Dark times in Berlin but happy melodies in the Kit Kat Klub

“What good is sittin’ alone in your room?  Come hear the music play.  Life is a cabaret old chum.  Come to the cabaret.”  That I did and what a wonderful experience it was!  This show was a tour de force and I could not be more pleased.  

On Thursday night I attended the sneak peek preview of “Cabaret” at Lyric Arts in Anoka.  The show is set in Berlin in 1931 at the time that the Nazi’s were starting to occupy Germany.  Much of the show takes place in a nightclub called the Kit Kat Klub where an English performer, Sally Bowles sings along with several other girls.  She meets a young American writer, Cliff Bradshaw and the two start a relationship.

The use of space was superb.  Having the orchestra on the second level along with extra space for the actors to move around made a world of difference.  On one side was a staircase  and on the other was a fireman pole.  It was entertaining to watch the characters move from the top level down between the two objects.  The ground floor had a main stage as well as a platform.  It allowed the actors more space to move about freely.  During the Kit Kat Klub numbers the Emcee and girls performed on the platform while the other actors who played the role of audience members sat at tables just below the platform.  It gave the feel of a real nightclub where a performer is on a stage.  

The actors did a great job channeling their characters.  Max Malanaphy’s portrayal of Emcee was wonderful.  From the opening number he captivated my attention and drew me in.   The song “Money” was my favorite that he did with the Klub girls.  They all worked very well together and put on a great performance.  Debbie Swanson played Faulein Schneider and did a fantastic job.  Her songs were done very well and she commanded the stage.  

A key element that stuck out to me were the costumes.  Everyone’s outfits were perfectly set for the time period.  The Klub girls had some fun costume changes as well as great accessories.  The men’s suits fit well and looked sharp.  The makeup was also done very well.  Emcee had dark black lips and dark eye makeup.  It made him stand out among the group.  The Klub girls wore lots of bright color lipstick and blush.  It was noticeable that they were performers as opposed to other actors who were more in the audience type roles.  

For a night you won’t soon forget, head to Lyric Arts to see “Cabaret”.  The show runs July 13-Aug 5.  For further information check out: http://www.lyricarts.org/on-stage/cabaret



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