Leave your troubles and any acknowledgment of threatening reality at the door when you are invited to the Kit Kat Klub. Music, mischief, and mayhem lurk just inside, so come to the CABARET at Cygnet Theatre old chum, it’s playing through September 18th.
CABARET may be over 50 years old, but it is sadly still as relevant and poignant as ever as its themes of extremism and racism which are only empowered by people’s cynicism, and exhaustion.
Cliff Bradshaw (Wil Bethmann) has come to Berlin from America for writing inspiration, and there he meets the effervescent Sally Bowles (Megan Carmitchel). Sally is a party girl who flits through life and consequences without much care and soon has seduced Cliff into letting her move in with him.
Cliff supplements the money that his parents send by teaching English, and that allows him enough to stay at a boarding house run by Fraulein Schneider (Linda Libby). Herr Schultz (Eddie Yarich) is the fruit shop owner nearby who woos Fraulein with various treats, including a delicious pineapple.
Everything comes to a flashpoint when Schneider and Schultz have an engagement party, and the mounting political tensions turn sharp. Since Herr Schultz is Jewish, Fraulien Schneider finds herself at a crossroads of whether to follow her heart or protect herself. Meanwhile, Cliff wants to take Sally to America to get out before everything escalates out of hand.
Led by the outrageous and ominous Weaver, the entire cast is talented. Bethmann’s Cliff is sweetly naive as he struggles with his writing, his romantic life, and his dawning realization of what’s happening in Berlin. Yardich is full of heart and hope as Herr Schultz. Megan Carmitchel delivers a heartbreaking version of the title song “Cabaret”, as her beautifully broken Sally demands the cabaret never end.
Linda Libby is a standout as Fraulien Schneider, who is vulnerable and regretful in the second act, but with a steely determination as well. Her “What Would you Do?” starts gently but ends as a challenge with a lift of her chin and daring the audience to condemn her decision. When her number was over there was a moment of absolute quiet followed by a round of applause from the audience.
A note about understudies – stepping in and filling a role is not for the faint of heart and in the production, I saw not only Weaver as the Emcee but also Erica Marie Weisz and Kelly Prendergast who stepped up seamlessly. They are sometimes the unseen heroes of a show, but they embody what it takes to ensure that “the show must go on.”
CABARET has an excellent cast, a talented band, and puts on a show that is both thought-provoking and entertaining.
How To Get Tickets
CABARET has been extended and is playing at Cygnet Theatre through September 18th. For ticket information, you can go to http://www.cygnettheatre.com
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