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Cabaret

a Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by John Kander and Fred Ebb

COMPANY : The New American Shakespeare Tavern [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The New American Shakespeare Tavern [WEBSITE]
ID# 2145

SHOWING : May 31, 2007 - July 01, 2007

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"What good is sitting all alone in your room? Come, hear the music play!"

The Shakespeare Tavern morphs into the Kit Kat Club and comes alive with incredible music and dance in this award-winning musical. Cabaret throws an incandescent spotlight upon both the gay and dark sides of Berlin society as the Nazis rise to power. Cabaret remains a true high point of American musical theater that is both exuberant and tragic. "Life is a cabaret, old chum." Come to the Tavern today.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Heidi Cline
Music Director S. Renee Clark
Dance Captain Bethany Irby
Stage Manager Cindy Kearns
Choreographer Jeff McKerley
Fight Choreographer Drew Reeves
Fritzi Denise Arribas
Greta/Fraulein Kost LaLa Cochran
Helga Becky Cormier
Rosie Bethany Irby
Lulu/Telephone Girl Kristen Keating
Herman/Sailor/Waiter/Nazi/Taxi Man Bryan Lee
Emcee Jeff McKerley
Fraulein Schneider Ellen McQueen
Victor/Waiter/Sailor/Nazi William Mellette
Texas Lisa Nichols
Cliff Matt Nitchie
Bobby/Customs Officer/Nazi/Waiter Lawrence Ruth
Hans/Maitre'D/Sailor Mark W. Schroeder
Herr Schultz Clark Taylor
Frenchie Nico Ward
Ernst Ludwig Jeff Watkins
Max Clarke Weigle
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Incredible show
by Cowgirl1
Monday, June 18, 2007
5.0
I went to see Cabaret 2 weeks ago, i loved the show so much i went back last Saturday and took some friends with me so they could see it soo. They also loved it. This is an amazingly talented cast. The Kit Kat girls are full of energy and fun. Jeff McKerley is fantastic, he makes you feel like, he's your friend and he's carrying you thru the story, i can't imagine anyone more perfect for this role. I love watching him. Ellen McQueen is amazing as well, she makes you feel every moment as Jeff does. Her face is so expressive, and check her out in the band with the garters and cigar, WOW!! Awesome transformation. Mark Schroeder always impresses me, he is so versatile, and talented. I love watching him and working with him. All i can say is if you havent seen this show, GO SEE IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its worth every penny.
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Its Springtime for Shakespeare und Germany!
by line!
Friday, June 15, 2007
4.0
The Shakespeare Tavern’s production of Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret” is an exceptionally strong, thoroughly enjoyable performance.

Director Heidi Cline has assembled an impressively talented cast and crew which effectively entertains and moves the audience through this tricky and ambitious story. She is extremely creative in the staging of this production. The musical numbers are (for the most part) quite impressive and are performed by “singers-who-act” and “dancers-who-act”(a good thing). Some of the acting comes across the same way (not as good a thing). I’m not talking about “bad” performances here, only that some elements of the show are so strong that they make other elements look weak by comparison. This is a big, complicated show which requires some very challenging performances for it to succeed. Ms. Cline succeeds because she gets 200% out of everyone (and everything) in this production because 100% would not have been enough.

I have a deep appreciation for productions which are efficient, frugal and effective. There is a special kind of creativity required when a show doesn’t have a huge budget and unlimited resources. These challenges for “Cabaret” were impressively met with ingenuity, cleverness, and occasionally mixed results.

Question: How on Earth do you produce a show that requires so many resources you can’t afford and are not easily found?

Answer: Multi-Tasking!

A large number of cast members do double duty in the orchestra when they are not onstage acting, singing or dancing. Many also play multiple roles. The degree to which this is employed in this production is impressive (and impressively frugal)! This did not impact the show negatively. In fact, it increased my appreciation of the high quality of the work I was seeing. Kudos to the cast, the ensemble and the orchestra (and especially to Mark Schroeder, Ellen McQueen, Bethany Irby, Jeff Watkins and Clark Weigle -if I missed someone else by name, I apologize), who often seemed to be in two or three places at the same time!

