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‘Cabaret’ Undergoes a Powerful Reworking by The Spot
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Monday, January 30, 2023
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY RAY J. GADD

Come to the cabaret, old chum, and see The Spot’s take on john Kander’s musical about a Berlin nightclub teetering on the end of the Roaring Twenties and the rise of the Third Reich.

Whoops! DON’T come to the cabaret.

Two weeks of performances sold out quickly, and an extra performance The Spot added in response sold out within six hours of being posted. The Spot cannot add more due to contracts, schedules and expenses, said Natalie Battistone.

But those who would like to see the musical can get on a digital waitlist to see one of the shows being offered through Feb. 5 if some of the tickets already spoken for are released. The link is at https://forms.gle/TFUcXSnC97wTqQuk6.

The Spot opened its 2.5-hour version of Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub on Thursday and it was a whirlwind of dancing, singing and one poignant lament by an American writer who could not get his German friends  to acknowledge how their lives were about to be turned upside down.

Grant Casey does an exemplary job of portraying the Emcee, a gender bending ringleader who runs the show at the Kit Kat Klub and who ricochets from being a clumsy clown to a soft-shoe artist who sings praises to a gorilla, singing “If you could see her through my eyes, she wouldn’t look Jewish at all.”

It’s a taxing role from bodily squiggles to a multiplicity of singing parts, but he’s up to the task with the help of a stellar band led by R.L. Rowsey and Dorinda Rendahl.

Likewise, the dancers of the Kit Kat Klub—Aly Wepplo, Savini Barini, Megan Mahoney, Rachel Aanestad and Annabel Webster—get a workout that extends to their faces with somewhat grotesque facial expressions.

Alexander Molina gets kudos for evolving from a somewhat depressed, shallow-on-the-surface American writer to someone who despairs at not being able to convince the love of his life and others that their way of life is endangered by the growing Nazi threat.

Kristin Wetherington portrays an elegant British flapper girl Sally Bowles, who lets her dancing career get in the way of what could be true love, descending into a personal darkness that mirrors Germany’s descent.

Andrew Alburger provides the musical’s most tender and poignant moment as his character—a kindly Jewish fruit seller tries to woo a Fraulein played by Patsy Wygle. Sadly, hopes for marriage come to a dashing halt when Fraulein is warned that Alburger is not a true German because he is a Jew.

Herr Schultz brushes it off, saying he’s confident that these difficult times will soon pass.

“I understand German people,” he says, “because I am a German, too.”

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