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“Cabaret,” for all its deceptive air of festivity, is in fact savagely serious, a tough-minded snapshot of Weimar Germany on the eve of Hitler’s ascent to power, and Mr. Mendes’ sleazed-up staging, which put the emphasis on the show’s pitch-black side, was—to put it very, very mildly—not the sort of thing you’d expect a resort-town theater to present.
So it is fine news that this “Cabaret,” directed by BT McNicholl and choreographed by Andrea Leigh in the distinctive manner of the Mendes-Marshall staging, has neither been censored nor watered down. Ogunquit has even taken the trouble to reproduce the original sets, designed by Robert Brill, and rent the down-and-dirty costumes created by William Ivey Long in 1998. If you saw “Cabaret” at the Roundabout, you’ll know what you’re getting—and you’ll know not to take the kids, either…
I was writing review when word came of the death of Harold Prince. Our paths never crossed during his lifetime, and I wish I had gone out of my way to tell him how much I admired him. Alas, he had long since ceased to be a major force in American theater by the time I became the Journal’s drama critic—his last hit, “Show Boat,” opened in 1994, nine years before I filed my first review—and neither of the two shows of his that I covered in this space, “LoveMusik” and “Prince of Broadway,” merited a rave. By then he had lost his uncanny feel for the moment, one of the things that had helped to make him so significant an artist.
Yet a giant he still was, one in whose long shadow we all work today….
* * *Read the whole thing here.
The trailer for Cabaret: