Monday, May 3, 2010
Cabaret - The Hypocrites (Theater Review)
Cabaret is a highly celebrated musical by the dynamic and homosexual Cy Kander and Julius Ebb. It concerns a young American who goes to Berlin for no real reason and starts banging dudes and chicks because everyone in Germany is a whore until the Nazis come and then everyone is a soldier. Well...everyone is a soldier that loves to sing. When I was in the Army, we had a special name for those kind of soldiers.
So natch, I was thrilled to take the train downtown in the middle of rush hour to see this highly acclaimed production by the Hypocrites Theater Collective at the DCA. DCA stands for Department of Cultural Affairs, so you know it had to be good, because it's presented by a city run organization.
When I first arrived, I was early, so me and my friends Anita and Loretta went to the Elephant and Castle for french fries with curry. These were not as good as I remember them being before, plus we were surrounded by douchebags named Tanner and Chad and Brad and Cody who made more money in an hour then I will all year. Luckily for us, they weren't going to the theater with us.
But their grandparents were!
When we arrived at the DCA, I was shocked to notice that we were the youngest people there by at least 45 years. The line for the water fountain was scattered with peril, but I insisted to myself that I would have some. You see, those curry fries weren't as good as I had remembered them being, and since it is a government run theater, there is nowhere to get a soda. Kind of like Nazi Germany. Nice place to do a play, Hypocrites.
Once we were herded into the theater (the same way a certain kind of people herded a certain other kind of people), I was in the mood for a play about the struggles of whores and rich Americans.
Before I continue, let me just say how awesome this cast is. They do things in this show that I would never do in a million years, and they do it for "art".
The opening of the show is a legendary dance number when a MAN known as the Emcee (a firey Jessie Fisher) comes out and sings this song that's sort of like Will Smith's "Welcome to Miami", except in this version, he welcomes us to the Cabaret. A place called the Kit Kat Bar in Berlin where it's always a party and everyone has mobile telephones. I didn't understand why they couldn't just go up and talk to each other, but I didn't live back then, so I can't say for sure. During this first big dance sequence we meet all of our whore characters for the show. If you guys like to look at chicks butts, this is the place to be. There were some old people asleep in the front row, which made me feel like I was at a strip club inside a Shoney's but I didn't care, because there were so many incredible vaginas in my face.Even the Stage Managers had great vaginas.
I wished I had a vagina because I would ask all of these girls what they do to keep them so nicely manicured and there wasn't a single butt zit in the entire cast. It was truly remarkable because I'm pretty sure I've banged most of the people in this show, and they ALL had butt zits then, but times change, and we grow older.
Well everyone is having the best time ever at the Cabaret and this dance number is among the best I've seen in that particular theater.
Next we are taken to the train station for the introduction of two of my favorite characters. Cliff O'Houlihan, the show's canvas, a young American from America who has come to Berlin from America to write a novel (played aggressively and vigorously and goodly by Michael Peters) about something...I'm not sure. I don't think whoever wrote this was particularly worried about everything having to make sense all the time, they just wanted to see some box like the rest of us. We also are introduced to Ernst (a sexy-as-hell Rob McLean), a guy who apparently goes back and forth to Paris to send letters to people or something or to smuggle something(?). Again, coherence is secondary here to vaginas. Well, Ernst and Cliff hit it off and Ernst helps Cliff find a place to stay while he writes his novel about who-knows-what.
We have now almost met all the characters. Only, like, 4 more.
Cliff arrives at his new home run by a lady named Frau Schneider (a brilliant Kate Harris).
Side note: Guys, I had heard stories about the magic of this woman before,but she truly is a Chicago theater treasure that we cannot lose. I looked in the phone book and there are only like 1500 Kate Harrises left in Chicago, so next time you see one, give it a few dollars or something, I'm not really sure what Kate Harrises eat or what impact it will have on the environment.
