Cabaret, probably one of the most recognized and remembered musical in the history of musical theatre. However we often forget the depth and the meaning behind all of glitz and glam or in this productions case lack thereof. This production of Cabaret is dark and seedy, I left feeling like I needed to take shower and I loved every minute of it. From the very beginning there is a tension that is evident by the lack of items on stage and the powerful wall of doors topped by the band all looming down over the action. This entire production feels like it has been shrouded in black lace and ripped stockings. There is a feel of smoke even in the huge Bass Concert Hall, and every so often the lights feel as though they are dimmer than they were before.
The backbone of this national tour is Randy Harrison as the Emcee. Harrison takes over
the stage like an overbearing mother in a room full of naughty children. Harrison has a skill for making the most out of every moment, he nails every innuendo, and hidden message with the perfect twinkle in his eye. He has the audience laughing in one moment and crying the next.
Of course Cabaret is not Cabaret without a top notch Sally Bowles. This production is no exception, Andrea Goss as Sally Bowles is everything, and more! Goss gives Bowles a humanity that is often lacking, she makes her more than prairie oysters and gin.
Goss has created a Sally that the audience grieves for, and celebrates with at the same time. Next to Goss as Sally is Lee Aaron Rosen as Clifford Bradshaw, Rosen is a breath of fresh air, he makes the perfect pairing to Goss. Rosen is stern and serious, reminding everyone of the reality of the situation in spite of his wiliness to partake in the fun.
The chorus and ensemble literally feel as though they walked right out of Berlin, in the 1930’s. The Kit Kat Girls all look like you should be getting tested for STD’s just by watching them. Each one has the carless attitude needed, while doing everything they can to draw you into the madness that is the Kit Kat Klub. The real piece de resistance is the Orchestra. When the Emcee says even the orchestra is beautiful he means it. Each part of the 20 plus member orchestra is fantastic, not just playing the music but being a part of every moment of the show. They all take on a character and keep it. The integration of the musicians into the acting and dancing of the show is what sets this production apart from the myriad of other productions of Cabaret.
In the final moments of the show, we are confronted with the reality that life for these people will never be the same, and that no one, not one, is safe. It is a subtle reminder that we are once again in perilous times. With the election that is coming near we have the ability to turn the tide and change the world, or risk history repeating with an all new cast of terror.