Jon Peterson is riveting, insidious and alluring as the divinely decadent Emcee. His enticing but ominous presence presides, celebrates, and lurks through the entire show, even scenes where he is not literally present in the room. Leigh Ann Larkin nails the difficult role of the charming but unmoored Sally Bowles. The sexually amorphous Cliff is well played by Benjamin Eakely, whose earnest, American presence leads us into the seductive 1929-30 Berlin. The introductory words to his novel, delivered late in the show, describe the situation. “There was a cabaret and there was a master of ceremonies and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world…and I was dancing with Sally Bowles and we were both fast asleep”.
This is a must-see show — particularly if you've only seen the movie, where the Fraulein Schneider-Herr Schultz relationship was altered/minimized to focus more on the star, Liza Minelli. The play script is more balanced, and Mary Gordon Murray and Scott Robertson were very touching as the doomed couple. Mary's rendition of What Would You Do was powerful.
The orchestra was indeed "beautiful" — as touted by the emcee, and all manner of debauched dance numbers were a treat to watch. Light/sound/costuming built to an appropriate punch of an ending.
Cabaret continues at Wharton Center through Sunday the 26th