"Cabaret" at Silhouette Stages
Life is a cabaret, ol’ chum!
Come to the cabaret…
I’ve been assisting Silhouette Stages’ photographic needs for their production of Cabaret for a few months now, and I’ve been enjoying the ride the whole time. Cabaret first came into my life when I first transferred to Towson University. Towson’s theatre program does a musical once every other year, and there happened to be auditions for Cabaret my first semester. I auditioned, knowing practically nothing about the show— just knowing I wanted to be in a musical— and ended up making it to the final round of callbacks for the female lead! I didn’t end up getting cast, but I did assist the production by being a deck hand. I ended up falling in love with the show, hoping that one day, I’d get to perform in it myself! I actually wanted to audition for this production of Cabaret, but I ended up performing in Heathers instead, and rehearsals would’ve conflicted too much. However, I’m so glad I ended up being Cabaret’s photographer, because being able to watch the show, and bring its moments to life was incredible.
From Wikipedia: Cabaret is a 1966 musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Joe Masteroff, based on John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera, which was adapted from the short novel Goodbye to Berlin (1939) by Christopher Isherwood. Set between 1929-1930 in Berlin as the N*zis are rising to power, it focuses on the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around American writer Cliff Bradshaw and his relationship with English cabaret performer Sally Bowles. A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub. The club serves as a metaphor for ominous political developments in late Weimar Germany.
Director Stephen Foreman did a wonderful job bringing such an emotionally wrenching story to life. Yes, Cabaret has racy, sexual content, but as he said in his director’s note, “I have always been disappointed that many productions I’ve seen are presented as a raunchy piece of shock theatre. Cabaret is so much more.” The Kit Kat Club has scantily dressed people showing off their assets, but, you can not forget that this play is set in Berlin in 1930. The sexual exploration and creative expression, is all about to be shut down.
I also adored Amie Bell’s choreography. I may be a bit biased because she’s the mother of one of my close childhood friends, but I do think the flair she brings to every production she choreographs is stylized, sharp, unique, and smart. She always challenges the actors to become better movers, not just in the dancing, but in how they present their entire bodies on stage. Every part of the body with every gesture is intentional, and each song tells its own story.
Elements of theatre that I tend to not pay attention to (unless they’re poorly done!) are lighting and sound design. Cabaret at Silhouette Stages made me pay attention to the lights and sound. Lighting Designer TJ Lukacsina and Sound Designer Ben Kinder made some really intelligent decisions to keep the audience engaged. Can you tell I got my degree in Theatre Studies?
Cabaret will be playing at the Slayton House Theatre in Columbia, MD from 5/17-6/2. Tickets can be purchased here.
See more photos from the production on Facebook!
Please note that Cabaret takes place in Germany during H*tler's rise to power. The show contains actors portraying N*zi soldiers and supporters, and has images of swastikas. Silhouette Stages and Stasia Steuart Photography do not condone N*zi ideology.
Director: Stephen Foreman
Music Director: Michael Tan
Choreographer: Amie Bell
Stage Management: Felix Cooke and Rebecca Hanauer
Set Design: Stephen Foreman and Alex Porter
Props: Megan Mostow and Rebecca Hanauer
Lighting Design: TJ Lukascina
Sound Design: Ben Kinder
Costumes: Clare Kneebone and Tommy Malek
Makeup: Clare Kneebone
Wigs: Tommy Malek