By Jiaxuan Meng
On the evening of March 6th, 2020, Cabaret, a famous Broadway musical which includes smoke, haze, violence, nudity, and profanity was performed in Krannert Center for Performing Arts to celebrate Krannert Center’s 50-year partnership with School of Music, Illinois.
This musical is based on a book by Joe Masteroff and a play by John Van Druten. Stories are based on a novel Christopher Isherwood and the fascinating music come from John Kander with lyrics by Fred Ebb.
The musical performed a club love story between Cliff and Sally. The story took place in the 1920s and 1930s in Berlin, when Cliff, an American novelist traveled to Berlin to work on a novel. He encountered Sally Bowles who is a sexy singer and dancer at Kit Kat Club.
The music in the musical
I was fascinated by the show at the very beginning mainly because of the happy and energetic music and funny lyrics of the songs. “Wilkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!”
There was an orchestra on the left side of the stage with spotlights on the players. The music played a significant role in interpreting the time and place of the story and the desires and emotions of different characters at different times. In the beginning, the energetic and funny music helped establish a normal cabaret environment.
Later, the music went gentle and sad when Cliff and Sally faced problems and barriers between them. their moods and dilemma were well explained by their action and the music really helped to give a better sense. When Sally sang the song “Maybe this time”, I was impressed and deeply touched by her voice and emotion. I can actually felt her desire to be loved and have a family with Cliff, and I could also feel her dilemma and difficulties in her life. She desired to have the baby she was touched when Cliff was offering a home back America but she was also trapped by her life difficulties. It was very touching with the play of music.
The stage was divided by several parts with mini-stages around which made different scenes well transited. Also, the changing lighting effects. Actors gave performances on separated mini-stages and with different scene setups, making the audiences easily follow the transition and the storyline. The costumes of characters also helped describe the personalities and duties of different characters. The color they picked and the style they chose gave the audience a better understanding of their attitudes and beliefs.
“Wilkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!”
Cabaret is a great and very inspiring musical. I was impressed and enjoyed.