The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park brings the spirit of Broadway to Cincinnati with an amazing remake of the classic Cabaret, a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood. This remake is now being performed in the Robert S. Marx Theatre until November 16, 2013. Marcia Milgrom Dodge is the director and choreographer of this production about English singer entertainer Sally Bowles and American novelist Clifford Bradshaw and the romance that forms between them in pre-war Berlin as political and social turmoil is starting to play out. She has had great success in her productions including a revival of Ragtime in 2010 which resulted in her earning a Tony Award nomination for best director.
This production entices and draws you in to 1930’s Berlin brilliantly, making you feel like you are experiencing it. Berlin was a great place to be for free thinkers, free spirits, artistic types, ones seeking wealth, love, romance or sex. Life in Berlin was filled with a constant adrenaline rush with one party and celebration after another.
The story begins with Clifford Bradshaw arriving in Berlin on a mission to write a great American Novel. Clifford plans to make a living while in Berlin by teaching English. He is befriended by Ernst Ludwig a German who offers him work and tells him of a good place to rent. His landlord is Ms. Fräulein Schneider a frugal and pragmatic person who takes a liking to Clifford and tries to make him comfortable in his new dwelling.
One of the first places he visits in Berlin is The Kit Kat Klub. This establishment is a seedy cabaret, a place of decadent celebration. Emcee the master of ceremonies leads a group of entertainers seeking fame and the limelight. Sally Bowles is one of the entertainers flirts with Clifford making her boyfriend and club owner jealous. She leaves the club and moves in with Clifford and a romance develops.
Second theme of the story is a sub-romance between Fraulein Schneider and Jewish businessman Herr Schultz. Both of these couples romances blossom until the Nazis movement starts to become popular resulting in everyone questioning their lives, safety, purpose, beliefs and ethnicity and what it all means.
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka is brilliant and ablaze in his role as Clifford Bradshaw a true crusader. He projects Clifford’s convictions, integrity and concern for the one he loves and the world around him.
Liz Pearce as Sally Bowles will leave you speechless she displayed the perfect combination of acting ability with outstanding vocals. She illuminates and makes the story fit together seamlessly.
Nathan Lee Graham as Emcee, very skilled in his showmanship, vocals, wit humor, zest and radiance. He does the role true justice.
Mary Gordon Murray as Fraulein Schneider and Michael Marotta as Herr Schultz. I loved the interaction and of these two with each other very witty, caring, and spirited. Total delight.
The rest of the cast were true professionals and brought forth a wonderful show that will more then provide a entertaining theatre venue.
Cabaret’s music is beautiful, and intoxicating, a true pleasure. Some of the songs you will hear and love are “Don’t tell Mama”, “It Couldn’t Please me more”, and “Don’t go/ Maybe This time”.
Tickets to Cabaret are on sale now on the show are available online at www.cincyplay.com, or by phone at #513-412-3888 . A very good show a jewel to this years theatre goers.