A dark-tinged take on Cabaret at Raleigh Little Theatre | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

A dark-tinged take on Cabaret at Raleigh Little Theatre 

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY RALEIGH LITTLE THEATRE
  • Photo courtesy Raleigh Little Theatre

Cabaret
Raleigh Little Theatre
Through June 28

Raleigh Little Theatre's production of Cabaret might be the only RLT production where you can take both your mom and that girl you met at Hot Topic. Haskell Fitz-Simons' direction of the classic Kander/Ebb musical takes its cues from the darker, more sexualized revival that Sam Mendes helmed on Broadway in the late 1990s (where Raleigh's Michael C. Hall played the M.C. prior to his roles on Six Feet Under and Dexter).

This version incorporates material from both the 1966 Broadway production and the 1972 film, but has a particular kink to it; the Kit Kat Klub has, from the beginning, the feeling of a den of iniquity with its underwear-clad dancers, and the sexually ambiguous Master of Ceremonies lurks over the action with an even more demonic presence. It's a classic show, but this version highlights the edge lurking behind all those catchy songs.

By now, the story of the "divinely decadent" performer Sally Bowles (Shannon Pritchard-Cook) in 1930 Berlin is well known. Sally strikes up a relationship with bisexual writer Cliff Bradshaw (Jesse R. Gephart), a stand-in for Christopher Isherwood, who wrote the autobiographical stories that form the basis of the play.

As the casual couple enjoys the decadence of the Berlin party scene, Cliff starts to notice the rising power of the Nazi party, while their landlady Fräulein Schneider (Eraine Oakley) finds a last chance at love with the Jewish Herr Schultz (John Adams). The performances in the Kit Kat Klub ironically comment on the action, gradually deconstructing the nature of pre-war Berlin and the escapist nature of musicals themselves.

Of the performers, Mark Ridenour finds a creepy/ sympathetic vibe to the mellifluous M.C. (with his bald head and white makeup, he looks like a cross between Lex Luthor and the Joker), while Oakley finds some vulnerable notes in Schneider's wariness. Pritchard-Cook's voice doesn't quite carry as Sally (though the character isn't supposed to be a great singer anyway), though she fares better in the emotional moments.

"In here, life is beautiful!" chortles the M.C. in the opening number, but this particular interpretation of Cabaret emphasizes the ugliness of not only Nazi Germany, but the decadence used to block out the realities of the world. It's a dark ride, but if you're looking for an evening that combines classic musical theater with a modern edge, come to the Cabaret.

Correction (June 23, 2009): Per comment below re titular vs. opening song.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Should you ever require the services of a hacker, i implore you to try your very best to hire only …

by Nyomi Durani on Old time music in Sanford (Theater)

Should you ever require the services of a hacker, i implore you to try your very best to hire only …

by Teresa Mccarthy on A moribund society makes a stately exodus in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at Deep Dish Theater (Theater)

Best wishes & thanks to a fine artist & a real gentleman.

by khoragos on Paul Frellick Diagnoses Deep Dish Theater Company’s Lasting Legacy and Quiet Demise (Theater)

Thank you, Paul, and best wishes to you and your family in California.

by David Fellerath 1 on Paul Frellick Diagnoses Deep Dish Theater Company’s Lasting Legacy and Quiet Demise (Theater)

I commend Mr.Woods on his insight. There is a lot to think about in both his article and the following …

by natty on Justice Theater Project's superbly sung and choreographed The Color Purple has one fatal flaw (Theater)

Comments

Should you ever require the services of a hacker, i implore you to try your very best to hire only …

by Nyomi Durani on Old time music in Sanford (Theater)

Should you ever require the services of a hacker, i implore you to try your very best to hire only …

by Teresa Mccarthy on A moribund society makes a stately exodus in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at Deep Dish Theater (Theater)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation