CABARET VERBOTEN at Arts Garage Should Offer A Lesson About Bigotry

587

DELRAY BEACH, FL — It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, straight or gay, believer or non-believer, you will get a lesson in politics, history and tolerance by spending 75 minutes at The Theatre at Arts Garage here, watching its musical summer production, the updated Cabaret Verboten. Despite it’s obvious title, with songs and sketches from and about the Weimar German Republic – the time between the two World Wars — this edition of Cabaret Verbotenby its creator/writer/director Jeremy Lawrence is a modernized version of the musical satire he wrote 16 years ago. Lawrence and producer Lou Tyrell – with an excellent ensemble of four vocalizing performers – somehow have managed to take the music of Germany’s years leading up to Hitler and have given it a modern twist. We encounter attack ads, political shenanigans, discrimination in various forms, tax and spend issues –even “stand your ground” legal issues – items which seem to be more pointed references to pre-election/ nowadays America. It was 1996 —when Tyrell was at Florida Stage (then known as the Pope Theatre Company—that he first produced Lawrence’s’ creative satire which then went on to play world-wide and become recognized as one of the most original revues to come out of America, a forerunner of such Broadway hits as Cabaret and Chicago. Instead of recreating the original version at the Arts Garage, Lawrence has found contemporary issues such as gay rights and a woman’s right to equality as well as maintaining the overt anti-Semitism of pre World War ll Germany. And the transition, works well as both entertainment and a teaching mechanism in its 2012 version. A good part of Cabaret Verboten’s oomph must be credited to an outstanding ensemble – award-winning vocalist Lourelene Snedeker (who was in the original edition in 1966), the multi-talented Wayne LeGette (a veteran leading man who also must get some energy from his Florida Power & Light commercials), and dynamic newcomersPierre Tannous and Alexa Green, all of whom look vivacious and alluring in costumes by Erin Amico. Michael Yannette is the musical director, with dozens of songs and spoofs originally written – appropriately – by Jewish-German composers in the 1920s and 30s. There are memorable numbers throughout the show, especially Tannous doing a transsexual striptease and you will find yourself — if you are old enough — comparing Snedeker to Marlene Dietrich. The entire show is captivating and you will ask yourself how could such awful things happen in a civilized country? There’s a lesson of understanding and tolerance under the charade of blatant bigotry. And that is what makes Cabaret Verboten so important. This show runs through July 29. Call ahead for tickets 561-450-6642.     Amy Pasquantonio Administrative Manager Arts Garage 180 NE 1st Street Delray Beach, FL 33444 artsgarage.com c: 561-371-8558