Cabaret: Glitz in underwear

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

In a time when a powerful dictatorship wanted to conquer the world, to enforce anti-Semitism and to alter humanity’s way of living, there was a single voice. In Berlin during the 1930’s that voice spoke through painted lips and said, “Cabaret.” Along with the red glossy lipstick, two inch sparkled eye lashes and skimpy tutus, an escape was created. This was an escape from the war, the politics and Nazism.

Cabaret is a dark musical based on a powerful love affair in a setting reminiscent to one of the world’s darkest times. Based on the play I am a Camera by John van Druten and the book by Joe Matseroff. Director Raymond Peterson said this compelling drama not only appeals to the audience from an emotional standpoint, but also brings to mind political issues that occur in today’s society.

Peterson will be conducting his 37th year at SDSU. He said in his time there has never there been a drama like Cabaret. “It is such an unusual musical, with an ample amount of history,” Peterson said.

Peterson went on to explain how Cabaret is basically “real world vs. cabaret”. The setting was in the Kit Kat Klub but was battling everything going on in the 30’s, mainly overshadowing World War II. This club was an escape from it all. “We are dealing with a very serious subject matter, ” said Peterson.

Wes Haskell, a junior communication studies and theater major, plays an American writer who travels to Berlin. While there, he meets a German man, Ernst Ludwig, played by Nolan Hayes, a senior speech communications major, who tells him about a nightclub that features cabaret. There he meets an English singer named Sally Bowles, played by Erin Brubakken, a senior communication studies major.

“Sally is very flamboyant and crazy, but in a way that you can’t help but like her,” Brubakken said.

Blake Erickson, a senior speech communications major, plays the Emcee, who is described as a comedic character that brings the entire show together. The Emcee has a mixture of dialogue in English, French and German. Erickson’s character has a white face and red lips, but this fun- loving character is no clown; he simply wants to make sure everybody has a great time.

“This has been my dream role for about ten years,” Erickson said.

Melissa Hauschild, the choreographer for Cabaret, explains how the performance will incorporate large elements of jazz, social dance and tap dance. She created movement themes for common thematic material throughout the show.

Most performers had roughly one to two weeks to learn all the material. “I applaud the actors for learning the pieces in such a short time period,” said Hauschild.

“I want people to enjoy the show and appreciate all its elements, especially since this is a show nobody has ever seen on campus,” Hayes said.

“If you come to Cabaret, do not expect a fairy tale ending,” Brubakken said.

“This performance will make you come to grips with reality in this day and age,” Peterson said. “It may be rather somber, but I hope they leave humming Cabaret, if nothing else.”

The performance will be held on Oct. 24-27 in the Doner Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee on Oct. 27 at 2:00 p.m.