Jeff McKerly as the Emcee is such a pleasure to watch because he is confident, capable, energetic and always entertaining. The man does not know how to give an audience anything less than his best. He skillfully moves from over-the-top comedy (his strong suit) to gut wrenching drama with total command of his character(s) and awareness of his place in the scene. Two highlights featuring Jeff were his song in the second act “I Don’t Care Much” and his appearance (SPOILER ALERT) at the end in a concentration camp uniform. Jeff’s physicality and coloring really made that image incredibly powerful.

His multi-tasking assignment was to serve as choreographer. There were many dance numbers in this show involving large groups of dancers (and “actors who dance”). The numbers were well designed and executed. A minor point: I will confess to feeling that, in the “Kit Kat” numbers, some of the moves seemed repetitive and some moves were needlessly pornographic (instead of erotic). Not a bunch, just a few. Overall, the choreography was a strong asset to the show. The opening number (“Willkommen”) and “If You Could See Her” (in Act 2) were standouts for me. Lots of fun and lots of interesting movement!

I found the chemistry between Clark Taylor (as Herr Schultz) and Ellen McQueen (as Fraulein Schneider) to be exceptional. Not always the strongest singing voices or the acting choices I would expect, but I thoroughly enjoyed their moments together onstage!

Agnes Harty (as Sally Bowles) has a wonderful voice and nailed her songs! Her chemistry with her primary scene partner, Matt Nitchie (as Clifford Bradshaw), wasn’t as strong or believable for me. Her performance of the signature song, “Cabaret”, in the second act was absolutely magnificent and was a highlight of the show!

Jeff Watkins, Lala Cochran and Clark Weigle all delivered strong performances. They exhibited their talent and intelligence by structuring their performances to appropriately fit their supporting parts.

My biggest praise must go to the ensemble. These folks worked their asses off! They performed with an impressive level of energy, talent and professionalism driving the show to its highest points! The “Kit Kat” girls and boys most definitely rule!

The set design is a creative solution to the Tavern’s problem of limited stage space, no wings and no fly loft. It is artistic in execution and interesting to look at. The design was unconventional to say the least. On the whole, it worked, but for me, it had a negative effect on the performance. It added time between scenes (and to the run time of the show) and it caused lots of extra (extraneous and otherwise unneeded) movement by actors.

Due to the somewhat hazardous nature of the set design, I was subconsciously worried about the performers’ safety during the course of the show (which, for me at times, drew focus away from their performances).

I found the costumes to be adequate to the needs of the show while remaining appropriately frugal in nature. Seedy and cheap is supposed to look seedy and cheap – and it did! The rest of the costumes were period and character appropriate, fit the actors well and looked good. My only question: why did they choose to use “clip-on” suspenders instead of the “button-down” kind? (Jeff’s suspenders kept coming unclipped in the back).

All in all, “Cabaret” is a thrillingly ambitious and impressive production. I hope the Tavern will consider adding more shows like this to their future seasons as a change of pace. If you haven’t already seen it, go see “Cabaret”! It is well worth the price of admission (but you might want to bring a first aid kit – just in case someone on stage misses their mark).
-Rial
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Can't wait to see it by theaterislife
I hope the show is as good as your review sounds. I saw the Fantasticks and remember some of the orchestra doubling as actors. It made the show interesting to say the least.
soooooooo awesome!
by feather
Thursday, June 7, 2007
5.0
this is fabutastic! loved it soooo much. was at specal benefit last night, for first time, and its such anice place! awesome food. and omg, like for real, jeff mckerley is the best ever. isnt he? yes! yes! yes! he made me laugh, then he made me angry at the nazis, and then he made me cry at teh end. jeff is soooo amazing. im in love. and hes sooooo hot too! ok what bout the rest of the show, feather? ok ill tell you. its nice seeing my bff mark shroder. hes soo funny. i <3 u mark! ohy and i really <3 the older german couple too. they are sooooo fabutastic togethr. and belevable. i didnt like the lead woman who is sally bowles. shes not believable but has good voice. oh and i agree the set is ok. but the costumes r HOT!!! yeh, and its all bout the acting and dancing and singing. and here its awezome! cabaret is soooo great. its fun. its sexxy. its deep. and the end is soooooooo powerful. all must see! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Leave Your Troubles Outside
by justentertainment
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
4.0
First of all my brief overview of the Shakespeare Tavern in case you have never been. It is a charming and quant theater with a nice menu (not gourmet, but nice) and a decent little beer and wine selection and an apple crisp at intermission to die for. The seating is very tight but not uncomfortable as long everybody isn’t getting up at the same time. I would defiantly recommend getting there early so that you can enjoy the full experience.

