Monday, November 7, 2011

For a fun night out, come to 'Cabaret' at Penn State Berks

By Cheryl Thornburg
  A talented student cast  makes Penn State Berks' production of "Cabaret" an entertaining night out at a reasonable price.  The Tony-ward-winning show, first staged on Broadway in 1966, is filled with memorable music as well as disturbing reminders of what was happening in Germany in 1931.
  The musical, with its juxtaposition of the real world represented by the American writer, a boarding house owner and a Jewish fruit-shop vendor and the surreal atmosphere of the bawdy Berlin night club, the Kit Kat Klub, gives the audience a sense of the disturbing times as the Nazis are coming into power.
  Nick Freer turns in a dynamic performance as the Emcee, who from the opening number "Willkommen" commands the  stage and delivers sinfully good vocals throughout the production, particularly his version of "The Money Song" (Money Makes The World Go Around.)
  Providing the perfect foil to Freer's sinister Emcee is Patrick O'Neill as the naive writer, Cliff Bradshaw, who is captivated by the uninhibited atmosphere of the club and its star, Sally Bowles.
  Cat Whelan plays a multilayered Bowles, from  a flirtatious vixen to a woman who is seeking love and happiness. Her rendition of "Maybe This Time" is poignant and her "Cabaret" in the final act is powerful.
  The second love story, that of senior citizens Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, is beautifully played by two first-year students, Ashanti Acosta and Noah Sanders.
  Acosta's Schneider is gentle and likable as she warms up to the attentions of Sanders' Herr Schultz.  Sanders shows promise as a fine character actor and definitely has a future in musicals. Their duet, "Married," is a beautiful counterpoint to some of the more raucous numbers in the show.
  Other notable performances come from Danielle Fitzgeorge as Fräulein Kost, a prostitute, and Alex Barskey  as Ernst Ludwig, a Nazi sympathizer. The two are featured prominently in "Tomorrow Belongs To Me," one of the most memorable songs from the production.
  A group of talented young singers, dancers and comedians round out the cast  --  Kevin King, Tiana Thomas, Katelyn Leets, Kate Knorr, DayDay Robinson, Regilynn Haywood, Ashleigh Levan and Nick Lewis.
  The show was directed by Cleo House, Jr., with Rob Napoli as technical director, Dave McConell as musical director and Jennifer Parker Scott, choreographer. 
  "Cabaret" continues  Nov. 10–­13 with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium.
  For more information or to reserve tickets, call the Box Office at 610-396-6371.


Anonymous Susan Martin said...

Nick Freer was awesome!

November 29, 2011 at 3:00 PM 

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