Friday, March 28, 2008

Cabaret - 5th Avenue Theatre

5th Avenue Theatre
Tickets and Information

March 25 - April 13

The events of Cabaret take place immediately before and after the rise of the Nazi Party to power in 1930’s Germany. The flow of the plot reflects this: it begins with an emphasis on decadence, particularly within the Kit Kat Club and its leading attraction, Miss Sally Bowles (Tari Kelly), but over time, there is no way for the characters to avoid the influence of the Third Reich and it inevitably changes their lives forever. The beauty of Cabaret as it has been written is that the line between the real world and the cabaret is consistently “blurred,” and it is this aspect that 5th Avenue Theatre executes perfectly. Not only is the line between the Kit Kat Club and the rest of Berlin unclear in the storyline, the line between the audience and the show of Cabaret through a combination of many elements.

There are simply not enough kind words that can be given to the actors of this production. Led by Nick Garrison (Emcee), Tari Kelly, Louis Hobson (Cliff Bradshaw), Suzy Hunt (Fraulein Schneider), and Allen Fitzpatrick (Herr Schultz), every performer in Cabaret is extremely talented. Garrison and Kelly lead the rest of the class in song and dance, and both are gifted with great voices and stage presence. Of course, the show would be nothing without its supporting cast, who are also exceptional. The actors work well together; Kelly and Hobson’s chemistry on stage is undeniable, and Garrison consistently works with everyone, switching roles a few times and even speaking directly to the audience. Every single performer can sing, dance, and act, and they all contribute greatly to this show.

As a musical, there is more than one director involved in the process. From what has been displayed on stage, they have all worked well together. Bob Richard’s choreography is both important to the story and very entertaining to watch as he understands that standing still at times can be more powerful than movement. The set (Tom Sturge) manages to be not only adaptable, thus enabling many set changes to be done effectively and quickly, but beautiful in its own respect. Ian Eisendrath, the musical director, helps to further the “blurring” of the play with the rest of the orchestra by playing on stage during the performance in very appropriate attire. He also has done a great job of fully embracing John Kander and Fred Ebb’s unique musical flavor, which audience members will recognize from Chicago. Finally, it is all tied together by Bill Berry, whose experience with other 5th Avenue shows, such as West Side Story and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, has served him well in helping to prepare great musicals.

Truly, this is a spectacular show. The music is addicting, the actors are charming, and truly, when you go to see this musical, “life is a cabaret.” Please hurry and watch this show before its time is done.

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