Now for my humble little opinion of the show. From the moment the curtains open until the final note is sung I felt the audience was being masterfully lead to a different time and place by the Emcee, played by Jeff McKerley. His ability to portray humor and heartbreak with the emotion of a lyric or a gesture was skillful to say the least. I thought “I Don’t Care Much” in the second act was especially powerful.

The relationship between Cliff, played by Matt Nitchie and Sally, played by Agnes Harty was nicely done. I felt the actors did a great job of defining their characters area of naivety (his in the Cabaret lifestyle, hers in the changes that politics would make in all of their lives). Watching their lives evolve hit on every emotion helping make their characters multi-dimensional.

But, I think I enjoyed the Fraulein Schneider (Ellen McQueen) and Herr Schultz (Clark Taylor) story the most. The actors portrayal showed a great sensitivity in the budding romance and a heart wrenching honesty in later decisions. At first I wasn’t sure about Ms. McQueen’s voice but it grew on me. I realized that it was the perfect voice for the character.

The Kit Kat Klub girls and boys were fun to watch and listen to. And I think an extra round of applause should go to the actors that acted, sang, danced and made up a large part of the orchestra. Some of them playing multiple instruments and slipping in and out of the orchestra as their parts on stage dictated … well done.

This show seemed to flow so effortlessly and I’m sure that is thanks to the director, choreographer and music director. If I could have I would have given this show a 4.5 or maybe even a 4.75.

The only little complaints I have are that I would have liked to have seen something else done with the set. I can’t even put my finger on what it is … a little more or a little less, I’m not sure. And the bouncing brick really was a little funny at a really not funny time.

So, in closing … do go to the Shakespeare Tavern to see Cabaret and do leave your troubles (and kids) outside (or better yet, at home).
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The Tavern did it again!
by Rebecca
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
5.0
The 2007 Atlanta Shakespeare Company production of Cabaret begins with Tavern stalwart Jeff McKerley, who appears in black spats and knickers, introducing himself as the Emcee and exhorting us to “leave your troubles outside”. And with the whirlwind transformation of the Tavern’s traditional Elizabethan Playhouse to a 1930’s German nightclub, it’s not a hard request. Set designer Tommy Cox’s clever use of the admittedly limited space (for a musical, at least) makes it nearly unrecognizable as the Shakespeare Tavern stage, with the fringed curtains, bordello-red paint, and flashy lighting. Moreover, there’s eye candy galore: from the sexy, short-haired bassist twanging away on her gum and the strings with abandon, to the shrill, sex kitten voices of the Kit Kat girls… and the tiny, toned rear ends of the Kit Kat boys.

McKerley irreverently ad-libs the introductions while the Kit Kat Club abounds with a rather…um… realistic depiction of a pre-WWII Berlin hotspot. McKerley as choreographer and Heidi Cline as director disdain to pull their punches – this really ain’t your Granny’s Cabaret. They’re not kidding when they tell you to leave the kids at home. The dancing is raw and the costumes revealing. A few audience members will be shocked (honestly, I was, at first), but I hung on through the first dance number, and was well- rewarded for my patience - and reservation of judgment - with some truly superb performances.

I think there are some GREAT ones in this show, begun by McKerley and followed quickly by locally-acclaimed actress Ellen McQueen. McQueen plays Frau Schneider, an old Berliner with rooms to let who charmed both me and the young American author Cliff Bradshaw (Matt Nitchie) with her European brusqueness and her “Old World” sensibility. Schneider’s first musical number, “So What,” is simplistic in its construction, and McQueen’s gravelly rendition has very little of Bel Canto about it. But over the course of the song, I fell in love with Schneider and McQueen both for the warmth and pragmatism displayed. Later in the play, she further endeared herself to me alongside Clark Taylor, who plays her love interest, Herr Schultz. (Tavern fans will remember Taylor for his starring role in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, also directed by Heidi Cline.) A fruit merchant as old (and “old country”) as she is, Schultz brings Frau Schneider a gift rare and unusual in post-WWI Europe: a pineapple. Even as I was watching, I hated to look away from them to write these words! Together, they spoke to the shy, tender, hopeful lover in me, and I found their careful dance around the possibility of their actually getting…gulp!... MARRIED just enchanting.

