Michael Bergeron
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What: Cabaret

Where: Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (300 Bagby)

When: Running daily until Sunday, March 27

Why: Come for the recognizable songs, stay for the dynamic stage presentation. A metaphor for the rise of the Nazis in Weimar Germany, the musical was first a play (I Am A Camera, 1951) and a short story (Goodbye to Berlin, 1939). This touring version is inspired by the 1993 London production of the musical directed by Sam Mendes.

Randy Harrison captures the decadent essence of the Emcee and even pulls a random audience member to dance with on stage. Andrea Goss is a remarkable Sally Bowles. Songs like “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time” are show stoppers.

The real star is the production’s use of space. Much of the play takes place on a shallow plane with doors opening and closing, and band members and dancers going up and down spiral staircases. By the finale the stage seems to have opened wide and symbolic silhouettes are highlighted in the depth, aided by an amazing array of lights.

— Micahel Bergeron