From Our Cohorts: November 5th , 2019
This session (12:00pm – 3:30pm) was the first complete read-through of the play/show with the entire cast. The rehearsal room was quite crowded with the full cast (seated in a semi-circle), the directing staff, and various ATC staff and Cohort Club members.
As the cast worked through the songs and choruses it became clear that they have already developed a strong esprit de corps, often applauding each other at the end of their various numbers. At the end of the run-through the director, Sara Bruner, invited the cast to talk about what had struck them most about the day’s work. This was fascinating and the discussion reflected what is, to me, the great challenge of the show. On the one hand it is toe-tapping entertainment yet, on the other, it is a play about a most dangerous period of history, namely Germany in the late 1920s.
I recall seeing a production of Cabaret about twenty years ago. My impression of that production was that the emphasis was on entertainment. But times have changed. The comments by the cast indicated that they are very much aware of the historical/political context of the play and its resonances today. When the audience leaves a performance of this production, will they be humming the tunes or wondering about history repeating itself? The director clearly wants the production to succeed on both counts.
Michael Tabor, Cohort Club member