Also notable are Lala Cochran as Frauline Kost the, ahem, “Sailor’s delight”, and the Tavern’s own Artistic Director Jeff Watkins as Ernst Ludwig, a man working to secretly promote the Nazi party. And what a treat it is for we long-time Tavern fans to welcome Agnes Hardy back to the bard’s stage after too long an absence. Hardy plays the Kit Kat headliner Sally Bowles, who makes her entrance in ruffled socks and a pink gingham dress, begging us not to tell Mama what she does for a living. Surrounded by a giggling gaggle of similarly-dressed Kit Kat girls, Sally offers glimpses of the black lace bra she wears beneath her dress. I felt a bit like a voyeur at a Catholic schoolgirl’s slumber party – after ma and pa had gone to bed. All that was missing was the poster stashed under the bed of Orlando Bloom. :)

With barely a moment’s pause, the remainder of the Kit Kat gang shimmied their way into the audience, chatting up patrons and generally sweeping me and the rest of us along with their energetic cheering and ad-libbing. And I’ll be honest, even though this is an aspect of the Tavern’s unique style with which many are familiar, this play is not like anything else you’ll have seen here. This is a play from another time, and its pace is quite, quite different. If you are a Tavern regular, please take my advice and allow yourself some patience in being witness to this play, which at times may seem “unsettled” by comparison to the farcical timing of shows you’ve seen there (like The Comedy of Errors or Taming of the Shrew.) Cabaret lives in a world all its own, and it’s a world worth inhabiting once you get used to its unique style.

First of all, there is some extraordinary musical talent in this show. Particularly notable are recently-graduated-Apprentice Bryan Lee, Tavern newcomer Marc Schroeder (who plays more musical instruments than G-d), Jeff McKerley (but anybody who’s ever seen him expects that, right?), and just about all of the Kit Kat boys and girls. (And, boy, can these folks dance, too!) But the surprise treat here is Matt Nitchie, who has managed to play such roles at the Tavern as Brutus in Julius Caesar and Tybalt in R&J without ever letting us know what a beautiful voice he has! Sweet and unaffected, his voice is clearly classically trained, and hearing him sing was one of the high points of the evening for me.

It’s funny: the points made in Cabaret are sometimes so obvious that they are almost too subtle, if such a thing can be true. Take the song “Money Makes the World Go ‘Round”, for instance. The play has just started to leave behind the gaiety of the Kit Kat Club to reveal its underlying current of malaise when up pops a night-club number that initially puts one in mind of Madonna’s “Material Girl”. At its start, it confused me: what did this song have to do with the rest of the show? It seemed out of place, until I remembered that the Third Reich might never have made the headway it did were it not for the economic circumstances in 1930’s Germany that made her residents look for a solution… and a couple of scapegoats. It seemed to me to be both subtle and glaringly obvious… I’ll let you decide which.

Remember my observation that Cabaret is a world worth your patience in getting to know? If, like it did for me, it takes you a bit to adjust to the shock value and the unexpected “turn” at the end of Act I, here’s my advice: when the lights come up, go get your apple crisp, take a breather, and then prepare yourself for the second half of the show. Under Heidi Cline’s deft direction, this is where the Tavern ensemble truly shines. The acting amongst McKerley, Hardy, Nitchie, McQueen, Taylor, and the supporting cast is truly superb. These are the moments I personally (being admittedly a bit of a Prim Polly) waited for amidst the fishnet hose and the peek-a-boo skirts. As the reality of the Nazi regime’s reign casts desperate, anxious shadows over the second act, I felt as if the whole world had shifted… and no doubt that was the point.

I won’t give away any more of the plot, but I strongly urge everyone to see this show. This is a bawdy, ribald, dark, devastating play… and it is beautifully performed in the hands of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company.
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by me
www.shakespearetavern.blogspot.com
Hmmmmm... by MeisnerGuy
So, according to me's post of the Tavern Blog, it seems now the Tavern is stooping as low as some of the , ahem, Community Theaters and having their in-house staff give rave reviews of their own show... oh well.

