Parties are occasions for gala celebrations, for feasting and festivities that mark birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and baby births. They highlight and overshadow the ordinary days and make us forget our troubles, if only for mere hours in time. What if all one did was party, dancing as fast as one could, to avoid the realities right outside pounding on the door?
Welcome to the seemingly beautiful world of pre-World War II Berlin where the patrons of the Kit Kat Klub, led by the flamboyant Master of Ceremonies, are partying as if their lives depend on it. Music Theatre of Connecticut in Westport has a seat for you, front and center at their intimate black box stage, to witness the frantic, frenzy of fun that is forced as the carousel spins faster and more feverishly out of control.
Weekends until Sunday, November 20, MTC will present a fascinating peek behind the frivolity of the smash musical hit “Cabaret,” based on the book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.
Eric Scott Kincaid is the sinister and persuasive Emcee, dedicated to seeing you have a good time, cautioning you to leave your worries behind. For your entertainment, he has the delightful Sally Bowles, a sparkling Melissa Carlile-Price, to sing such songs as “Don’t Tell Mama” and “ Cabaret.” The opportunistic Sally has latched on to the newly arrived to Berlin American writer Cliff Bradshaw, played engagingly by Ryan Reilly, who hopes to gain inspiration for his novel. With Sally as his muse, Cliff settles in to Fraulein Schneider’s (Dorothy Stanley) rooming house and mingles with the other residents, Fraulein Kost (Marty Bongfeldt) who entertains in a more intimate way sailors like Johnny Orenberg and Herr Schultz (Stuart Zagnit) who runs a fruit store and doesn’t realize the dangers that his Jewish faith will pose.
Cliff is quickly befriended by Ernst Ludwig, a devious Daniel Robert Sullivan, who wants him to carry out personal projects for him, to earn money, and help Ernst’s cause. When Cliff realizes Ernst is a Nazi, he is appalled. While Sally has her eyes closed to the truth, Cliff sees all too clearly how the world is slipping off its axis. Kevin Connors directs a splendid cast in a “perfectly marvelous” way.
For tickets ($25-45), call MTC, 246 Post Road East, Colonial Green, Westport (lower level) at 203-454-3883 or online at www.musictheatreofct.com. Performances are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Let the occupants of Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub entice you to relax with a drink, a dance and a song as they prepare a new script for Germany’s tomorrows.