I'm Cabaret, Au Cabaret, To Cabaret!


Heading out to the theatre on a cold Melbourne night, I was about to experience an emotional and politically charged night of superb entertainment, in seeing the Melbourne production of the musical Cabaret.

Performed at the classic Athenaeum Theatre, Gale Edward’s interpretation of the acclaimed musical was raw, captivating, fun and quirky, entwined with sadness and eventual devastation.

Set in 1929 Berlin, an American writer, Clifford Bradshaw, comes looking for inspiration to write a novel but instead becomes distractedly enthralled with Sally Bowles, an English nightclub singer at the Kit Kat Club.

While life is initially a party full of self-exploration, humour, and debauchery, things begin to slowly take a turn for the worst as the threat of Nazi Germany looms, and the only person who sees the oncoming danger is Clifford Bradshaw.

I was not only moved by the small reminders of how horrific Nazi Germany was, but also by the eerily relevant themes in 2017, as we see a surge in hate filled undertones and extreme nationalism on the political world stage. When trying to convince Sally Bowles to leave Berlin with him, Clifford states, she is either against the Nazi party or for it, there is no middle ground.

Alas, Sally Bowles along with the other characters believe that the Nazi’s will never come to power, so she decides to stay behind at the “party”. The show abruptly ends, and a drop of a curtain implies that all the characters have most likely suffered a devastating fate, as it is known prostitutes, homosexuals and Jews were murdered in the holocaust.

While many know the storyline of the famed musical Cabaret, and many more know the history of Nazi German, in a live theatre you can truly appreciate the emotional complexity and intricacy of the story. The brilliant musical numbers performed by an outstanding cast, help to bring this story to life.

Paul Capsis as Emcee, brought the dark yet humorous energy required of the role, and Chelsea Gibb shined as Sally Bowles showcasing a combination mystery, fragility and tenacity. Her performance of the song ‘Cabaret’ was mesmerising.

The set and costumes perfectly depicted the earthy, underground stylings of a seedy Berlin nightclub, interwoven with a sexy gothic glam appeal highlighting the carefree decadence of the era to life.

The Melbourne production of Cabaret had all the key elements for a fantastic night at the theatre, I am currently sourcing tickets to watch it again as we speak!

Image source: www.cometothecabaret.com.au

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