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2011 Event Media Release - Café Rebetika!

Friday, 11 March 2011

A story of love, music and defiance

WHEN:  5 – 8 May 2011
WHERE: Playhouse
DURATION: 2 hours, 10 minutes including 20 minute interval
PRICE: $49-$59 (adult), $40-$50 (concession), $39.20-$47.20 (Insiders)
BOOKINGS: 9250 7777 or

“Sensational! One of the best things I have seen in a long, long time. It should play the world.”
Music Deli, ABC Radio National

Café Rebetika! is an epic story of the heart. It is a passionate and uplifting theatre production telling a dramatic story against the backdrop of 1930s urban Greek slums that maps the rise of rebetika, the ’Greek blues’. Cabaret, music, theatre and dance unite on stage with the common thread being the exotic and gutsy rebetika sub-culture. Born out of despair, with the sounds of rebetika these outcast men and women create a utopia of acceptance, respect and defiance.

In a local hash den, musicians, anarchists, refugees, communists, prostitutes and tough guys known as manges (or singular manga) gather. The characters are united by their passion for life, their love of music and their need to dance. They have bonded as a family at a time of extreme hardship and turmoil. Faced with the destruction of their homes and their way of live, these bonds are severely tested but their spirit remains unbroken - for some, even in death.

At the centre of the story is the manga Stavrakas played by award-winning actor Tony Nikolakopoulos and Areti played by music theatre star, Jenny Vuletic. As their love story unravels, Stavrakas is confronted by both a shattering moral crisis and the limitations of the iron clad ethical code that is part of the manges way of life.

The cast includes stellar performances from Lucy Najm, Katerina Kotsonis, Steve Mouzakis, Thomas Papathanassiou and Peter Stefanou. The authentic sound of rebetika is performed by the internationally acclaimed band Rebetiki (Achilles Yiangoullis, Tony Iliou, Takis Dimitriu and Argyris Argyropoulos).

Café Rebetika! is directed by Stephen Lloyd Helper, written by Stephen Lloyd Helper and Thomas Papathanassiou and developed with Rebeteki. Tony Award winning lighting designer, Nigel Levings, leads the design team. Café Rebetika! is performed in English with authentic rebetika songs in Greek, accompanied with English subtitles.

Café Rebetika! is a KULTOUR touring event.

Season Details
Dates: 5 – 8 May
Time: 8pm

Images and interviews are available upon request
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MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Inch, Publicity Coordinator
02 9250 7822 / 0401 718 230 /


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