Review

 
 
Willkommen to Hamilton Academy’s production of Cabaret in Los Angeles. It’s the musical by Joe Masteroff, John Kander, and Fred Ebb that explores the party of the Berlin cabaret scene just as the Nazis were winning control of the country, all as seen through the eyes of an American writer just arrived to work on his book. He finds himself enjoying the party, but still cognizant of the rise of the Third Reich in the background – a rise that his friends are either too close to see or refuse to believe. Or that they support.

Drawing us into the party is Joe Faragher as our flamboyant Master of Ceremonies, an outrageously charismatic and appropriately uninhibited force who takes charge of his cabaret Kit Kat Girls in their big show-stopping numbers. Those Kit Kat Girls keep the club steamy and the customers beguiled through their opening Willkokmmen and keep the dollars rolling in with The Money Song. And then there’s the scandalous Two Ladies number with the Emcee and two Kit Kat Girls dancing under the sheets and under the strobe lights.

The American writer, Cliff Bradshaw (a good performance by Bryce Roos), finds this little cabaret just to his liking. Especially when the show’s premiere star Sally Bowles, a young English woman, picks up on him right off the bat. Natalie Stevei is a fun and flirty Sally with a magnificent voice, shining brightest in the last scenes as the party ends.

Elsewhere, Laura Walsh is the somewhat prudish middle-aged landlady who shares a charming romance with middle-aged Herr Schultz (Nima Ghassemian), a Jewish man who knows how to pick a good pineapple. Arianna Neikrug is a hoot as Kit Kat Girl/profitable prostitute Fraulein Kost. Ilze Mattson dons a gorilla suit and dances nicely and humorously in the initially amusing, eventually disturbing If You Could See Her duet with the Master of Ceremonies – just one of choreographer Chelsea Field’s many triumphs that ranges from wildly theatrical to sweetly intimate. And Andrew Weitz is Ernst Ludwig, an importer of illegal goods and a person of growing political power.

Director Wendell Stevenson and crew have created a huge, visually dazzling production with terrific dancing and vitality. The cast is dressed up in Kim Overton’s great costumes. They perform amongst John Paul Luckenbach’s always-impressive sets, dancing and singing to the music of Jim Foschia’s school orchestra, which is completely on top of the big score. And painting it all is the razzle-dazzle of Rob Fritz’s brilliant lights that could blind anyone to the terror about to unfold.

Performs December 3 - 12, 2009

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~
 
 
Master of Ceremonies: Joe Faragher
Clifford Bradshaw: Bryce Roos
Fraulein Schneider: Laura Walsh
Herr Schultz: Nima Ghassemian
Fraulein Kost: Arianna Neikrug
Sally Bowles: Natalie Stevei
Ernst Ludwig: Andrew Weitz
1st German Sailor: Cooper Sweeney
2nd German Sailor: Harel Fedida
3rd German Sailor: Tim Dougherty
Telephone Girl #1: Annie Gaudioz-Young
Telephone Boy #1: Eddie Again
Telephone Girl #2: Allisen Beall
Telephone Boy #2: Harel Fedida
Telephone Girl #3: Samantha Posner
Telephone Boy #3: Cooper Sweeney
Telephone Girl #4: Danielle Soury
Telephone Boy #4: Ryan Haberfeld
Telephone Boy #5: Jose Olivar
Customs Officer: William Tucker
Two Ladies: Ivy Beech and Olivia Kaplan
1st Waiter: Tim Dougherty
2nd Waiter: Ryan Haberfeld
3rd Waiter: Jose Olivar
Max: Ryan Haberfeld
Taxi Man: William Tucker
Kit Kat Klub Girls:
Nike Allahverdi
Bridget Avildsen
Allisen Beall
Ivy Beech
Alex Dates
Annie Gaudioz-Young
Olivia Kaplan
Chelsea Kirkpatrick
Ilze Mattson
Samantha Posner
Danielle Soury
Klub Waiters:
Edward Agin
Harel Fedida
Ryan Haberfeld
Cooper Sweeney
William Tucker
Jose Olivar
Bobby: Jose Olivar
Victor: Cooper Sweeney
Gorilla: Ilze Mattson
Nazi Guards: William Tucker and Tim Dougherty

Director: Wendell Stevenson
Musical Director: John Hamilton
Conductor: Jim Foschia
Production Manager: Gail Chorna
Choreographer: Chelsea Field
Stage Manager: Gaby Canjura
Technical Director/Set Designer: John Paul Luckenbach
Lighting Designer: Rob Fritz
Sound Designer: Michael Cooper
Costume Designer: Kim Overton
Art Director: Miriam Dafford
Master Carpenter: John Ong
Wigs and Hair: Michael Herrera
Graphic Designers: Diva Ward and Maddie Isaacs
Photographer: John Ong
Producers: Gail Chorna, JP Luckenbach, Wendell Stevenson
Executive Producers: Carol Turley, Marlene Zuccaro

   

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