‘Cabaret’ in review

A shocking and entertaining performance not for the faint of heart

More stories from Stephanie Kuski

The UW-Eau Claire music and theatre students pulled off an extravagant performance of their newest musical “Cabaret” last weekend.

I was in awe from beginning to end.

The music is sensational, the actors are stunning and the costumes and set are glamourous. I still have the music stuck in my head.

“Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome; Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret!”

I was shocked, entertained, humored and at times uneasy. There wasn’t a single lackluster moment of the entire night. It’s a perfect ending to a night out with your friends, but I wouldn’t suggest bringing your mom.

The musical is set in 1929 Berlin during the rise of the Nazi regime. The story reveals two paralleling themes, one of the licentious Kit Kat Klub and the other a love story between American novelist Cliff Bradshaw and dancer Sally Bowles.

Several not-so-subtle motifs are personified. It reminds us of the perpetual war between the powerful and the powerless, triumph and fear, love and lust, the affluent and the oppressed.

You may be surprised and perhaps uncomfortable, but you will laugh until your stomach aches. This is a show that speaks to the fragility of human character through an art only few have mastered, which brings me to the cast of the performance.

Every person on and off the stage truly made the production remarkable. The lead roles, played by Sebastian Armendariz, Seth K. Hale and Audra Boettge, were particularly dazzling.

Armendariz, who played the role of the master of ceremonies, was by far my favorite character. His acting was flawless, his makeup and costumes were bold and his entire character was both elusive and alluring. He truly made the show come alive.

Both Hale (Cliff Bradshaw) and Boettge (Sally Bowles) also had stunning performances. Hale was ravishing and true to his character. Boettge’s voice was angelic, yet her demeanor seductive.

Not to mention the boys and girls of the Kit Kat Klub, who were ravishing to say the least and exemplified a triple threat in their devilishly captivating singing, dancing and acting. The Kit Kat Klub put a sultry twist on a jaw-dropping performance.

I highly suggest catching the last few shows of “Cabaret” at either one of the 7:30 p.m. performances Wednesday through Saturday or the 1:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday in Kjer Theatre. Tickets are sold at the door in Davies or online through the Service Center.