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Arts & entertainment

Life is a “Cabaret” at Miners Alley Playhouse

Classic musical takes on new resonance

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Those who doubt the adage that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it should take note of the lessons from “Cabaret,” a classic musical which details the rise of fascism and the stifling of creativity that goes hand-in-hand with such an event.

And it doesn’t hurt that the show features some top notch musical numbers as well.

“It’s a romp with a sobering message,” said Jim Walker, who stars in the Miners Alley Production. “There are amazing musical numbers, sexy boys and girls, and a message that will shake you a bit.”

Directed by Len Matheo, Miners Alley, 1224 Washington Ave., is hosting Tony Award-winning show from May 19 through June 25. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The show focuses on a nightclub in Berlin in the late 1920s, as a dark cloud moves over Europe. Into the vibrant scene comes Cliff Bradshaw (Luke Sorge), an American writer looking to live a little. He quickly falls in love with singer Sally Bowles (Adriane Wilson), and finds himself pulled into the world of the cabaret. And The Emcee (Jim Walker) is there to share it all with the audience.

“The great thing about the way this show is staged is that the entire theater is made into the cabaret,” Sorge said. “Miners Alley leaned into its smaller space and came up with an idea that brings everyone into the show.”

People may remember the show for its racy costumes, elaborate song and dance routines, and vivacious characters, but all the glitz and glamour points to a world under assault.

“I didn’t realize how politically relevant it would be. It’s way more than singing and dancing,” Wilson said. “The show is about important issues, and takes place during a scary rise to power. That comes across in its tone.”

That the show manages to contain the disparate tones of flash and foreboding is a testament to the power of the music and story.

All three actors said the cast is having a blast working on the show, and that makes for an even more entertaining theater experience for the audience.

“In a way, it’s almost like seeing two plays, but that provides a full emotional experience,” Wilson said. “That is what the theater is supposed to do.”

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