life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, June 27, 2014

Right this way, your table's waiting . . .

What good is sitting alone in your room?

Come hear the music play.

Life is a Cabaret ...

I'd seen the 1972 movie, of course, starring Liza Minelli and Joel Gray, but until tonight I'd never seen a stage production of Cabaret.

The Roundabout Theater Company has restaged it's 1998 production at Studio 54, once again starring Alan Cumming as the Emcee and with Michelle Williams as Sally Bowles.

Much as I think Liza and Joel were brilliant, and the movie deserving of all of its Oscars, I prefer the stage production. Especially as it is presented in this production.

When you walk into Studio 54 you almost think you're in the Kit Kat Club, orchestra seating for the show is at small tables, as if you were in a 1930's style nightclub. The theater ushers and the waitstaff (yes, you can order food) are dressed in costumes appropriate to the show. Our table was towards the back of the house. (I believe the mezzanine has traditional theater seating.). We ordered a nice cheese plate -- three different cheeses, fig jam, candied walnuts, crackers, grapes and strawberries. Very nice.

From the moment the house lights go down, and the Emcee takes the stage, you are transported back to Weimar Germany . . . Inside the club, life is beautiful. The girls are beautiful. Even the orchestra is beautiful. The decadence, the highly sexualized world of the club contrasts with the outside world, the rise of the Nazis and the new world order. The Nazis start to infiltrate the club . . .

The Kander and Ebb score . . .the singing, the dancing. But no, there's no happy ending.

In fact, the ending startled me.

As the Emcee bids us goodbye, he takes off his leather coat . . . To reveal the striped uniform of a prisoner of a Nazi work camp, complete with yellow star and pink triangle badges.

Oh, and we had a brush with celebrity . . .

Apparently Shia LeBeouf, the movie actor, was in the house. And apparently he was drunk and disorderly. He was escorted out of the theater during intermission and was placed under arrest.

We had no idea this was happening.

The only thing out of place? At some point (and I don't know if it was before or after intermission), there was some sort of incident at the bar -- located at the very back of the house. We heard some glass breaking. Didn't hear anything else out of the ordinary.

Cumming was on stage when it happened. His eyes shifted towards the noise, but otherwise he didn't miss a beat.

Overall, another great evening of theater.

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