Cabaret – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

If you are wearing rose-colored glasses and dancing as fast as you can, the party can seem to roll on forever. But if remove those glasses, you may view an entirely different landscape where rumbles of fear are emerging and you need to plan your escape.

Welcome to the seemingly beautiful world of pre-World War II Berlin where the patrons of the Kit Kat Klub, led by the flamboyant Master of Ceremonies, are partying as if their lives depend on it. Music Theatre of Connecticut in Norwalk has a seat for you, front and center at their intimate stage, to witness the frantic frenzy of fun that is forced as the carousel spins faster and more feverishly out of control.

Weekends until Sunday, April 14th, MTC will present a fascinating peek behind the frivolity of the smash musical hit “Cabaret,” based on the book by Joe Masteroff, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.

Eric Scott Kincaid is the sinister and persuasive Emcee, welcoming you to the party, dedicated to seeing you have a good time, cautioning you to leave your worries outside. For your entertainment, he has the delightful Sally Bowles, a sparkling Desiree Davar, to sing such songs as “Don’t Tell Mama” and “Cabaret.” The opportunistic Sally has latched on to the newly arrived to Berlin American writer Cliff Bradshaw, played engagingly by Nicholas Dromard, who hopes to gain inspiration for his novel. With Sally as his muse, to alternately distract or encourage, Cliff settles in to Fraulein Schneider’s (Anne Kanengeiser) rooming house and mingles with the other residents, Fraulein Kost (Hillary Ekwall) who entertains in a more intimate way sailors (Tony Conaty and Alex Drost) and Herr Schultz (Jim Schilling ) who runs a fruit store and doesn’t realize the dangers that his Jewish faith will pose.

Cliff is quickly befriended by Ernst Ludwig, a devious Andrew Foote, who wants Cliff to carry out personal projects for him, to earn money, and help Ernst’s cause. When Cliff realizes Ernst is a Nazi, he is appalled. While Sally has her eyes closed to the truth, Cliff sees all too clearly how the world is slipping off its axis. Kevin Connors directs a splendid cast in a “perfectly marvelous” way.

For tickets ($30-55), call MTC, 509 Westport Avenue, behind Nine West Shoes, Norwalk 203-454-3883 or online at www.musictheatreofct.com. Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Let the occupants of Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub entice you to relax with a drink, a dance and a song as they prepare a new script for Germany’s tomorrows. The relevance of this show at this time in our world cannot be ignored.

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