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by Archives September 21, 2005

The First Class Theatre launches its 2005-2006 season with the revival of one of the most beloved musicals of all time. A bold decision, but one that clearly sets the stage for a promising new season.

It has been almost 40 years since Cabaret debuted on Broadway. But despite the slew of Tony Awards under its belt, can one of the longest running musicals stand the test of time?

From the first notes of Willkomen, the answer is obvious: yes. The skirts are still as short, the mood is still as sexy, and the seductresses… well, they can’t get much more seductive. Cabaret is the proof that musicals are not dying; they are alive and well.

An American novelist is whisked in a whirlwind of music, lust and deception as he enters Berlin’s famous Kit Kat Klub. There, he befriends Sally Bowles, the local star of the Cabaret, who will take him through a rollercoaster ride of emotions, changing his life and his perception of it.

As the Nazis rise to power, the Germans look for ways they can overcome their troubles; solutions often include drinking, smoking and flirting with the local Kit Kat Girls, the dancers of the cabaret. Through the Master of Ceremonies, we witness the shift in political power as Berlin beseiged by war.

Set in the post-depression era, Cabaret has a whole new meaning today; the 9/11 events are still fresh in our collective memory. The rise of the Nazis is not such an alienating concept to us as it might have been a few years earlier. One cannot help but be sympathetic to people whose lives will be altered by forces well beyond their control.

Cabaret was brought to the big screen in 1972, winning a total of 8 Academy Awards, including best actress for Liza Minnelli and best director for Bob Fosse.

Cabaret has found its perfect stage, as the Saidye Bronfman Theatre provides all the intimacy of a real-life cabaret. The spectator is part of the play, taken back to the era of the French Can-Can, sharing the ups and downs, laughter and tears of the entire troup. On a stage plastered with multicolored lights and mirrors reminiscent of the disco days, the musical numbers and dialogues roll in a frenzy.

Naomi Costain leads a talented cast, shining as Sally Bowles, a mighty showgirl by night, but vulnerable woman by day. Costain is no stranger to playing showgirls; she has recently starred in Chicago, where she portrayed murderous showgirl, Roxie Hart, the role Ren

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