Monday, July 18, 2011

Come to the Duluth production of 'Cabaret', old chum...

By Jim Heffernan
Cabaret movie poster 
I have been astonished in talking up the production of the great Kander and Ebb musical “Cabaret,” now playing at Fitgers, how many people don’t really know about this award-winning show, or even what it’s about. I saw it Saturday night and am still humming “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”

It’s about the rise of Nazi Germany in the early 1930s when a funny-looking paperhanger named Adolf Hitler was starting to hit his decidedly unfunny stride as chancellor. Not a lot of laughs for a musical show, but you’d be surprised how many there actually are, along with the pathos of how the Hitler regime affected the lives of Berliners, including the decadent night club set.

I thought just about everybody knew “Cabaret” was about that. Well, they should find out and be astonished themselves at how enjoyable this local production in Fitgers Spirit of the North theater is. I have seen maybe two other stage productions of “Cabaret,” along with the great 1972 movie version starring Liza Minnelli, and this is as good as any. It’s directed by Sheryl Jensen, a familiar local name associated with stellar productions.

As long as we’re all being astonished, let me also say how astonished I was at the depth of talent in the cast of this production, not just on stage but in the small orchestra (which is also on stage, with some of its instrumental musicians unobtrusively slipping in and out of talking, singing and dancing roles). Oh, and then there’s the technical end of putting on an elaborate musical in a performance space unequipped for such productions. Amazingly, they pull it off – set, sound, lighting, the works (to say nothing of the wonderful costumes -- what there is of them on the Kit Kat Klub girls).

I don’t know what’s drawing all of these talented people to Duluth, but they’re here. Take advantage of it.

This show is about 40 years old now, perhaps explaining why so many people I encounter don’t really know it. But it will never be dated, and shouldn’t be missed.

Here’s the skinny on the remainder of the run and how to get tickets: Thursday, Friday and Saturday (July 21-23) and again Thursday, Friday and Saturday July 28-30. Ticket information at (218) 727-1177.  And... for more information, check out Lundeen Productions HERE.


Bobbi said...

My dear friend...great words from a great man.

Jim Heffernan said...