Cabaret | Cahn Auditorium, Northwestern University | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Cabaret Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Wednesdays, Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 25 2013

Based on gay British writer Christopher Isherwood's autobiographical "Berlin Stories," this iconic musical concerns an aspiring novelist's sojourn in Germany on the eve of the Third Reich, and his oddball romance with a female nightclub singer. Joe Masteroff's script for the show's 1966 Broadway premiere made the writer a dully conventional leading man; later revisions explored his bisexuality, adding an interesting complexity to the central love story. Light Opera Works' uninvolving revival returns to the original script, which has not aged well; the performances, under Stacey Flaster's direction, are shallow and unconvincing. But the music, directed by Roger L. Bingaman, bristles with the excitement that's otherwise missing. Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb's superb score, enhanced by Don Walker's crisp original Broadway arrangements, skillfully evokes late-1920s Berlin with Charlestons, polkas, folk melodies, and just a dab of expressionist dissonance. —Albert Williams

Price: $32-$92

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