News > Review: What If? Production’s “Cabaret”

CabKostBy: Matt Dobie

Dark and gritty, hilarious and heartbreaking, Cabaret is musical theater at its best: thought provoking and brimming with complex emotions, wonderfully realized by the cast and crew of What If? Productions.

Set in 1931 Berlin, the story centers on the English cabaret performer Sally Bowles, her relationship with the American writer Cliff Bradshaw, and the seedy nightlife at her place of employment, the Kit Kat Klub.

As I said, it is a dark tale and one that cannot be fully appreciated by all ages. It is intended for adults, both for its overt sexuality and its grim undertones. But it is remarkably fun and lively, and it is this unique juxtaposition that makes for such an enriching experience. Mixing irreverent humor with fear and impending doom, and to do so in such a cohesive manner, is truly a marvel. There are absolutely no consistency issues even when switching from a laugh-out-loud ditty about a ménage à trois to a disturbing scene with a Hitler puppet singing, “Tomorrow Belongs To Me.”

There are many memorable characters and all the players perform admirably, but I’d be remiss to not fawn over the performance of Brian Porter as the Emcee. He is flamboyant and ghoulish, outrageous and terrifying. He is unabashed and in your face. He is cold and lurking behind every scene. Truly, a standout performance.

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The musical numbers are adeptly performed and the live 5-piece jazz orchestra accompanies without a hitch. My only gripe is the band occasionally drowns out the vocals, and important lyrics that may have been divulged fall unappreciated and unheard.

A story about the fragility of human experience and the uncertainty the future holds is as poignant now as ever. Experiencing this profound artistic achievement, dark as it may have been, couldn’t help but leave me in high spirits. Grab your tickets now, Cabaret only runs through December 19th.

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Posted on December 12, 2015 by Stacy.

Categories: Performing Arts, Review

Tags: Brian J Porter, Brian Porter, Cabaret, Theater, What If Productions

Comments (2)

  1. Pingback by PERFORMING ARTS PROFILE: 34 WEST – matt dobie on January 25, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    […] Now they have it. A cozy, quaint joint located at 200 Meeting Street. “When we found this place, it was a yogurt shop,” says Wayne. “And when we designed it, we wanted people the moment they walked in the door to already be experiencing the show.” Read full review at The Art Mag. […]

  2. Pingback by REVIEW: CABARET – matt dobie on January 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    […] As I said, it is a dark tale and one that cannot be fully appreciated by all ages. It is intended for adults, both for its overt sexuality and its grim undertones. But it is remarkably fun and lively, and it is this unique juxtaposition that makes for such an enriching experience. Read full review at The Art Mag. […]

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