Archikulture Digest

Cabaret

Cabaret Book by Joe Masteroff, Music by John Kander and Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Directed by Randy Tapper

Starring Jason Crase, Clay Cozart, and Amy Parnell

Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, Sanford FL</strong>

Cliff Bradshaw (Cozart) wanders Europe aiming to find himself and write the Great American Novel, which isn’t possible in Pennsylvania. In London he made progress on his sex life, but Paris didn’t provide as much inspiration as required, so he heads to 1931 Berlin where at least the night life is interesting. At the seedy Kit Kat Klub he meets British expatriate Sally Bowels (Parnell) along with an old lover from London, a Nazi smuggler (Brendon Rogers) and that jack of all trades The Emcee (Crase). Well, it’s the height of the depression, and what artist has two groschen to rub together? Sally moves in with Cliff, heterosexuality gets the better of him, and soon it’s time to hurry home, lest someone get huffy about the poor fetus’s birth certificate some day in the future.

You’ve seen the movie, you’ve bought the poster, and you’ve played the old 8 bit Atari video game, but you really need to see this show live. Directors Tapper, Musical Director Don Hopkinson and Choreographer Kitty Serpe pulled off a bang up job with this show. While the Kit Kat girls and boys can look a little tatty in some productions, these kids danced together, kicked in unison, and generally looked like that had the ghost of Bob Fosse haunting their leotards. Both Sally and Cliff could sing, (although Cliff could be rather wooden when speaking), and even the sub-plot love interests Frau Schneider (Vicki Wicks) and Herr Schulz (Eric Johnson) stuck some real sparks on “It Couldn’t Please Me More.” Cleary the crowd favorite was the suitably ambiguous Emcee who dominated anything he sang from the vaudeville “Two Ladies” to his appearance in the makeup mirror high up on the set in “What Would You Do.” Parnell’s Sally was nearly as good from her ensemble opener “Don’t Tell Mama” to the bitter sweet closer “Cabaret.”

Just a few miles beyond Seminole State College, this restored theatre might look like a classic community theatre on the outside, but inside its solidly professional. They’ve pulled in great regional talent and done justice to this crowd pleaser. Yeah, there were some microphone problems and for some odd reason they stopped the music while the cast took their bows, but the set looked cool, no one missed a line, and they pulled no punches from the sex scenes to the cocaine sniffing. Sanford? It’s worth the drive, and parking is a breeze.

For more information on the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, please visit http://www.WDPAC.com


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