Mermaid Break for CABARET!

I’ve touched on it a little before but my theater partner in crime is my Nanie.  She is my mom’s only sister and godmother to me and my other 2 sisters.  I don’t have as close of a relationship with my godfather as my sisters have with theirs.  Because of that my  Nanie and I kind of have a special bond.  One thing we share is our love for theater.  She was the reason I had season tickets to Theatre Baton Rouge for so many years.  She was the reason I went to my first touring company show, Les Miserables.  Since we saw that first touring show we started to take trips to go see shows in different places.  At the time not many big shows were coming to the Baton Rouge area so we went to Texas.  We saw Wicked, Spring Awakening, Mamma Mia, and Spamalot.  The last touring show we saw was the first year I got married.  So we haven’t done a theater trip in over 5 years.  At Christmas she kept asking me what I wanted.  I thought really long and hard and couldn’t come up with anything.  Finally I called her and said you know what I would like more than anything….a theater trip.  She agreed 100% so we started looking for shows.  Money is a little tighter than it used to be so Texas was out but we could pull off New Orleans.  Neither of us had ever been to the Saenger Theater so we started looking there.  Our choices came down to Beauty and the Beast, Kinky Boots or Cabaret.  I chose Cabaret!

We planned the day with lunch at a nice restaurant and then a matinee of the show.  Well the food was so good it deserves its own blog so look for that later.  My Nanie suffers from asthma, and after the food and the walking and the traffic and the more walking then the parking garage with no elevator it was all kinda getting to her.  So we were getting close to curtain time and trying to hurry.  Of course there is an elevator there but we can’t seem to find it.  Once we find the elevator we then find that we have a nice set of stairs to get up to get to our seats.  I was so worried she wasn’t going to feel well after all that and not enjoy herself.  But she did ok and made it and was able to get relaxed and settled before the show started.  As I started looking around I was able to take it all in.  The Saenger is beautiful.  It is incredibly opulent.  Its just gaudy enough to be awesome.

I am usually a big researcher before going to a show.  I like to know the characters, the entire plot.  Its not that I want to spoil it for myself its just that I just love finding out as much as I can.  Well this time I was so busy working on stuff for the Little Mermaid I didn’t have time to research the show.  So as it was going I found myself getting anxious because I didn’t know what was going to happen.

Prior to this I had seen the movie from 1972 of the same name with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey.  I knew it was set in Nazi Germany.  I knew there were things going on with the Holocaust.  I just didn’t pay enough attention at the time.  The version of the show we saw was just like the 1998 Broadway revival starring Alan Cummings.  I have watched the opening number with Alan as the Emcee so many times I can’t even count.  I was very pleased with the Emcee in our show.  I also really liked the Sally in our show.  There were parts that surprised me.  Characters I didn’t realize I would like so much became my favorite.  Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider’s relationship was my favorite of the whole show.  The dance with the pineapple (shown above) was one of my favorite moments.  I can say for sure that the ending kind of punched me in the gut.  It left the show with a very somber ending.  And there was nothing that brought you out of that sadness and shock.  They came out for bows and almost no one made noise other than clapping.

My favorite thing of the whole show was something that surprised me.  Since I’ve working some backstage stuff since the last time I’d seen a touring show I paid attention to different things.  My favorite thing was the lighting.  The use of the light that looked as though the room was dark with just a fan going, the light shining through the door with just enough shining through to spotlight Sally, the lighting that made it look as thought the dancers were in a box car and finally when the stage moved and it looked as though they were exiting the box car and getting out at a concentration camp.  Just amazing!  I also loved the orchestra being on stage for the whole show.

All in all completely great show.  I would recommend for a little older audience just because they have some lewd dancing and jokes that may not be appropriate for kiddos.  I also had the very best time with my Nanie.  I can’t wait for our next adventure.

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