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I can't imagine a less comfortable way of sleeping than pressed up against another person's big, sweaty body with my left arm wedged under their shoulder

Michelle Ryan

Michelle Ryan: A fighting chance of stardom

Michelle Ryan's Hollywood ending is on hold – but the former EastEnder still has a taste for action. James Mottram meets her

Come to the Cabaret: A darker diversion

Cabaret is back – but there is far more to it than light entertainment. Politically subversive, perfect for those jaded by bland Cowell proteges, these shows are shockingly modern, says Ben Chu

Gardenia, Sadler's Wells, London

The performers of Gardenia aren't quite playing themselves. The latest work from Les Ballets C de la B is danced by a cast of retired transvestites, men returning to the stage after years away. They change from suits into wigs and sequins, building up to a stylised stage act. Yet very few of these characters emerge as distinct personalities. There's a Liza Minnelli, a white-gowned Hollywood blonde, but they're all blurred into the same melancholy-cabaret type.

Glam rocks: Meet the stars who are taking cabaret mainstream

Cabaret and burlesque are back in fashion – and booming like never before. But will the scene lose its divinely decadent edge now that it has hit the mainstream? Holly Williams meets the leading lights and searches for secrets among the sequins

Home suite home: Old seaside hotels are being turned into luxury flats

They're providing unique opportunities for investors andfirst-time buyers alike. Graham Norwood gives his star rating

DVD: Christopher And His Kind (15)

At the insistence of poet and friend W H Auden (Pip Carter), writer Christopher Isherwood (Matt Smith) sets off to sample the earthy delights of 1930s pre-Nazi Berlin and immerse himself in its thriving gay subculture.

Meow Meow: 'Cabaret has a sexual energy. The atmosphere is electric'

Cabaret is having a renaissance because of the blandness of TV and films We all crave genuine excitement, that true gasp of surprise or joy, and that's what cabaret can bring, by assaulting the senses from as many levels as possible. For me, it's about my pose and my shrieks, political satire as well as long fishnet legs in the air; tackling loads of emotions gives you a glimpse of human excess, and its frailty.

Christopher Isherwood: A singular talent laid bare

Doctor Who star Matt Smith is going back in time to Thirties Berlin to play the novelist Christopher Isherwood. Gerard Gilbert hears about his journey

Ruby Wax – Losing It, Menier Chocolate Factory, London

Ruby Wax rose to fame by making an exhibition of exhibitionists, mugging at the camera behind the backs of celebrities and mocking their self-involved lack of circumspection.

Linford Hudson: Why 'Mr Follow Spot' is top of the bill

When 'The Wizard of Oz' opens at the London Palladium tomorrow, one man will be casting the spotlight, as he's done for a galaxy of stars over 47 years. Andrew Johnson meets Linford Hudson

Corey Haim: Actor best known for his role in 'The Lost Boys'

The Canadian actor Corey Haim achieved fame when he starred in the tale of teenage vampires in California, The Lost Boys (1987), which established the tousle-haired, lanky young man with a cheeky grin as a teen heart-throb.

Mariza, Royal Festival Hall, London

Let's pretend, once again, that we are in Lisboa, in a small taverna," Mariza suggests, looking out at a Royal Festival Hall kept intentionally sepulchral tonight. She is the biggest global star that fado, the darkest and most soulful European music, has had, singing at Olympic Games ceremonies and single-handedly reviving its fortunes. But Mariza is also a purist; open to the international rhythms absorbed on her last album, Terra, but rooted in the traditional fado played at her father's taverna where she sang from the age of five.

Liza Minnelli sex lawsuit is settled out of court

Chauffeur drops claim that singer beat him and coerced him into sex

Talent, Menier Chocolate Factory, London

It's not often you see a magician with a male assistant," admits George, the pensioner conjuror who offers "comedy magic with banjo finale". But his wife, Nell, made a mix-up with the bookings and is "now singing at the Hard of Hearing Beetle Drive". We're backstage in the grotty dressing room of Bunter's Nitespot in Piccadilly, Manchester. We're also (as you may have guessed from that snatch of dialogue) in the world of Victoria Wood – the very young Victoria Wood.

Liza Minnelli, Coliseum, London: Queen of cabaret wows adoring fans

It might all be in the genes, but second-generation stars often struggle to live up to expectations and match their parents' success. Not so Liza Minnelli. A celebrity for all of her 62 years, the daughter of The Wizard Of Oz star Judy Garland and the director Vincente Minnelli has done a better job than most, even if she owes more of her current notoriety to the antics of fourth husband David Gest than the fact that, in 1989, she made the best Hi-NRG record of all time.

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