Baker Cabaret- touching and entertainingCabaret, by Baker House Productions. On Thursday, April 18 in Baker House dining hall.
The opening of Cabaret on Thursday night in Baker dining room was audibly appreciated by the varied audience.
In spite of the physical restrictions imposed by the theatrically inadequate environment, the nightclub-like seating arrangement provided the needed intimacy between actors and audience. An open bar was also set up, so one could literally sit back and watch the "Cabaret."
Moreover, the production was dedicated to the late Steven Andrews, a former member of the dramatic equipe. Believe me, Steven would be proud and honored by the effort of all his classmates and peers.
Sure, some of the numbers did not have the perfection of execution that some of us often pretentiously expect -- as if everybody had the talent of Joel Grey, Liza Minelli and Michael York. So what? The students who took part were all extremely talented, some more than others, and some almost disturbingly close to their Broadway or Hollywood counterparts.
The combined efforts of producer Kenneth Corless '86, orchestral director Robert Frank '87 and director Matthew Kaplan '87 were full of zest and enthusiasm.
Matthew Kaplan '87 played the Master of Ceremonies with the right amount of aggression, arrogance, eerieness and scornfulness demanded by the part. Sally, the aspiring English actress, was played by Cynthia Millington '86 with equal spontaneity. Fraulein Kost (played by Sue Behson '88) projected her voice especially well and carried many of the musical numbers. Most notably her talent proves to be a real asset in the rendition of "Tomorrow Belongs To Me," the famous piece which first warns the audience of the imminent rise of Hitler.
And the list goes on; from the Kit Kat girls' lecherously performed gyrations, to the unexpected Tap Dance in scene 11 of Act One. Not to forget, of course, the orchestra. I only wished that they had been more visible. The replay of "Cabaret" at the beginning of the second act contained a compelling sax melody, played by Perry Ziff '88, which could have been a performance in itself.
The abundance of frivolous, fast-paced scenes set a chilling contrast to the tragedy of others. The two romances which characterized the storyline along with the impending rise of Nazi Germany were tragically choreographed throughout. Sally's bubbliness could not offset Cliff's (played by Charles Jones '87) political preoccupations. A reminder that for some of us life is not a Cabaret. Similarly, Fraulein Schneider (played convincingly by Susan Rowell '87) found that, despite her aging and loneliness, she could not marry Herr Schultz (played by Alan Hillbrand) because he was Jewish.
The last scene was particularly spine-chilling. Hitler, impersonated by the Master of Ceremonies, finally rose above his politically inebriated marionettes. An extended drum roll left the audience clapping, but at the same time with a frightening reminder of the Holocaust.
So What's good in sitting,
Like a nerd in your room,
Come to see Cabaret ol' chum
At Baker House dining room.
Well, if you missed it I guess you must have been either nerding in your room or, preferably, pursuing another event of comparable artistic value.