By Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com
The Kit Kat Girls are lively entertainers.
Broadway in Tucson opens its season with the sleazy, tawdry version of “Cabaret.” No matter how many times you've seen this perennial evergreen before, you will enjoy this one.
BT's production is crisply performed debauchery for adults of all ages.
Well, actually, it's not that sleazy and tawdry. Especially for people who watch a lot of cable television. All the suggestively dressed girls working at Berlin's frisky Kit Kat Klub in 1930 do keep their clothes on. So do the boys.
Sure, the choreography is filled with lots of wide open arms and legs, bawdy moves and slinky suggestiveness. And yes, there is enough pelvic thrusting and eager crotch grabbing to satisfy all three sexes, and more humps than a caravan of camels.
But hey, “Cabaret” does take place in a time when sex was easy and everything else was dangerous.
The irrepressibly pansexual Emcee is portrayed by Randy Harrison, best known for his ongoing TV role in “Queer As Folk.” As skin boss of the Kit Kat Klub, Harrison's Emcee begins Act One with a disarming boyishness that reminds one, really, of the desperation sure to come when reminders of the Nazi oppression outside this Temple of Decadence begin to appear.
Tiny little Andrea Goss portrays the English tart Sally Bowles, lately of Mayfair but now hoping for a show business break among Berlin's lesser competition at the Klub.
Goss is so good at presenting the shiny side of Sally with her soaring voice, Sally's personality dedicated to the Dark Side isn't that obvious.
Goss does match up well with Benjamin Eakeley as Clifford Bradshaw, the would-be American writer with a portable typewriter.
But once again, the real heart of “Cabaret” is the dedicated romance of Fraulein Schneider (Mary Gordon Murray) and Herr Schultz (Scott Robertson). Their acting is excellent at catching the scary future of November love.
All of these leading voices are strong and vibrant, making every song come alive. As for their acting, the Emcee could be a little more sinister and Sally could feel a little more reckless.
But so many other parts of the show are just right, particularly the hard-working ensemble of six Kit Kat Girls and four Kit Kat Boys. The band is equally good.
The BT production comes with a bit of lineage. It is “inspired by” the refocused staging of Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall which opened in 1998 at New York's Roundabout Theatre. That show ran on Broadway until 2004.
Memories of their “Cabaret” remained so vivid, the Roundabout company put together a revival of that revival 10 years later. This is the resulting national tour.
“Cabaret” presented by Broadway in Tucson runs through Sunday, Sept. 25, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.
Tickets are $29-$90, with discounts available. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Centennial Hall box office, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For details and online reservations which have an additional fee, visit broadwayintucson.com or call 800-745-3000.