March 9, 2011

March 11-26

Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre at Marian University

If you think the title song is an affirmation of the joys of life, well, that just means you haven’t seen “Cabaret.” The fascinating 1966 musical (with songs added from the 1972 film) straddles two worlds the way its dancers straddle their wooden chairs. Half of “Cabaret”—including the title song, the opening song “Willkommen” and “The Money Song”—takes place on the stage, in a show within the show, commenting on the action. The rest of the show fits into the standard “characters-break-into-song” musical-theater style. It’s the director’s challenge to blend these two to maximize the power of the show, which tells the harrowing story of an American writer who falls into the orbit of a devil-may-care cabaret performer in 1931 Berlin. Details here.