August 22, 2012
Cabaret the musical opens at new-look Theatre on the Bay
Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome…
It’s always encouraging when theatres, like the often-run shows they host, reinvent themselves to fit in with modern trends, and the Theatre on the Bay does not disappoint. From the chic Side Dish Theatre Bistro, which now offers reasonably priced treats (including brownies, cupcakes and a selection of hot drinks) to the dazzling bar and plush furniture, the theatre’s foyer is a socialising pre- and post-show hub of activity.
Cabaret, of course, is the reason I attended the theatre on Sunday, and while I know I regularly gush about theatrical productions, I do believe this one is a must-see!
Adapted from author Christopher Osherwood’s semi-autobiographical novel, Goodbye to Berlin, Cabaret centres on the unlikely relationship between KitKat Club performer Sally Bowles and the naïve American writer, Clifford Bradshaw, in 1931's post-war Berlin. Local audiences might be more familiar with the 1972 movie adaptation starring Hollywood legend Liza Minnelli.
This latest production is everything a cabaret should be: seductive, cheeky and memorable, and the talented cast does credible justice to the plot, as does the set, costume and light design by Greg King, Neil Stuart-Harris and Tina le Rouz, respectively. “Leave your troubles outside,” says the emcee, and yes, with Cabaret, you can!
Samantha Peo (Chicago, Popcorn and Grease) as Bowles is a revelation to watch. She brings just the right amount of sauciness and vulnerability to the lead role, while her renditions of Cabaret and Maybe This Time gave me goosebumps.
Bryan Hiles (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan) as Bradshaw provides the perfect innocent foil to Peo’s raunchy Sally.
The rest of the ensemble, including Kate Normington and Sascha Halbhuber, are equally captivating to watch, with Charon Williams-Ros and Peter Court getting a special mention for making me fall in love with the star-crossed elderly lovers, Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz.
Cabaret the musical runs at the newly renovated Theatre on the Bay until October 6, 2012. Tickets are between R100 and R250 and are available at Computicket or +27 (0)861 915 8000.