Regardless, I'll still be seeing the show since most of my local faves are in it, and I hope this biased review isn't too off the mar...
Cabaret by Devereltd
I know how Jeff and Agnes work. The tavern usually has a solid actor base, so I'm assuming the truth falls somewhere in between these 2 reviews!
Cabaret Sparkles and Teaches
by Grannie
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
5.0
I'm not the night-club type. I figured I'd go to Cabaret because a friend of mine wanted to see it. I do admit to gasping a bit at the scanty costumes until I got caught up in the fun spirit of the outrageous Kit Kat Club. It was easy to like all the people in that club, so the horror of discovering that some of them were avid Nazis, came as a visceral shock. Yes, I'd read the playbill. Yes I knew what was to happen. But it still hit me at gut level. The story is superb. The entire ensemble of actors took me from laughter to heartache. My friend and I are going back to see it again in two weeks. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
That Old Shakespearean Rag
by mccannicals
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
5.0
We saw Cabaret at the Shakespeare Tavern Sunday night and were moved beyond prior performances in movies or on other stages, including Broadway. The intimacy of the Shakespeare Tavern brought us into the Kit Kat Club and made us implicated in all that happened. The music, acting, and conversation afterwards with actors, musicians, and directors made the evening something to relish and learn from all summer long. The production is something that I will be bringing back to my history classes next year, and remains a burnish of awareness of our current political, social, and personal challenge to be responsible and kind. An amazing and powerful night of story-telling, music, theatre, and awakening, or, in other words, just the sort of theatre Shakespeare created in similarly changing and personally challenging times. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Powerful Theatre
by laluna7609
Sunday, June 3, 2007
4.0
I attended the June 3 performance of this production and while I am a fan of theatre (a club member of the Tavern and frequently attend other Atlanta theatres), I have to admit that I was unfamiliar with this show having never seen a production nor the movie. So, I went expecting all laughs and a good, cheery time based only on the few songs I knew. While I had a hearty laugh for an hour or so....I was actually taken aback from the change in mood of this tale of how everyday life was affected as Nazi Germany came to power. The show is absolutely a MUST SEE!

Heidi's direction and collaboration with unlimited talent in a limited size theatre company is phenomanal. Jeff McKerley is always fun for me to watch, but seeing him slide from light-hearted frivolity to tear-jerking seriousness so seamlessly was just amazing. I am still in awe.

I enjoyed the whole cast, but the chemistry between Ellen McQueen and Clark Taylor really captured my heart. The story needs to be told and is absolutely worth the emotional roller coaster the audience experiences. I prefer comedy to any tragedy, but you get a lot of both with this show. Thanks to Jeff Watkins for including this in the season. I hope I make it back at least once more during the show's run. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
What good is sitting alone in your room? WAY better than this production!
by Uber Showman
Monday, May 28, 2007
1.0
Attended a preview of Cabaret this weekend, and though I am usually very forgiving of Preview performances, there are things in this production that even two full months of previews could not remedy.

First, I have to say that this is one of the most abysmally designed shows I have ever seen in all my years as a theatregoer.

The set is atrocious, causing many problems in the staging. Eternal entrances and exits up and down two spiral staircases, the room area of the set is so tiny that when there is more than one actor in the area, they are forced into ridiculously awkward positions. In order to enter the room there is a treacherous series of steps and stairs that make the audience feel that the actors need an Alpine guide to navigate them. The curtains that enclose three areas of the stage are cheesy beyond endurance.

Though the intent of the costuming was possibly to have the cheap and seedy look of a nightclub in 1920s Berlin, unfortunately, they only come across as cheap, low-budget and dull. The only exceptions are some of the dresses for Sally, which are appropriately glitzy and 20s chic.

The lighting, which could have added much to the atmosphere of the performance was prefunctory area lighting with no indication of time or place or infulence the mood of any given moment.

Now for the performances. With a couple of exceptions, they were desperate and ineffective.

Jeff McKerley performed the Emcee as if under the impression that he was adorable, irresistable and brilliant...a sentiment that neither the friend who attended with me or I shared. His strongest moment comes in the second act, when he delivered the song I DONT CARE MUCH simply and in an unadorned fashion. He is also credited with the Dance Choreography for the production - a collection of bargain basement Fosse rip offs, drag queen turns, and contemporary Booty Shaking, all repetitive and uninspired.

