“Cabaret”: An Oasis in Troubled Times
Throughout the two World Wars, Germany was vying for was a place in the sun: a shot at success and a chance to shine amongst some of the greatest nations. Through this weekend at El Camino College, a glimpse into 1930s Berlin is onstage in “Cabaret,” a Tony-Award winning musical.
Directed by Valeria Rachelle, the musical takes us into a cabaret-style nightclub called the Kit Kat Klub as Hitler comes into and secures power. The story follows Kit Kat Klub’s various habitués, starting with the American Sally Bowles, played by Virginia Brazier. Bowles is a singer at the Kit Kat Klub.
The musical continues to unfold while Bowles attempts to find love, but she confronts multifarious conflicts and unique characters in the process.
As Nazi Germany develops and terror overtakes the nation, the characters’ varying social status and encounters have dire consequences. The audience is taken on a journey of upbeat happiness, however, as the characters of the play are asked to leave their troubles outside and walk into the magical Kit Kat Klub.
The actors/singers belt out multifarious songs, such as “Don’t Tell Mama” and “Maybe This Time,” as they whiz around the stage, dancing the night away.
“The chorus numbers performed by the Kit Kat dancers are so exciting that they are one of my favorites,” said Ron Scarlata, the El Camino College Theatre Department’s artistic director.
“Cabaret” explores Nazi-era politics along with some adult themes, thus limiting the audience. But there are amazing actors in this musical, Scarlata noted. These include Andrew Blake Ames as the Emcee, Shirley Hatton, who plays Fräulein Schneider, and William Boschellias as Clifford Bradshaw.
Referring to Ames, Scarlatta said: “I am impressed by our playful, yet powerful, Emcee, who is always in the center of the action.”
Cabaret plays Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. plus Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Campus Theatre, on the El Camino College campus at 16007 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance. Tickets, $25 general; $18 children 12 and under – although you may choose to leave the young ones at home. (310) 329-5345 or go to centerforthearts.org.