Villkommen, Bienvenue, and Velcome to the Cabaret, a dynamic musical with fantastic cast performances all around and a wonderfully playful translation of this 1966 broadway show. This incredibly evocative and socially conscious show does not disappoint. It leaves the audience with something to chew on after an evening of fantastically entertaining, visceral performances.
The iconic Emcee, played by Randy Harrison, previously a member of the cast of Wicked, and the powerhouse vocals of Sally Bowles, played by Andrea Goss who does Liza Minelli proud, lead the way. The enormous strength of their roles does not detract whatsoever from the involved ensemble. The sheer talent they brought is astonishing, with the parts of the orchestra doubling as cabaret dancers.
This compelling musical hones in on the dramas playing out during early 1930s Germany as the Nazi power gains momentum and the German people decide their place in the new political party. Two diverse couples are followed through this time of pitfalls and questionable alliances. Sally Bowles is the modern woman, struggling to make a name for herself, to find success at the Kit Kat Klub. Cliff Bradshaw, a writer with big dreams, is struggling to finish his novel while scrimping to get by–and adding Sally into the mix leads him down unexpected paths. Frauline Schneider is an unhappy boarding house owner, settling for everything, that is until the charming Herr Shultz starts to woo her.
To guide the audience through the narrative, Emcee, the enigmatic master of ceremonies, performs arousing numbers that double as witty entertainment and as a mirroring commentary on the characters’ decisions and situations. Not to be out done, and certainly never overshadowed, a true highlight of the show is the band. They have made themselves into an amazingly expressive unit and, impossibly, add to the show’s lavishly decadent vibe.
Though there are some rumblings about the show downplaying its natural darkness and replacing it instead with quirk and glamourous misfits, Cabaret still packs a heavy punch.
The show sticks around until Oct. 9, so if you have a chance to catch this whirlwind performance, I highly recommend doing so. After all, life is a cabaret, old chum.