Wednesday, January 22, 2014

“For The Sun Will Rise And The Moon Will Set”

We have now attended three different productions of the musical, “Cabaret”, in the last four years.

The finest of the three productions was a Bloomington Civic Theatre production we caught in February 2013. The Bloomington staging was the only staging that fully respected the material—and the only staging with any sort of period feel. The Bloomington production was also the only production that successfully evoked Germany.

The Bloomington presentation featured the finest stage design, and the finest orchestra, of the three “Cabaret” presentations.

In January 2009, we caught a production of “Cabaret” by New Repertory Theatre Company of Watertown, Massachusetts.

The Watertown production was not distinguished, but it held our interest.

Watertown had by far the best Sally Bowles.

The just-opened Theater Latté Da production tried to jam the musical down the audience’s throat.

The production had the subtlety of a bull on a rampage.

The entire enterprise reminded me of the Ken Russell film, “The Boy Friend”, in which small-time players of a provincial British theater troupe are told, mid-performance, that an important film producer is in the audience—and begin to mug, shamelessly and frantically, to capture the producer’s attention.