An Honest Review of Cabaret

By Staff

The Ferrum Theatre Department had high expectations following their hilarious fall performances of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged and the completely captivating and spectacular performance of August Osage County. Unfortunately, with such high expectations, the theatre arts department and the music department fell a bit short from the bar that had been raised so high last semester. The musical performance ran for three days in the Sale Theatre on the college campus. Cabaret, a performance based on a play written by John Van Druten, is a steamy and provocative performance that takes place in Berlin, Germany, in the time of Nazi Germany. The play carried the political theme and message throughout the performance. However, the focal theme was lost throughout the performance. Too many issues were being tackled at once while also trying to mix humour in a burlesque-like scene. In a two hour time period featuring seventeen musical numbers, the theatre department bit off more than it could chew by trying to hit on issues of religion, sexuality, abortion, and politics. A very distasteful allusion comparing Nazi Germany to President Donald Trump was not only offensive but distracting from the play. While the department may have been trying to make a statement, they broke theme and subliminally took away from the atmosphere and time period in which the play took place.

    While the content of the play seemed to have been a bit too jam-packed, the performance was not a bust. Senior Zach Reyes gave a funny, powerful, and enchanting performance as the Master of Ceremonies. He was not afraid to push the envelope and embrace the cabaret lifestyle. Reyes was the production’s standout actor and made his part his own. Sophomore Mariah Banks, who played the leading Cabaret performer, was mature and captivating. She made the stage her home and impressed the audience with her powerful singing voice. While freshman Darrian Marshall had limited time in the lime light, his performance was notable and impressive. He owned his role as Bobby, a male performer at the Cabaret, and dazzled the crowd. Overall, the rest of the cast was strong and gave a solid acting performance.

    The stage was set in a nice, simple fashion. The lighting and effects really made the audience feel like they were stepping back in time. The costuming was also very impressive and really made the play come to life. While the actual themes of Nazi Germany got lost in the middle of the play, the acting was great and provided some laughs and interest for this performance.

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