Friday, August 12, 2016


 The ostrich was known for sticking its head in the sand and ignoring the world around it.  The same could be argued for the citizens of Berlin in 1930 when they kept themselves busy partying and dancing and drinking, faster and faster, so they were oblivious to the dangers swirling around them outside the night club doors.  In this case it is the Kit Kat Klub and you are invited inside to witness the insidious changes that the party goers are blind to seeing and acknowledging.  

The Chestnut Street Playhouse in Norwich has your table waiting until  Sunday, August 28, as  it recreates the frantic and frenetic times created so masterfully by Joe Masteroff’s book, John Kander’s music and Fred Ebb’s lyrics in “Cabaret,” based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood.

The welcome mat is securely laid out by the seductive and most accommodating Emcee Emilio Guzman who urges you to leave all your troubles outside and have a good time, especially with his bevy of Kit Kat Girls to entertain you, Sarah Mock, Heather Spiegel Auden, Emily Elsemore, Debra Slezak, Amanda Nelson and Kristen Rizzi. Headlining the show is the sparkling singer from Mayfair, England, Miss Sally Bowles, a stars in her eyes Jennifer McPherson, who is busy breezing through life seemingly without a care. She dangles men like so much jewelry, using them to accommodate her needs, like the club owner Max (Michael Vernon Davis) and the newcomer to Berlin, the American writer Cliff Bradshaw, the naive but trusting Jason Sedgwick.

On the train into town, Cliff meets the dangerously single minded Ernst Ludwig, a focused for the cause Andrew Goehring, who helps Cliff secure a room at the boarding house of Fraulein Schneider, a hard working and sincere Angela Dias.  She is busy keeping track of her tenants like the overly friendly to sailors Fraulein Kost, a convincing Barbara Schreier, and the greengrocer Herr Schultz, Justin Carroll, who wants to make her his wife.  The fact that he is Jewish becomes an obstacle of elephantine proportions.

Light hearted fun in songs like “Don’t Tell Mama” segue in alarming ways to the themes of “Tomorrow BelongsTo Me,” as it echoes the Nazi message, and the hidden in plain sight discrimination of “If You Could See Her,” as the Emcee dances with his monkey friend.  Meanwhile dark clouds obscure the sun, foreshadowing the storm to come, as David Fenn directs this musical with hidden fangs in a decidedly wicked and “wunderbar” way.

For tickets ($25), call the Chestnut Street Playhouse, 24 Chestnut Street, Norwich at 860- 886-2378 or online at
Performances are Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Scrap off the glitter on the surface of the Kit Kat Klub and discover that all is not beautiful, no matter how hard the Emcee tries to make you believe it is so.

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