(Photo Credit: Amy Gettys)
Written by Alina Mae Wilson
Cabaret is a musical about German people having orgies in clubs, or at least that is what I would have told you before Saturday night. I had heard of Cabaret, even listened to some of the music, but it’s somewhat striking how off-base I was about the actual premise of the show. It’s a drama about — wait. No. If you haven’t seen or heard in great detail about Cabaret just wait, pause for a moment, and think. The musical takes place during the early 1930’s Germany, so I want you to close your eyes for a moment and guess what it’s about. Ready? What is it about? It’s about the Nazi’s rise to power because obviously, what else could it be? Seriously, the performance began and I thought, “How interesting, a raunchy night club running during 1930s. ” By the end of the show, I was thinking, “Dear God, has anything good happened in Germany ever?” All snark aside, this was a musical with some interesting material, the quality of which rose quite a few notches once we made it to Act 2.
An American writer named Cliff Bradshaw has just arrived in Berlin and seeks inspiration for his new novel. While visiting the seedy joint knows as the Kit Kat Club, he meets British expatriate Sally Bowles, who … um … befriends him quickly. As time passes, their relationship grows stronger. Love blossoms between them and around them. Meanwhile, the Nazi regime solidifies its presence with every passing day.
There is some great music in this show, but I found the ensemble performances underwhelming. To be honest, it might not even be the fault of the singers (their acting was decent after all), but the big ensemble numbers done at the Kit Kat Club were just not as powerful as I would have liked. There was neither the volume nor the energy I would have preferred to see in a song like “Mein Herr.” On the plus side, the lead actors are all very enjoyable. Once Act 2 comes around and we see more of the dramatic circumstances that these characters are just sort of existing through.
Special mention of the night goes to William Crisp as Herr Schultz, who was just as tender and sympathetic as I could have hoped for.
March 2 – March 23, 2019