When a theatrical piece continues to be successfully performed around the world decades after its premiere, it implies the timelessness of its thematic proposal and the talent and rigor with which all its elements were conceived. This is the case of the musical “Cabaret” that more than half a century after its debut continues to fascinate with its historical reference, its plot and subplots, its rich characters and its catchy music, a reflection of the soul of this tragicomedy where the ambition for power of a few suffocates any possibility of life for many .
It is commendable when local producers, in this case the producers Alexandra Fuentes and Lorna Oteroembark on the challenge of putting together a staging like this, complex and therefore expensive, in order to offer the Puerto Rican public a quality show.
The Festival Hall of the Santurce Fine Arts Center has hosted this weekend a high-rise version of “Cabaret”, with a group of actors, dancers and musicians who give life to the sea of emotions that combine the script by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, and which was translated into the 1966 Broadway hit, later adapted for the big screen in 1972.
“Cabaret” immerses the audience in the social and political decline of Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s, which served as fertile ground for the flourishing of the Nazi Party and its leader Adolf Hitler.
As has happened throughout the ages, while the people live numb by partying and frivolity, there are those who take advantage of the distraction to hoard resources and rise to power. As the initial musical theme and “leit motif” says: “The world is a Cabaret”.
From macro to micro, the piece immerses us in the Kit Kat Klub, where a bubbly dancer and singer only has the goal of being the star of this dark joint.
Puerto Rican actress and singer Sarah Jarque She returns to interpret the character of “Sally Bowles” ten years after she first embodied it, and seeing her on stage displaying all her talent and technique is a true delight. No one in this country who has known of Jarque’s talent for the past two years just because of her work on television, should miss out on seeing all that this artist is. Her dedication and mastery at the histrionic and vocal level is complete.
If this production of “Cabaret” can boast of anything, it is its cast.
The performance of Israel Lugo how “emcee” is hypnotizing. The night of the premiere, last Friday, it felt like the public reacted to each one of his interventions, captivated by the full range of emotions and sensations that Lugo transmitted, as the narrator of the story.
the first actress Johanna Rosaly, as usual, fills the stage with his presence and talent. Here she returns to teach at all levels, taking advantage of every word and movement to convey the multiple dimensions of “Fraulein Schneider”, a character who carries the weight of representing an entire country on the edge of an emotional precipice.
see the gentlemen Rene Monclova Y Jorge Castro in stagings like this it is a delight because we can enjoy his more than proven talent, but on the drama side, and singing!
Castro, as “Clifford Bradshaw” is the camera that observes and records what is happening around him, from the apparent neutrality of being an American, foreigner and stranger to what is happening around him. But we soon learn that he arrives in Germany fleeing from his recent past in England that ends up catching up with him. The actor triumphs in his role of being the one who sustains the drama, since his character is the sober part of a drunken plot.
Monclova, with his well-earned sympathy among the Puerto Rican public, thanks to a talent that does not disappoint, he only has to stand on stage and say the first line to start applause. He makes it seem easy to project everything that his “Herr Schultz” characterization encompasses.
Alfonsina Molinari, like “Fraulein Kost” is pleased to show off in all the demands of the musical theater genre, especially when he takes his experience in lyrical singing for a walk in two precious numbers. Point aside: the scenes in which her character and that of Mrs. Rosaly, her parent, enter into controversy are doubly funny, because it is almost like a mirror game.
Michael Diffoot, as “Ernst Ludwig”, he completes the main cast correctly, in the role that warns and confronts each protagonist with the new reality that lurks in Germany outside of the party and the lust of the cabaret.
“Cabaret” also features the talent of Magdaly Cruz, Evelyn Rosario, Cristina Sesto, Karen Camacho, Yezmin Luzzed, José Eugenio, Luis Obed, Ricardo Laboy and Eric Yamil Cruz, as the cast of “Kit Kat Club.”
A separate point deserves the excellent direction of Axel Cintron in a staging of such complexity. Along with Cintrón, the musical direction of Aidita Encarnacionthe council of Aned Cruzthe choreography of Carlos Hernandezlighting design Quique Benethair and make-up design Bryan VillariniY professional musicians that provided the irreplaceable value of music performed live.
After its opening weekend, from June 17 to 18, the production of “Cabaret” announced that it would open a fourth function, on Saturday, July 16.