Dangerous Times in Berlin


Dangerous times indeed especially if you were Jewish in 1931 pre Nazi Berlin.  This is certainly amplified at every turn in a new production of ‘Cabaret’, which has just opened at the Met Theatre inHollywood.  This new take on the show, which captured both Tonys and Oscars when it was current a number of years ago, captures much of that feeling.  Yet it could have captured a lot more with a little more thought put into the casting of two very important parts.

Everyone is familiar with the magic created by Joel Grey in his living the pivotal  part as the Master of Ceremonies.  His bringing out the hallucinatory depravity and excitement of this period as shown on stage at the Kit Kat Club will be forever with us.  Rene Cohen does not deliver the necessary goods to effectively supply the cohesion to bring all the various influences together in this very challenging role.  Outrageousness and flair have to be manifest in this part.

Caitlin Ary in the role of Sally Bowles supplies a great deal of the  waywardness and unpredictability demanded by in this scenario but I could not find a scintilla of any attraction between her and Rory Alexander playing the role of Clifford Alexander, the displaced novelist.  In fact, sometimes she seemed to be going out of her way to avoid her lover/friend.

The real standouts were Veronica Scheyving and Jeremy Ebenstein playing the parts of the doomed lovers, Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz respectively who brought both sensitivity and compassion to their efforts to be married in spite of their being targeted by the Nazis as Jews.

An excellent job is done providing the seedy and depraved atmosphere of the club and the singers and dancers do very well in support, in spite of the limited space provided them on stage.

It’s a show well worth the time regardless, especially for those not acquainted with the original or previous productions.

Direction was by Marco Gomez.  Schoen Smith produced the show.

The Met Theatre.  1089   Oxford Ave.  Friday through Sunday thru May 22nd.

www.plays411.com/cabaret.  323.960.5773.




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