Review by Michael Piscitelli
Contemplating how many musicals with which I’m actually familiar, I’m surprised with how few I know. “CABARET” is one such that falls into the latter category and thus, a pleasant and novel surprise. We’ve previously been to see several successful shows at the Lower Ossington Theatre, so the bar had been set very high. Thankfully, I wasn’t let down. The play is a musical retelling of the early 50’s Broadway drama titled “I Am A Camera’ and is an almost biographical tale of Chris Isherwood’s visit to pre-war underworld Berlin.
The stunning choreography of the chorus was spectacular. Choreographer Erin Brookhouse made the chorus line weave and intermingle with each other in both a provocative, entertaining and visually pleasing way. The set was rather simple in design. With just a red velvet curtain framed by rows of flashing lights, and doors on either side, the stage was transformed from a 1920’s German night club to a quaint hostel with just the addition or removal of a few small pieces of furniture. The cast, particularly the lead characters of Chris, Schultz & his frau and especially the Kit Kat Klub’s M.C. are credible; but Kylie McMahon is a standout Sally Bowles.
One comment that came up when I was discussing the show with a friend who accompanied me to the show, was the incredible juxtaposition of the lighthearted & fun first half,\; to the serious and dark tones that quickly followed – post-interval. There is shock value when seeing this performance, both referencing how suggestive the overall show is; and the subject matter of the start of World War II. One might consider if the subject matters of Anti-Semitism; Nazism & homosexuality are suitable for bringing your kids to see!
This is an artful spectacle of dance and music that I think people should and will enjoy witnessing, We’re looking forward to see what else local theatre has to offer in the coming months.