cabarets in the country today.
Edith Piaf - Love, Life & No Regrets is performed by jazz singer and composer Jem A'Pelle, who delivers a selection of the Little Sparrow's songs. Think La vie en rose, Milord,Non, je ne regrette rien and more.
At each performance, the talented performer has received standing ovations, as she takes her audiences on a journey of laughter and tears, punctuated with stories recalling the tough, tragic life of the famed Parisienne chanteuse.
More recently, the theatre has taken on a new season of productions, including the concert performance of Chicago.
Presented by the well-known, high-calibre cabaret duo of Jack London and Meg Hickey, the show walks its audiences through the Chicago experience with humour as its characters seek fame, fortune, justice and all that jazz!
Speakeasy HQ also includes The Vault at 2 Mercantile Place. The exclusive theatre, with a strictly limited number of seats per show, is the vault of an 1860s Gold Rush-era State Savings Bank. In the spirit of the Roaring Twenties, on arrival, tell the door person that Knuckles sent you!
Edith Piaf - Love, Life and No Regrets runs until April 24, with shows on Fridays at 7pm and Saturdays at 8.30pm. Tickets from $28. To book, click HERE
Chicago - The Concert runs until April 3, with shows on Fridays and Saturdays at either 7pm or 8.30pm. Tickets from $28.
To book, click HERE
For more shows, including a tribute to Dean Martin by crooner Morgan Lobé on March 20, head to speakeasyhq.com.