“Cabaret” is a hit broadway play set in 1930s Berlin during the rise of the Nazi party and centers around a risqué nightclub, called the Kit Kat Club. The story focuses on the doomed love affair between American writer Cliff Bradshaw and English performer Sally Bowles.
The two stay in a small boarding house owned by Fräulein Schneider, who is the eye of affection for Herr Schultz, an old Jewish fruit vendor. The two plots are overseen by EmCee, the Kit Kat club’s master of ceremonies and the Kit Kat dancers, who act as an enthralling metaphor for German politics at the rise of the Nazi regime.
Jalen Brown, who played the Master of Ceremonies, brought invigorating, terrifying energy to his performance, especially during his musical numbers. “If You Could See Her” and “Finale Ultimo.”
Shelley McMoy presented a wild and passionate, if a bit crazy Sally Bowles. She left people winded through the first act. When she returned for the second act, she produced the same amount of passion and energy solidified into a darker persona.
Hunter Brown and Michael Cleary portrayed Cliff Bradshaw and Ernst Ludwig, respectively, and provided two completely different male leads.
Brown’s Bradshaw was a good-natured, if weak-willed character to Cleary’s roguish Ernst. Cleary provided superior emotion during act one, but Brown stepped up in the second act and brought his character much needed passion and rage.
Set changes were often, but quick and practically effortless. The set was a bit lackluster, the props more interesting for the grand scheme of the play.
The Costumes, were incomparably perfect, all bright and fitting to each character.
The numbers “Don’t Tell Mama,” the reprise of “Tomorrow Belongs To Me,” “What Would You Do?,” “Cabaret” and “Finale Ultimo” were the most memorable songs, most having an enormous emotional charge with dramatic dancing and flair from the cast.
UM’s performance of “Cabaret” was magnificent. The cast’s performance was effortless. Each member fell into their roles without thought and performed beautifully throughout the rainy night.