Cabaret Hits Boston Opera House

Posted February 3, 2017 by Dan Miller in Theater & Arts
There could not be a more appropriate setting for Cabaret in Boston than the Opera House. Photo courtesy of Boston Broadway.

It began as a short story, evolved into a play, and then became a movie. Finally, in 1965, Cabaret was adapted for the stage once again, but this time it would be transformed into what most of us know it as today, a musical. Now, Bostonians can join in the decadence of this classic tale as it opens for a run at Boston’s Opera House this January.

Cabaret tells the story of a young American writer, Cliff, who travels to Berlin to work on his new book after the German defeat in WWI, and his love affair with a British cabaret performer, Sally. In this new Weimar Republic, old rules of conservatism are washed away and new fantastic concepts of art, money and gender spring to life.

It is the start of the 1930’s and Berlin has become a haven for artists, and other select communities of outsiders from all over the globe, in spite of a growing Nazi rhetoric spreading through the country. There is a gay and lesbian club scene burgeoning around the city. Social precepts on sexuality have flipped, and acceptance of non-traditional gender roles is the new standard. Ushered in is a new, exciting kind of nightlife wholly unlike anything Germany had ever seen before; the cabaret.

When Cliff Bradshaw first arrives in Berlin, he’s quickly introduced to the Kit Kat Klub, a sordid cabaret that pushes the boundaries of entertainment with intimate, circus-like productions hosted by a master of ceremonies and filled with vaudevillian, brass-heavy tunes. It is a venue meant for the local men and women to escape from the everyday conventions of life, but also an asylum for the cultural elite: writers, artists, scientists, and philosophers. Here, Cliff meets one of the club’s dancers, Sally Bowles, a thirty-something entwined in a difficult relationship with the club’s owner. It’s not long before that romance ends, along with her job and Sally leans on her newfound ally, Cliff. With that begins the “affaire de coeur” which lays the cornerstone for this love story about following your heart as the world pushes you in the opposite direction.

The Roundabout Theater Company brings their Tony Award-winning production of Cabaret to Boston, starting on January 31st and running through February 12th. Presented by Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) and Rob Marshall (Into the Woods, Chicago), Cabaret stars Benjamin Eakeley as Cliff, Andrea Goss as Sally Bowles, and Randy Harrison as the charismatic Kit Kat Klub M.C.

There could not be a more appropriate setting for Cabaret in Boston than the Opera House. Opened in 1928, The Boston Opera House was one of the “finest examples of the vaudeville circuit palace” and is a standing tribute to one of the genre’s great organizers. Located in the heart of Downtown Boston, the Opera House presents a high degree of luxury in it’s interior, which is mischievously hidden from the everyday crowd walking past outside.

Shows happen throughout the week, occurring Tuesday through Sunday, with a recess for performances on Monday. Weekday showtimes begin in the evening, between 7 p.m. And 8 p.m., with a heavier schedule set for weekends, where both daytime and evening performances will be available. Tickets are still on hand for most showtimes but don’t wait too long, as this legendary musical production is sure to sell out.