Though I am sure that Ellen McQueen may be a fine actress in a straight play, her performance as Fraulein Schneider was a series of grimaces, hand wringing and simpering that did not communicate the strength the character has to posess. Her two songs, which should both be strong show-stopping moments would have perhaps been better cut from the show, as she does not posess the vocal skills to communicate them in a manner that even nears adequate. In my opinion, LaLa Cochrane, who demonstrates a total command of the stage every moment she is on, and who delivers a killer reprise of TOMORROW BELONGS TO ME at the end of the first act would have made a much more effective Fraulein Schnieder.

As Herr Schultz, Clark Taylor performs the role vacillating between bombastic, fussy and cutesy, with an accent out of a road company production of Heidi. This character is one of the emotional hearts of the show, and is performed as if the character has suffered some sort head injury, is brain damaged, or developmentally disabled.

And a question here...is there ever a production at the Tavern without Jeff Watkins? Though he is a fine actor, he is entirely ineffective as Ernst.

Matt Nitchie is effective as Cliff, (which in my opinion is among the most thankless roles in the history of musical theatre). He has an innate honesty as an actor that serves the character well, sings beautifully, and is one of the better things about the show.

The bright spot? Agnes Harty as Sally. Though she is not the actress that would immediately spring to mind when casting the role, her Sally is neither a capricious flibbertygibbet or a stock vamp character, as Sally is often portrayed. Visually reminding me of an earthier Louise Brooks from the films of the early 1920's, she delivers an extremely layered and deeply felt performance, making Sally movingly human, and even fragile at the appropriate times. Her conviction in the delivery of her musical numbers is that of a seasoned pro, and even when encumbered with atrocious staging (as in MAYBE THIS TIME when she is directed to straighten her stockings, brush her hair and clamber down the spiral staircases) she shines.

The fault for this production, though must reside with Heidi Cline. A noted director, this production appears as if she staged it over the internet via Instant Messaging. No cohesive tone is set, as there apparently is no unifying production concept. The blocking of the scenes(though this may be the fault of the set design, which I assume she approved) is clumsy, obligatory, and appears to have been done by a junior high school student who is directing for the first time. There is a climactic moment in the second act when a brick is thrown through the window of Herr Schultz's fruit shop. In this production, and actor enters on the upper level and tosses an obviously fake brick to the stage floor. Instead of having dramatic impact, this moment causes one to try to supress titters.

The first act could have also used some judicious cutting, coming in at over an hour and a half. The TELEPHONE SONG and TELEPHONE DANCE could both have been eliminted with no loss to the production.

And as for me? As for me? Opposite to the exhortation in the title song, I am taking up my knitting, the book and the broom. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
The Rex Reed of Reviewers! by green2u
Oh what FUN this review is! Could you please find a job at AJC, SoVo or the Loaf?
but uber ... by feather
jeff mckerley IS adorable, irresistable and brilliant!
Stick to the knitting - it suits you more than theater criticism. by Rebecca
This reviewer is clearly articulate (actually, I think he or she is quite a strong writer), but I truly disagree with most of what is said here. It sounds to me, with all respect, as though the reviewer was in a bad mood and arrived at the theater ill-disposed to enjoy him or herself. Heck, I've been there myself... there are just some nights when one doesn't FEEL like being entertained, and actors like Jeff McKerley will grate on one's nerves with all that slapstick goofiness and off-the-wall choices. But if I were to see the SAME show another night, I'd be falling out of my chair, gasping for breath,laughing. (And in McKerley's case, I usually DO.)I judge (and I use the word deliberately) that this reviewer was having one of those nights where one's personal mood affects what one views.

Okay... I'll agree with this: the set is both very clever and very cheap at the same time. I hate the scarves and the handmade-looking curtains. With a PASSION. But I've seen a lot of shows at the Tavern - and what Tommy Cox was able to accomplish for a 20th century musical staged in a space deliberately built to be an Elizabethan-style, non-proscinium Playhouse (with the "eternal entrances" that are REQUIRED by such!) deserves respect. He took a space that was never meant to host a show like this and made it work come hell or high water. (So there.)

