I love me some classic, yet ahead of its time theater and one of my favorites is Cabaret. Even if you have never seen this musical, I’m sure you have heard one or two of its iconic songs. [HERE is a link to the musical highlights, I urge you to get nostalgic (or educated) and check it out.] It’s too bad something came up for Brittany and she couldn’t make this one, but I was so excited to be able to take my friend Tara who has never been to a live musical. After grabbing a really good, well priced burger (we definitely recommend Popson’s as your dinner before the show) we crossed the street and headed into the beautiful Golden Gate Theatre to (hopefully) demonstrate to Tara the magic of live theater.
Katie: I love that I was with you for your first live musical! So how was it?
Tara: It was what I had expected. I’ve seen some theater but not much in my life, being from Florida and Arizona. I would say that the engagement with the audience was more than I anticipated and I really enjoyed that.
K: For me, overall, there was a lack of chemistry between characters, but there was some great individual performances. Who was your favorite character?
T: The master of ceremonies for sure. He really engaged with the audience. Although, if I was the one he pulled up out of the crowd to dance with I would have been mortified.
K: At the end a lot of people immediately stood up for a standing ovation, but not us. Why do you think you didn’t immediately stand up for the ovation at the end?
T: I’ve never experienced something that has made me feel like I wanted to stand up…so I’m not sure what that would be, but it wasn’t this.
K: This play didn’t make me want to stand up either. It might be because I’ve seen this play so many times, it’s just no longer exciting. I felt weirdly uninterested in what was going on.
T: The story line itself, while it was sad and people really did experience the scariness of pre-WWII Germany, didn’t bring the intensity of emotion until the end.
K: Would you go see another live musical?
T: Yes, of course. A musical on screen I don’t connect with at all. It loses my focus. Where seeing this live I was able to stay focused and connected with the songs and the actors. Also, I stayed awake the whole time, which says a lot since I’m known for falling asleep during movies.
K: Would you recommend this show to your friends?
T: Yes, totally. Especially friends who don’t go see live theater. I’m a big fan of doing something new, something different. Don’t just stick with the same’ol same’ol. Experiences like these are important. I mean, what good is sitting alone in your room? (wink, wink)
The Verdict: This show is a must see for those who have never seen Cabaret. If you have seen it this might not meet all your expectations, so consider getting rush or Goldstar tickets and save for some upcoming big Broadway touring shows. (such as Beautiful, Hedwig & the Angry Inch, or Hamilton – I know we CAN’T wait for those shows!)
The Drama Talk: This 1966 musical still holds up as a fearless, beautiful and important piece of musical theater. It’s been revived 8 times for a reason. With that said, there was something about this revival and cast that felt business as usual. There was very little surprises for those who are familiar with this musical, and for those who are unfamiliar it’s entertaining but due to a lack of character chemistry and complicated production value aren’t necessarily blown away.
The Drinks: There are quite a few options near the Golden Gate Theater. We recommend crossing the street to a bar called Showdown.
Cabaret runs through July 17th, at the Golden Gate Theatre. Tickets range from $50 – $212 and are available through the SHN website. They are doing in-person AND mobile $40 rush tickets, which is pretty cool. Visit the show’s homepage to find link to the mobile app. There are also currently sometickets on Goldstar selling for $55-$110.