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The decadent Emcee Leo Ash Evens sets the mood for the show as
he rises up from a hole in the stage floor singing “Wilkommen.”
At once exuberant and darkly mischievous, the emcee right away
leads an audience to realize things are not going to become sunny
and carefree — as is often the case in stage musicals. Evens has
played this role before and stands out as a symbol of pre-WWII
Berlin’s seedy nightlife.
Storm clouds are gathering over Germany nightly as “Cabaret” by
Kander and Ebb plays out at the Arvada Center, with its parallel
stories of well-drawn characters — and its shocking finale.
Christy Montour-Larson demonstrates a sure hand as director,
with a fine cast, a lively band and excellent production features:
set, costumes, sound and lighting design, which blend into the
A Kit Kat Club Band is on a light-edged, raised stage, composed
of actors with instruments — dressed in drag attire, while the
other musicians are behind them. Curving stairs are on either side
of the stage, joining in a walkway across the top.
One meets Sally Bowles (Kendal Hartse) and the chorus girls and
boys, as writer Cliff Bradshaw sits at a side table.
Bradshaw is portrayed by actor Brett Aune, who once was a high
school actor in Littleton and a frequent face in Denver area
theaters for a number of years. He is a polished Equity member now,
although this is his first appearance at Arvada Center.
His British writer character has come to Berlin to complete a
book, apparently somewhat clueless about the political situation.
Sally Bowles sees him as a possible answer to her many problems,
and moves in.
Fraulein Schneider, Bradshaw’s landlady, and her elderly Jewish
lover Herr Schultz are perfectly played by skilled stage veterans
Billie McBride and Wayne Kennedy in a particularly poignant romance
and aftermath. Gabriella Cavallero is the resident whore, Fraulein
Kost, who betrays Herr Schultz as a Jew to Nazi businessman Ernest
Ludwig (Jeffrey Roark).
“Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” the Nazi anthem sung by a sweet boy
soprano voice is chilling at this point as the story takes a
For many in the audience, this is a segment from a history book,
but for some of us, it dredges up vivid memories. In either case,
it’s a strong piece, well presented. Not appropriate for little
kids, but it would reach teens who have only read a bit about the
If you go:
“Cabaret” by Kander and Ebb plays through April 17 at Arvada
Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada. Performances: 7:30 p.m.
Tuesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. Wednesdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays,
Sundays. Tickets start at $49. www.arvadacenter.org,
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