When the curtain falls on the stage musical “Cabaret”the actor Israel Lugo ensures that it will not be the same as before. Playing the role of “Emcee” requires using together many of the tools that she has been achieving throughout her career, which involve more than just singing and dancing, but rather performing a unique performance.
Being an iconic character in the genre of musicals and having been played over the years by countless actors, somehow “Emcee” had already captivated him after seeing the film and the various stagings of this work. , including Broadwayso after achieving this opportunity that awaited, Lugo will try to leave his mark.
He is preparing hard for this piece that will be staged on June 17, 18 and 19 in the Festival Hall of the Santurce Fine Arts Centerunder the direction of Axel Cintronand which will be starring the actress Sarah Jarque, in the character of “Sally Bowles”. From exercising to riding a bicycle, it has been part of the process to be able to represent his character, which, as he explains, requires physical preparation and resistance, not only because he sings and dances, but because he must represent the decadence of the time and place that It represents.
“He is a figure that represents that underworld of Berlin in the 1930s, where there was a decadence at a social and cultural level, also in terms of what that cabaret represents, which today is still not well seen, due to its openness towards everything, everyone was with everyone, but especially the decadent part. There, then, you have to lose weight and be in tune with what that person physically represents”said the actor about the character he describes as “the soul of the cabaret”, since he is the one who narrates the story.
Also, regarding his voice, together with acting coach Pedro José, he has been looking for the specific way to project the character’s voice, that timbre of voice that is in tune with what is darkness and the decadence of ” Emcee” along with musical arrangements. To this is added the dance, in charge of Carlos Hernández, and then the enormous task of making that final creation in which each one put his stamp.
“The challenge really has been putting it all together. Bring together and be able to unite that vision that I have as an actor, of how I am going to project the character, with the vision of the director and the general musical direction by Aidita Encarnación. The most difficult thing is to unite all that, the costumes, that all of that meshes and makes sense, that everyone enters as if in tune and everything synchronizes. If it is achieved, then that is where the public receives that creation, as a joint effort.. I had many tools that I put into practice now, that’s why I was very attracted to that character, because it requires the use of all of them to be able to achieve it for that character to be effective. It’s a classic and it will continue to be done over the years, so you have to work on how you leave that mark”, explained the actor and musician, who has had experience in dance, pantomime and clowning, among other things.
When Lugo found out that “Cabaret” would be presented again, after a decade, he became interested again and wanted to audition. It was a preparation in a hurry, but with everything, and although he had already been flirting with that character he longed to play, he confesses that the same day of the audition he doubted it and almost didn’t go. However, he managed to do it and he succeeded.
Almost two weeks after he went on stage, he brings to attention the fact that under Nazism in Germany, homosexuals were persecuted and they put a pink triangle on them to identify them on the uniform, which at the end of the play his character shows in concentration camp uniform.
“In itself Emcee has a strength not only for being the one who takes the viewer through the emotions, but also for the social aspect, to what we are experiencing. He is definitely an important character because he brings up a moment in history where homosexuals were persecuted, even killed. It was a systematic question of the Nazis. In that sense, being relevant because we defend the rights of homosexuals. That character represents that moment in history that cannot be repeated,” said Lugo, who will also share the stage with the actors and actresses. Rene Monclova (Herr Schultz), Michael Diffoot (Ernst Ludwig), Jorge Castro (Clifford-Bradshaw), Alfonsina Molinari (Fraulein Kost), Israel Lugo (The Emcee) and Johanna Rosaly (Fraulein Schneider).