"If you aren't against all this, you are for it."
Life in the early 1930s was changing quickly for the residents of Berlin, Germany. After losing the "War to End All Wars," the hope of a "new" Germany invigorated the people especially with the creation of the Nazi party.
For those employed in the Kit Kat Klub, life is a little risque, even seedy for those surviving in a very tight economy by any way they can. Here all the LGBT men and women, life can be enjoyable with the support of each other while being "tacky, terrible and everyone having a good time."
"We have no troubles here. Here life is beautiful."
As the Master of Ceremonies, Emcee, Jon Flower embraces the sliminess of his character. He hypnotically commands the stage in demanding the attention and affection of the audience through his delightful singing and dancing, even in disguise.
Ryan Eberhart is the gullible American, Clifford Bradshaw, a would-be novelist. He is almost destitute, lonely and has a personal secret. Ryan is perfect in this role. Magnetically, each audience member accompanies him naively into the world of the Cabaret.
As the seductive Sally Bowles, Madison Hoge is phenomenal. She sings, dances, and commands the stage in her mesmerizing role always confident even when a situation would be overwhelming.
The Kit Kat Girls are humorously breathtaking, each with their unique personality. Lauren Anderson, Michelle Adkins, Nadia Williams, Brenda Smrdel, and Tessie Flower are all great dancers, singers, and performers. Katie Miller as Kit Kat Girl-Kost is marvelous. Between her humorous preference for sailors and her gorgeous songs, she is unquestionably a masterful artist.
Fraulein Schnieder, portrayed by Therese Rennels is superb in her role as the lonely spinster running a boarding house. Sam Bass as Herr Schultz has an incredible singing voice and pulls on the heart-strings in his pursuit of marrying Fraulein Schnieder.
However, Herr Schultz is Jewish. With the current political influences in Germany, a Jew is not considered German even if they are German-born. Will they marry?
In the role of the antagonist is Karl Rohling as Ernst Ludwig. His character is to have the innocent Clifford do his dirty work of smuggling. Karl is phenomenal in this role, even his accent somehow has an undercurrent of danger.
I love the Kit Kat Boys who expertly sing, act, and dance. Tyler Kliegl, Tony Schneider, Jorge Ambriz, Luke Glaser, Matthew Hansen who also makes a fantastic female gorilla and Tyler Roberts who also plays his violin beautifully.
This orchestra is superb. Jerry Brabec is the musical director and also plays the keyboard. Playing trumpet is Curtis Pelster or Joel Edwards, the trombone is Noel Johnson, woodwinds is Stan Harper or Willie Karph, drums is Ben Sampson, and on bass is Tom Miller. Their music is so integral to the play that the orchestra almost seems to have its personality.
The songs are outstanding with superbly energetic choreography that makes this a top-notch professional performance. Debbie Massey-Schneweis is phenomenal in working with the performers and planning these incredibly complex and creative dancing.
One of my favorite song is "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" with the song beginning with just on beautifully clear tenor voice and the other men joining in mesmorizing harmonies. Ironically though, this song is a symbol of the Nazi party.
This adult musical has Gary Bosanek as the director and Tyler Ovis and Denise Putman as co-producers. Practical sets encompassing six different scenes with minimal transitions are designed and constructed by Joey Lorincz with other builders, Denise Putman and Mati Phelps.
Cathy Bass portrays both Frau Gunnel and a club patron.
For any successful show, there are numerous people in the crew. Kim Alger is stage manager with Johnnie Richards being the assistant and Rhonda Hall in charge of props.
Also in the area of choreography, Tony Schneider is the fight choreography and Matt Hansen, the dance captain.
Mati Phelps as the dialect coach made each character believable as speaking German or being British.
In charge of the sound design Dave Podendorf. Occassionally, the orchestra overpowers the singers but that also depends on the acoustics of the room and where you sit. Balancing all those individual microphones for each character has to be a daunting task.
Darrin Golden is masterful at the light design with Mati Phelps and Riley Pope working additionally with the spotlights and light board.
The costumes were supplied by Dwayne Ibsen of Ibsen Costume Gallery.
What was almost unusual in this musical was the use of silence. Those few seconds have an extremely powerful message.
The first part of the show lasts about ninety-minutes followed by a fifteen-minute intermission and concluding with an additional forty-five minutes.
The show concludes this weekend with curtain times of 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $ 20 for adults, $ 16 for seniors over the age of sixty, and $ 10 for students. Call the box office at (712) 323-9955 for tickets.
I strongly suggest the you arrive early as with this large cast and crew, parking can be a challenge.
Cabaret is an intense musical about change. Some changes are our choices, but they have consequences that can be either positive or negative. Some changes are beyond our control.