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July 26, 1983 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1983-07-26

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, July 26, 1983 - Page 11
Cabaret'pleases and teases
By Katie Brewer

"E VERYWHERE THERE IS toil and
trouble but here we'll have
fun..." is the promise that the Perfor-
mance Network extends.to patrons that
may stumble upon their performance of
the stylish musical Cabaret. It is an
ambitious promise and one that they
must struggle to keep.
Cabaret is a stirring tale of love and
suffering that takes place against the
background of the wildness and con-
fusion of Germany between the world
wars. Clifford Bradshaw is an
American who travels to Berlin to write
his great novel. Instead, he encounters
Sally Bowles, played by Kara Miller, a
dancing girl at the Kit Kat Klub who
dabbles in love affairs as if they were a
passing hobby. Interspersed with the
plot development we are taken to the
nightclub itself where we hear from the
emcee, played by Hans Friedrichs, who
assures us that life is just a cabaret.
The musical interludes are bright and
flashy and in some cases rather

amusing. The chorus girls, played by
Susan Filipiak, Alicia Hunter, Asa
Thorpe, Stephanie Burt, Sandra Nutt,
and Margaret Wright, do a splendid job
of singing and dancing in a fleshy
display of good humor.
As a special treat, the orchestra is a
harmonic blend of piano, violin, trum-
pet, accordion, and percussion perfor-
med by Susan Topol, Kim McAdam,
Gary Reynolds, Vicki Renda, and Chris
Willett.
The dramatic scenes, while presen-
ting and developing the plot, leave us
cold. The love affair between Cliff and
Sally is a whirl of scenes that happen so
fast and are played with so little sen-
sitivity that the audience can hardly
sympathize with their tragedy. In con-
trast, the audience can relate better to
the romance of Fraulein Schneider and
Herr Schultz.
Fine performances are also given by
David Gordon and Leslie McCurdy as
well as the male chorus, which includes
Paul Katz, Robert Douglas, Mark

Ernst Ludwig (David Gordon - left) and Cli f radshaw (Reuben Yabuku)
attempt to settle their differences in the Performance Network's production
of 'Cabaret.'

Scheffler, and Lee Osler.
For music lovers, Cabaret is worth
the investment of $7 ($5 on Sunday).
Others may need to look beyond the
lack of substance in the main love affair

and contemplate the ideas behind the
plot instead. The Performance Network
is located at 408 West Washington and
showings are at 8 p.m. on August 5,6,12,
and 13 and 6:30 p.m. on August 7 and 14.

Two out of three amn't bad
(Continued from Page 10)

end a sad moment. They successfully
evoke the universal sadness of the
death of a spouse, combined with the
melancholy of having lost the garden.
Both of these work to give the play a
gentle closure and cause several mem-
bers of the audience to wipe away a
stray tear.
The second of the trilogy, and the
second best show, was "The Lady or
The Tiger," a semi-serious, semi-spoof
musical based on the ancient Chinese
myth by the same name and adapted
from Frank R. Stockton's version of the
tale.
Wendy Garther Bloom, as Princess
Barbar, the brassy daughter of King

Arik, (Glenn Cooley), is appealing in
singing voice and characterization.
King Arik forbids Barbara's love for
Captain Sanjar, played by James
Newton.
The chorus, dressed in black tights,
wearing ropes which look like
macrame plant hangers and sequin
robes, are a bit overbearing as is
the trumpet playing in the background
which sounds like car horns honking.
Overall the play is enjoyable and
carried off with alight spirit.
The only serious mistake of the
evening is the third part of the trilogy
and possibly the worst script ever writ-
ten, "Passionella" by Jules Fieffer who
should perhaps stick to cartooning on

the New York Times.
"Passionella," despite the cast's sin-
cere efforts, is an insipid, banal, utterly
unendurable musical about a chimney
sweep, Rebecca Boeve, who is changed
into a movie star, Passionella, by her
fairy godmother. The play can be seen
as a parody of the archetypical Cin-
derella fairy tale, but the cast doesn't
play it this way. They play it straight.
Taken seriously the only message the
play has is that Passionella was better
off as Ella, not a very profound moral.
"Passionella" does not match up to
the other two parts of the trilogy, but if
you go see the first two parts and leave
before the third show you will have an
entertaining evening at the theater.

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