Set in 1930s Germany where anti-Jewish and pro-Nazi sentiment is starting to escalate, Cabaret is a dark story of hiding away from your troubles and avoiding the increasing difficulties of the real world in favour of a world of parties, booze, and carefree ignorance. Our entry point into 1930s Berlin and the Kit Kat Klub, is Clifford Bradshaw, an American author on the road to write his next novel and drawn to Berlin to teach English. Cliff quickly becomes embroiled in a love affair with the star of the club’s cabaret, Sally Bowles, as well as some illegal political posturing, both of which increasingly make his life of escapism harder to drown himself in.
Cabaret is the first production from Carleton Musical Theatre Society, a new student company operating out of Carleton University. As a brand new student theatre company (sort of, they do have roots with Carleton’s other student company, Sock ‘n Buskin), they aren’t equipped with the talent pool, reputation, or resources of say, Orpheus (Ottawa’s resident community musical experts), but the upstart company has managed to make the most of what they did have to do an overall good job tackling an ambitious musical. One that doesn’t suffer from any loss of production value with a great live orchestra, strong design and many of their costumes, particularly the risque ones, donated by Wicked Wanda’s.Read the full review.