Anyway, Cliff moves in with this freakin lady, and we find out that she has other tenants too. One young slut named Kost (a slutty Laura Ewing) and an old fruity Jew stand owner named Herr Schultz.Oops, I mean an old Jewy fruit stand owner ( a too good for this Jim Heatherly)
Side note: Listen, I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs of business or theater stuff, but this dude, Jim Heatherly, must've really pissed someone off down the line somewhere. There is no reason that a man who is this age that is this good and has that good of a voice should be doing non-equity theater unless he continuously shows up drunk and/or is in the middle of some sex game with Sean Graney, the Artistic Director of the Hypocrites. All I knew was that I was in an ugly sex game with the character Hamburg (a naughty Doug Pawlik).
So Cliff starts teaching English lessons to Ernst (who already speaks English) and starts going to the Kit Kat Bar to bang this dude named Bobby (a sweet piece of ass named John Ferrick) who's banging this other dude named John Moran (an entitled John Moran) when he meets this bitch named Sally Bowles (a full chested and nicely faced Lindsay Leopold).
Now listen, I know this Sally character is a character that everybody wants to play and has become a big deal or whatever, and she has some good songs and everything, but what a whore. All this bitch does is take from everyone and then leaves you standing there, holding your dong while she's off for some more cocaine and abortions. FUCK SALLY BOWLES.
Well, needless to say, Sally moves in with Cliff because she is a whore and they fall in love.
Well, while all this is happening, you can start feeling a gentle shift in the tone behind Ernst. He has become a little more present onstage, and you learn that maybe he is working for the Nazi movement. In our culture, we have become so inured to the thought of Nazis that it isn't as shocking for us that the Nazi is the bad guy as it should be for the Jew in this show. But this seems to be on the Jewish agenda throughout history. They don't take any threats seriously until it's too late! Egypt?
"Oh, don't worry, Sol, this will all blow over."
"I wouldn't get too excited, Moishe, this will be over soon."
The Bubonic Plague?
"They say it's all our fault, Jackie, but let's see how this winds up."
The Pale of Settlement?
"So they are asking us to move, what's the big deal? Surely we won't have to eat each other."
JEWS!!! WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO LEARN?!!
Maybe at the next Protocols of the Elders of Zion meeting, you guys should talk about getting some sort of warning system in place. I'm just saying.
But this section got me thinking about what it meant to be a Nazi. It seemed that all Nazis did, from the depiction in this play, was bang whores and try kill old people. Was I a Nazi?
I wasn't getting any help from the boy with no name (too cute for his own good Kyle Erkonen) or from Raja (a tigress named Dana Omar).
My mind was trying to work this out when I was distracted by the best part of this production, the band.
Jesus Christ are they good or what?
Led by 2 beautiful women, they played the shit outta that show.
The 2 women, ( the luxurious Britni Tozzi and the insatiable Nikki Klix, undoubtedly have the best names in the production and are undoubtedly the hottest, especially Klix, she also has the best vag and plays the violin like it's going out of style, which will never happen) and lead musically by the always dominant Mike Przygoda, Brandon Campbell and Kristina Lee, with KOD (Kevin O'Donnell) on the wheels of steel!
So, the play went on some more, and the Nazis are really coming now and by this point I was wishing for a Pizza Holocaust because I was so hungry from watching all that Nazi stuff and dancing.
So I don't want to give away the ending, but here are a few spoilers...
1. None of the men who wear suits know how to iron.
2. No one dies from machine gun fire, which was a pretty big let down.
3. The costumes are in the style of "steampunk" which means, either dress like you are a gang in "The Warriors", or like you are an Indian that just found a bag of American officer's clothes.
4. Shannon Welling is in this play and trips over the stage all the time, because she is the biggest clunkiest whore of them all.
There is a great scene with a Gorilla that they stole from the zoo, and all the dancing girls are tremendous. I especially loved Chelsea Paice as the big breasted dancer and Dana Tretta as the little whore.
To give away the ending to this play would be like giving away the ending to "National Lampoon's Vacation", so I will refrain from doing so, but... things aren't looking good for the Jews again.
There is some gunfire, so be prepared to...hear gunfire, I guess. I know I haven't mentioned all the wonderful people in this show, including Eric Schroeder as the creepy sex guy, and the real winner of this show, Heather Gilbert (lighting designer) but everyone else can suck it because this review is so long already.
Go see Cabaret and get ready for the best Aryan party you can find this side of the Mason Dixon line!!
-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach