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Companies Reviewed#
Neighborhood Playhouse1
Average Rating Given : 5.00000
Reviews in Last 6 months :

Cabaret, by Kander and Ebb
Everything Old is New Again
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Decatur's Neighborhood Playhouse (NP) couldn't have picked a better show than Cabaret to kick off its 2005 season. This play has a chilling relevance given recent world events.

Unlike the 1970's musical starring Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli, NP's Cabaret closely resembles the dark and sexy late 90's Broadway stage revival starring Alan Cummings as the Emcee and Natasha Richardson as Sally Bowles. The play, directed by David Crowe, opens on a stark set with all eyes on emcee David Rossetti. Rossetti owns the production from the moment the lights come up until the lights go out for the last time two hours later.

Crowe's direction is measured and concise, offering his lead actors the opportunity to add layers of their own to these very troubled characters. Rossetti is electric as the emcee and Laine Binder shines as prostitute Sally Bowles involved with American writer wanna-be Cliff Bradshaw, strongly played by Brandon O'Dell. Some of the production's finest moments are offered by Binder and Dejie Johnson as Fraulein Schneider, the boarding house owner who ends her relationship with a Jewish suitor ably played by Michael Shikany. Johnson's stage presence is strong and her portrayal is honest, sensitive and determined.

Jennifer MacQueen's gritty choreography is totally entertaining and the live band provides a nice backdrop for actors who can actually sing and dance. This production definitely raises the bar at Neighborhood Playhouse which ended last year with the unfortunately dismal Auntie Mame. Hopefully future shows at the Playhouse will continue the high standard that this company of actors has established.

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