Orange County Theatre Reviews

 (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 and even listened to some of the music, but it’s somewhat striking how off-base I was about the show’s actual premise.   It’s a drama about — wait. No. If you haven’t seen or heard about Cabaret in great detail, wait, pause, and think. The musical takes place in early 1930s Germany, so I want you to close your eyes and guess what it’s about. Ready? What is it about? It’s about the Nazi’s rise to power because what else could it be? Seriously, the performance began, and I thought, “How interesting, a raunchy night club running during the 1930s. ”  By the show’s end, 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 known 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.

The Music: 

This show has some great music, but I found the ensemble performances underwhelming. It might not even be the singers’ fault (their acting was decent, after all), but the big ensemble numbers 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 delightful. Once Act 2 comes around, we see more of the dramatic circumstances these characters are 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.

March 2 – March 23, 2019

 

 

 

Above Average!
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7.7 Overall
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