Cabaret On Stage At Fresno State

Dec 10, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Terrance V. Mc Arthur, Theatre

by Terrance Mc Arthur

“Life is a Cabaret, old chum!”

You remember it, right? Liza Minelli as Sally Bowles, Joel Grey as the coy, androgynous master of ceremonies of the 1930’s-Berlin Kit Kat Club, and all those wonderful songs. Then, Sam Mendes reimagined it in the 90s with Alan Cumming as a sexually-aggressive bisexual emcee.

The in-your-face qualities of the Mendes production are on display in J. Daniel Herring’s staging at Fresno State’s University Theatre through December 13.

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Cast of CABARET

Based on Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin stories, filtered through the John Van Druten play I Am a Camera, transformed into a Broadway musical by Kander & Ebb & Masteroff, filmed by Bob Fosse, and given the Mendes treatment, the show emerges from its newest cocoon oozing decadent sex, stripped of some Broadway songs and with a few movie tunes grafted onto the framework. Matthew Schiltz, recently a benign Antipholus in the Second Space Comedy of Errors, stands tall on the two-tiered set, strutting and challenging and partially exposing.

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Aubrianne Scott has more talent than Sally is supposed to have, with a girl-woman look like Blousy Brown in Bugsy Malone. She has good pipes and uses them. Joel Abels provides gentleness amid the strident surroundings as a Jewish fruit seller seeking happiness, and Tessa Cavalletto is transcendent as the landlady who does her best to accommodate the changes of Germany as it spins toward Nazism, a tragic version of Imogene Coca.

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I saw this production the night after seeing the tender and uplifting Pedro, the Angel of Olvera Street, and the difference was whiplash-causing. This Cabaret is offensive, depressing, shocking, thought-provoking, and not to be missed. For more details and to purchase tickets check out their website.

Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Community Librarian for the WoW! (WithOut Walls) Division of the Fresno County Public Library, roaming the Valley to meet the public’s information needs.

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