It is August 1st! Good morning! Katie Spelman, director/choreographer of our Cabaret came to town yesterday and began the day in a production meeting with Paramount’s technical and design team discussing their plans for her very evocative and physical production. Based on Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories, two semi-biographical novellas inspired by his adventures as a young writer in Weimar Republic Germany, Spelman’s production serves the novelist’s experience, every word of Joe Masteroff’s book and every beat of Kander and Ebb’s musical theatre masterpiece. That said…
you are going to see a Cabaret unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
The images presented at the conference table from set designer Scott Davis, costume designer Mieka van der Ploeg and wig designer Katie Cordts, depict this underworld nightclub and its inhabitants of a society careening into the Nazi takeover. It’s exquisitely beautiful, specific and yet a personal expression from this artistic team. Divine Decadence, indeed. Spelman’s idea is for the story to unspool from the young protagonist’s typewriter, as if from his head, the people and places appear like a memory, an elongated flashback. Think of how intensified certain memories are of what happened in the past. How sounds, colors and emotions are exaggerated stirring or jarring our recollection. Add to that what was happening in the auditions later that afternoon into last night. The times lives lived in then have a certain relevance to our own. Scene after scene, the actors dig into a reality, an energy electrified with humanity; the roaring fun of the 20’s and the desperation and survival enduring what was beginning in 1931. And all of it played to one of the greatest Broadway shows ever written; nominated in 1966 for 11 Tony Awards and winning 8 including Best Musical and Best Original Score.
All in a day’s work.
Love & thanks,