What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Life is a cabaret, old chum, come to the cabaret!

The Theatre Company of Saugus took these lyrics quite literally, by seating the audience at cabaret tables close to the action on stage. While filled with nightclub song and dance acts, the hit musical Cabaret is also a drama about characters living in the German capital Berlin during the early 1930s, and how their lives are affected, or not, by the rise of Nazism.

Cabaret is based on the memoir Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood, which was dramatised by John Van Druten in the play I Am a Camera. With a book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb, Cabaret first played on Broadway in 1966 and has been revived many times since. The excellent 1972 film version with Liza Minelli is rather different from the stage musical, and thus made the stage version worth a look.

The scenes alternate between a boarding house in Berlin and a decadent nightclub. The musical numbers include “Wilkommen”, “So What?”, “Don’t Tell Mama”, “Perfectly Marvelous”, “Two Ladies”, “It Couldn’t Please Me More”, “Tomorrow Belongs To Me”, “Why Should I Wake Up?”, “Sitting Pretty”, “Money”, “Married”, “Meeskite”, “If You Could See Her”, “What Would You Do?”, “Maybe This Time”, and the title song, “Cabaret”.

We are thankful to the talented cast of Cabaret:

  • the Emcee at the Kit Kat Klub … Kai Chao
  • the unforgettable and eccentric singer Sally Bowles … Lori L’Italien
  • the young writer Cliff Bradshaw who finds himself in Sally’s world … Nick Meunier
  • his feisty landlady, Fraulein Schneider …Monica Bruno
  • who is having a romance with the sweet Jewish fruit seller Herr Schultz …Larry Segel
  • Cliff’s manipulative associate, Ernst Ludwig … Scott Best
  • a neighbor with many boyfriends, Fraulein Kost … Carolina Lanney
  • The Kit Kat Girls dance and sing at the nightclub … Sarah Cadarette, Kera Murphy, Elissa O’Donnell, Kim Rose
  • Others in the Ensemble …Nicholas Beach, William Bellis, Steve Belt, Kalyn DaSilva, Jacqueline Frangos, Barbara Lasovick, Ginny LeBlanc, Leslie Lemirise, Fred Nuzzo, Loretta Potash, Billy Thompson, Nancy Welch

James Ferguson was the Director/Choreographer. The Music Director was Barbara Morash. (Richard DeMone was the initial Musical Director until he departed for a new job in Florida.) The production team included set designer Hank Zappala, costumer Amanda Allen, stage manager Mike Sakovich. co-producers Joanne Fafard and Lisa Felix, dramaturg Leo Nickole, sound designer James Wlodyka, and lighting designer Larry Segel.

There were six performances of the Theatre Company of Saugus production of Cabaret: November 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21. The venue was the café-auditorium of the Northeast Metro Vocational Technical School, in Wakefield, Massachusetts.