If the choreography was "cheesy" or seemed like a "rip-off", please bear in mind that the Kit Kat Club is NOT MEANT to be a top-of-the-line entertainment facility! It's MEANT to be a mediocre-at-best tit and ass joint. Stellar choreography and flawless voices (in the Kit Kat scenes) would have made a LIE of the play.

Same goes for Ellen McQueen's singing. As a classically-trained singer and voice teacher for more than 15 years, nothing bothers me more than people with less-than-breathtaking voices being cast in roles that really OUGHT to command "vocal chops". But come on! This is Fraulein SCHNEIDER! A magnificent voice would have been utterly out of place for this character. With the exception of Opera, I believe that the "quality" of the voice must match the character - and in this case, it DID. (It's my guess that McQueen is a better singer than that, and that this was a CHOICE.)

We do agree on one thing: Agnes Harty. No, I wouldn't have immediately thought of her for Sally either. But she IS good, isn't she?

And yes, dear, there are plenty of performances at the Tavern without Jeff Watkins.

I find this review unnecessarily catty. I judge (imagine, suppose, whatever "this is just my personal opinion" word you want me to use) that the reviewer probably values his or her own wit more than he/she values an in-depth, honest assessment of a show... and he/she is delighted to find an opportunity to pull out such phrases as "junior high school play" and "developmentally disabled" - whether the show actually deserves this criticism or not. I DO NOT know this person, so I cannot say this is fact. I can only say that such was my impression from reading this particular review.

Well written, "Uber Showman", but self-indulgent... and inaccurate.
OOOOOOOO SNAP! by line!
That was the most articultae "Bitch Slap" I've ever seen on this site. This place is getting to be fun again!
In Response to Rebecca by Uber Showman
I was definitely not "in a bad mood and arrived at the theater ill-disposed to enjoy him or herself", nor am I a person who "values his or her own wit more than he/she values an in-depth, honest assessment of a show". What I posted WAS my in-depth, honest assessment of what I experienced on the night I attended.

As a matter of fact, I was truly anticipating enjoying the performance. CABARET, in all of it's permutations has been a favorite of mine for years. I have also seen and enjoyed many productions at the Tavern, and have even appeared onstage there in a few.

In response to your comment "If the choreography was "cheesy" or seemed like a "rip-off", please bear in mind that the Kit Kat Club is NOT MEANT to be a top-of-the-line entertainment facility! It's MEANT to be a mediocre-at-best tit and ass joint. Stellar choreography and flawless voices (in the Kit Kat scenes) would have made a LIE of the play."
IF the intention was to give the impression that you stated above, then I feel it failed miserably. Rather than the decacance and ennui that one would associate with such a venue in Berlin in the 1920's, here was a general zest, energy and air of "OOOOOH! Aren't we being soooo NAUGHTY!" more appropriate to a musical revue production in a theme park than a "mediocre-at-best tit and ass joint."

I also agree with your statement concerning Fraulein Schneider that "A magnificent voice would have been utterly out of place for this character". Lotte Lenya, who originated the role certainly didn't posses a traditionally magnificent voice, but her voice had a power, strength and dramatic impact. Ms McQueen's "voice" was simply, in my opinion, completely inadequate.

I respect the opinion of someone who is "a classically-trained singer and voice teacher for more than 15 years." Hell, I respect the opinion of anyone who knows what they enjoy in theatre other that "This show sucked" or "This show rocks." and can state it in a remotely articulate manner. The review you posted was most articulate, informed and well expressed.

My opinion of the show comes from the viewpoint of someone who as been a professional director, actor and playwright/composer/lyricist for more than 30 years. I would hope that you might grant the same respect for someone about whom you state "I DO NOT know this person", rather than dismiss my opinions as "self-indulgent... and inaccurate" or "unnecessarily catty" simply because you do not agree with them, or they are not expressed in a manner in which you would express them.

Please remember that there is a different brain behind every set of eyes on this planet, and that each of us experiences art, particularly live theatrical performances in a very personal and unique fashion.
by who'sthat
Ahh, be careful Uber Showman! Those of us with vast theatre experience are not allowed to give honest reviews! I have been out of town and just revisited this site and came accross your review. You will be persecuted for your statements and be tagged as a sadist for attacking the actors. Personally I give you kudos for a fine review that was YOUR opinion and an honest opinion at that.


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