Paying A Visit To The Cabaret Was Such A Joy, Ol’ Chum!
"Cabaret" was one of my favorite films from the 1970s. The Academy award winning 1972 movie collected a total of 8 Oscars including a Best Actress statuette for Liza Minelli for her wonderful performance as Sally Bowles. Joel Grey received the coveted prize for his memorable performance of the Kit Kat club's master of ceremonies and Bob Fosse won The Best Director nod as the film focuses on the impending Nazi take over of Germany with sub parallel stories focusing on the trials and tribulations of falling in love mixed with a blend of commentary regarding national socialism prior to World War II.
Over the weekend, I was fortunate to attend a terrific local theatrical interpretation of this classic piece of cinema in neighboring Copake, New York. The historic venue located on Empire Road transported it's audience to The Kit Kat Club as this performance transfixed those who decided to get away from it all and enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon to forget their troubles and it truly lived up to it's word in more ways than one, courtesy of The Two Of Us Productions as they also presented a fantastic facsimile of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" at the Taconic Hills High School back in the fall of 2019.
Kudos to the excellent performances that kept the audience in full attention throughout the 2 and a half hour show. My near and dear friend, Benita Zahn was superb as Fraulein Schneider as her German accent resonated amongst the crowd opposite scenes with her love interest, Herr Hans Schultz (No, we are not referring to the late GREAT John Banner who was iconic in nature on "Hogan's Heroes") Ironically, Fred Sirois told me after the show that he is also is a fan of the gang at Stalag 13 and we did our Sgt. Schultz imitations in John's honor.
Constance Lopez was a perfect re-creation of Joel Grey's M-C as she added her own spin to the role and Betsy Rees was phenomenal as the title character, Sally Bowles. Stephen Foust was perfect as Cliff Bradshaw, the American author who was entrenched in one escapade after another and the role of Herr Ludwig well played by Brian Yorck. The supporting cast of dancers and Stephen Sanborn's 10 piece orchestra also added a magical touch to this local presentation.
I was lucky to have a front row seat to this play as many of the main characters established eye contact with yours truly which made it extra special. Another reason why you should support LIVE and LOCAL theater in our listening area because as the legendary Ed Sullivan used to say: "You are part of a really, really big shoe (show)"
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