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‘Cabaret’ a devilishly risque performance

Show brings music from the 1930s back to life for a CSU audience

By Aziza Doleh

November 21, 2013

“Oh my” are the words that come to mind when watching Cleveland State University Department of Theater and Dance’s rendition of “Cabaret”. Very energetic, very risqué and very talented to make the night feel like you have entered a club in 1930.

“Cabaret” a musical based on stories of original short stories by Christopher Isherwood and based on the play by John Van Druten. Directed by Russ Borski, music director by David Robison choreographed by Amy Compton and book by Joe Masteroff and the music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.

The musical begins with an outstanding opening number in part to a phenomenal performance by Nathaniel Leeson. The show is very risqué touched on some racy topics: hardship, warfare, sexual orientation, inflation, and separation of the poor and the wealthy.

The direction Russ Borski went with the show is fantastic. The set design being setup as though you have entered a club back in the 30s, having what I believe was a sugar mist to make it seem like there is smoke in air, which is very clever and gave you the sense of a smoking club vibe. The lighting is well lit when needed never too much and never too little.

Nathaniel Leeson, as Emcee, played the character with perfection as though the role is written for him.

His performance is comical throughout with a bit of an edge; he is the highlight of the entire show. Emma Clark as Sally Bowles, she is as gorgeous as her performance is. She can sing, she can dance and she can act, and what a triple threat she is.

Another highlight of the night is the performances by Joyce Ellen Carroll, as Fraulein Schneider and Jeffrey Croghan, as Herr Schultz, if I am not mistaken are part of Project 60 (classes taken by seniors 60 years or older) that Cleveland State offers. These two performers were as cute as cotton candy with wonderful talent to spare.

Every song performed is sung beautifully and in tune. The cast will continue to perform at “The Helen” Allen Theatre Complex Nov. 14-24.

For ticket and more information go to playhousesquare.org.