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Hot Ticket: Life is a 'Cabaret'

By Barbara Fredricksen
Published January 5, 2006

Some people have called John Kander and Fred Ebb's Cabaret the dark mirror image of their razzle-dazzle earlier hit, Chicago.

Both are cynical and sassy, both decry decadence, both poke fun at the gullible masses.

But Chicago shows America's comical fascination with celebrity, making heroines out of man-killers. Cabaret, set in pre-war Nazi Germany, is far darker, filled with genuine tragedy.

Friday through Feb. 26, the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson takes on Cabaret, under the direction of the venue's artistic director, Matthew McGee. It stars Laura Lynne Tapper (Sugar in Some Like It Hot and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof) as the wanton but vulnerable American expatriate Sally Bowles, and Chris Layton (Annie, Whorehouse at Naples Dinner Theatre) as the mocking master of ceremonies at the sleazy Kit Kat Klub, a haven for those wanting to escape reality.

Sally, the darling of the Kit Kat stage, meets an earnest, but sexually confused, young writer with writer's block, Clifford Bradshaw (Michael Lundy), who agrees to let Sally live with him in a boarding house, despite a disapproving landlady, Fraulein Schneider (Susan Haldeman, Nancy in Oliver!). The fraulein has her own problems - a devoted suitor (Paul Andres, Alfred in My Fair Lady), who happens to be Jewish.

Producers have eliminated much of the coarse language in the original script, but because of the mature themes and situations, the show is not recommended for children.

Cabaret, matinees and evenings Friday through Feb. 26 at Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. Doors open two hours before each show for buffet and cash bar. Dinner and show, $41; show only, $29.95, plus tax and tip. Call 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll free elsewhere at 1-888-655-7469.

- BARBARA FREDRICKSEN, Times staff writer

[Last modified January 4, 2006, 11:17:07]

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