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  • backbaybos4 January 2015
    I just recently saw this filming of the rough cut of the stage play. I loved it! It was raw and edgy, and had enough atmosphere to give you an idea of what Berlin was like in the 1930's. People have said that the stars couldn't sing. BALONEY! Sally Bowles couldn't sing, she was hired to bring in business to the Kit Kat Klub. Jane Horrocks is a fantastic singer in other productions...but the character in Cabaret requires a horrible or mediocre singing ability! She wasn't supposed to be Liza. If you don't believe me check out LITTLE VOICE! Alan Cumming isn't Joel Grey. He wasn't trying to be. But Cumming added a sinister spin to the Emcee that wasn't in the 1972 film. Joel Grey was comic relief in the movie. In this production, Alan Cumming just added a foreshadowing dread to what was happening to Berlin at that time.

    Sara Kestelman was also wonderful and convincing as Frauline Schneider. Torn between her love for Herr Schultz, and what would happen to her if she went ahead with her marriage. She reminded me of Lotte Lenya when she sang SO WHAT.

    This filmed staging was directed by Sam Mendes who brought it to the stage in the mid 90's. There were songs added and scenes deleted. But all in all, it really give the viewer a look at what Christopher Isherwood had in mind when he wrote it. Don't get me wrong, I love the 1972 film, but this is world's away from that story. This shows the viewer the sleazy side of Berlin, without the glitz and gloss.

    If you get a chance to see this depiction, be prepared to be shocked! The ending will blow you away!
  • I have watched several versions... This is the best!!! Alan did an outrageous job. In this version... His hair and makeup we're perfectly chosen... (For some reason different versions altered his hair and makeup this one was perfect). I can't get enough!!! He definitely ran the show...
  • There is one bright light in this 'limited' production and that is Sally Kestelman as Frau Schneider who does credit to the songs originally written for the great Lotte Lenya. Otherwise this is pretty much a bust. Alan Cummings is OK as the MC, which is of course an overblown character, and he 'camps' it up appropriately. There is not much I can say about the rest of the cast. They are all playing way over the top, even for a theatrical performance, and most of them can barely hold a tune. You could make the justification that the original character was a bad performer, but Horrocks, who has done much better in the past, is quite awful here, and sings out of key way too many times. The so-called 'leading man' is an ugly little nebbish with zero presence. The staging is very limited and unimaginative as is the choreography. Granted it was all done in a small space, but so is the movie, and Fosse brought his own unique style to the limited dance routines.

    All in all a HUGE disappointment considering the talents involved. Don't bother with the DVD. If you must see it, just go to youtube and watch it for free.