“Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome!”
These were the first lyrics sung at Saturday’s performance of Cabaret, in CU’s University Theatre, which set the tone for the show.
Set in 1931 Germany, before the Nazi party occupied the country, “Cabaret” portrays the fragile state the country was in when it could no longer ignore politics.
The excellent production is evident from the moment someone first enters the theater and notices the impressive stage, specifically built to extend into the audience so they are put in the middle of the action.
Musical battles touch taboo issues like anti-Semitism with skimpy outfits, suggestive dancing, German accents and plenty of pelvic thrusting. This approach to the show worked well for the cast, 18-year-old CSU freshman business major, Aaron Hartman said.
“I don’t know anything about musicals, but I really liked it,” Hartman said. “It was naughty where it needed to be.”
The highlight of the show was Avery Sobczak’s performance as the host of the Kit Kat Klub, playing the Emcee. The character requires a strong personality who isn’t afraid to push the borders from sitting on the laps of random audience members to dancing around the stage with a gorilla.
“He did a good job at being bizarre, which is a large part of the role,” said Madison Eiss, 21-year-old junior sociology major.
Another powerhouse performance was Haley Driscoll playing Sally Bowles, the delightfully ignorant cabaret singer. Driscoll captured the bubbly nature of the character during the song, “Perfectly Marvelous,” where she sneakily maneuvers her way into getting a place to live.
Throughout most of the show Sally Bowles seems to live a carefree life, but through her rendition of “Maybe this Time,” Driscoll helped give the character depth, and portrayed the secret battles the character was fighting.
While all of the songs were met with positive crowd reaction, none more so than “Two Ladies,” which left the audience giggling as Emcee and his two female roommates declared that three is better than two.
Sophomore theatre major, 20-year-old Caitlin Duffy said “Two Ladies” was definitely her favorite song.
“It was a fun, engaging number and it just made me want to dance!” Duffy said.
The first half of the musical is filled with light-hearted songs and each character pursues their own paths to happiness. It isn’t until one particular song where the mood shifts: “Tomorrow Belongs to Me (reprise).”
“Tomorrow Belongs to Me (reprise),” a thrilling number that rings in the first act, leaves the audience with chills as the lights go dark on characters doing the Nazi salute. From that moment on right into the last scene, all characters must face radical decisions that stretch the foundation of their moral fiber.
The actors portrayed their respective character’s difficulties beautifully and gave the audience a look into the tough trials and tribulations which happened every day during this time period. It captured the sense of fear in this era of moving into a Nazi regime.
But as it is, “Cabaret” struggled with these issues in its own particular way by having the chorus line do a dance routine only to turn around, lift up their skirts and reveal swastikas on their backsides.
If you’re interested in seeing the show, “Cabaret” will still be running from April 14 through April 18.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Amanda Moutinho at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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