Cote St. Luc Dramatic Society Cabaret- The Cote St. Luc Dramatic Society has certainly set the bar high with their latest spring offering, “Cabaret”, as audience members are automatically thrust back in time to the Kit Kat Club, a rather tawdry Berlin nightclub circa 1931, at a time when Germany was going through a rather exciting, yet troubling time in its history, as the rise of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party were waiting in the wings.
A good part of the show takes place within the confines of the Kit Kat Club, and the CSLDS spared no effort to authentically immerse the audience into the decadent, neo-expressionist world of the Kit Kat Club, right down to the dark burgundy curtains, the vintage 1930s phones on some of the cabaret tables, the clamshell footlights and the scandalously-clad members of the club’s chorus, who are so effectively led by its lively, yet shameless emcee (played to scene-stealing perfection by Craig Dalley).
However, there is a narrative to “Cabaret”, and that takes the form of the quick mercurial relationship between Cliff Bradshaw (Calder Levine), the unemployed American novelist and Sally Bowles (Jeanne Motulsky), the Kit Kat Club’s British-born singer and star attraction. And no matter how this relationship develops, or the latest musical numbers that’s packing them into the Kit Kat Club, “Cabaret” subtly, yet compellingly, portrays the tragic undertones that will soon overcome Germany and the rest of Europe due to the gradual rise of the Nazis: the somewhat forbidden romance between boarding house owner Frau Schneider (Linda Babins) and the Jewish fruit stand owner Herr Schultz (John Kovac), and the performance of the powerful Nazi “anthem” “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” that is sung twice during the first act.
Although “Cabaret” has a very strong ensemble cast, two performances really stood out: Jeanne Motulsky, who brings a lot of force and vulnerability to her captivating performance as Sally Bowles, whether she shares dialogue with Cliff or sings her torch songs at the club; and Craig Dalley as the club’s Emcee, who is the show’s always unabashed guide to what goes on in the club in particular and Germany in general with plenty of mischief, perspective and a somewhat carefree attitude.
“Cabaret” continues its run at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium, 5801 Cavendish Blvd., until June 16. So don’t just sit there alone in your room; come hear the music play and go see “Cabaret”, where you will always feel a sense of “wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome”. For more information, go to www.CSLDramaticSociety.com.