Review: Cabaret


The Musical Theater Department at Michigan is a wonderful group of highly talented individuals who love their craft. Every performance put on by the department has been well crafted and cast. The skills and passions of these student performers are infectious, especially if you happen to know two or three of them personally.
Cabaret is a very emotional production. Set in Weimar Berlin in the lead up to the rise of the Nazi party, the plot follows Cliff Bradshaw, the American novelist who falls in love with Sally Bowels, a Berlin night club performer. Their lives are tossed between the volatile political circumstances of 1930s Germany and the sordid sexual lifestyle of the Kit Kat Klub.
The performances of Sally, Cliff the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub and the club performers were stunning. The vocal and physical talents of the actors and dancers drew the audience into the emotional experiences of the characters in 1930s Berlin.
Based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel “Goodbye to Berlin,” and John Van Druten’s play “I Am a Camera,” Cabaret is a multi-award winning Broadway production. The production is staged at the University of Michigan for one more weekend. Be sure to reserve your tickets before they are all sold out:
Thursday Oct. 16 – 7:30pm, Friday Oct. 17 – 8:00, Saturday Oct. 18 – 8:00, Sunday Oct. 19 – 2:00 – At the Mendelssohn Theater
Tickets: $10 Students, $22-$28 general admissions


At my first ever showing of RENT, I was thoroughly impressed with the singing and dancing the MUSKET performers presented on opening night November 22 at the Power Center for the Performing Arts. As I sat down to take my seat, I noticed there wasn’t any specific stage designs or set-up, just platforms where cast members could climb up and down to sing at an elevated level. The simplistic stage design made me and other audience members intently focus on the music and lyrics throughout the entirety of the show. The one noticeable feature of the stage was Mark and Roger’s (played by Sam Yabrow and Ryan Vasquez) sofa, a raggedy representation of the late 1980s/early 1990s New York City lifestyle they lived in the heart of the city. I thought the decision to keep the stage so minimalist really fared well for the overall production.
As a tale of living through AIDs and poverty and temporary homelessness, RENT’s most touching scene was that for the funeral of Angel (played by Alex Miller) where the crossdesser’s friends told stories about him bringing them together through love. Indeed, the musical’s signature piece “Seasons of Love” captured the essence of that spirit, and the cast members performed it in the most simplistically beautiful way possible, lined up shoulder to shoulder facing the audience.
Seeing the play from a more mature perspective I picked up on themes that my adolescent self had no preconceived notion to pick up on. My favorite song when the play first came out was “Tango Maureen” because I liked the tango melody that oozes through the song. Little did I know it was a tale about how ex-lover Marc and current lover Joanne believe Maureen uses and abuses them and makes them “tango” around her.
Freshman Chani Wereley starred in her role as lost Mimi, where her solo number clad in lingerie and another scene where she shoots up heroin were performed with killer execution. Additionally, ensemble member Kevin Lee provides comic relief to the grim story line, at one point in which he rocks a cow costume. I could go on and on about the hidden laughter and special moments throughout the show, but you really need to see it yourself to appreciate the hard work the cast has put in to this production.
If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s still a performance tonight at 8 p.m. and a matinee show at 2 p.m. tomorrow. Don’t miss out on a fun-filled, musically engaging study break—RENT!


MUSKET presents RENT this weekend.
MUSKET presents RENT this weekend.


What: RENT: The Musical

When: November 22 and 23 at 8 p.m., November 24 at 2 p.m.

Where: Power Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets: $7 for students, call the Michigan League Ticket Office at 734-764-2538 or visit the box office at the back of the Michigan League.

MUSKET’s fall production of RENT comes to the Power Center this weekend for three shows. As the unversity’s only completely student-run theatre company, the musical will broadcast the talents of students from a variety of schools. I’m super excited for the hit after seeing the movie way back in middle school in 2005.

Visit MUSKET’s official website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and RSVP to the RENT Facebook event page!

Preview: Heart Bared?

Tonight is the first showing of the musical, “Bare,” a Basement Arts production. I know some of the people in it and it just so

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happens to work perfectly into this busy last two week schedule that we all have. The show is set at a Catholic boarding school and uses an exciting contemporary musical score to play out a plot of sexual and social exploration. The students are struggling with countless questions and tonight I, at least, will see if they receive answers.

The show is completely free and is showing Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7pm, and Friday at 11pm in studio 1 of Walgreen Drama Center on north campus. Doors open at 6:45pm.Please come support your fellow students and see what they have to offer us!

I hope to see you there!

Sending you love and light,

Danny Fob

(Coffee is on me if you can name the show that my sign off is from!)