The Atlanta Opera: Cabaret
CL Critic Kevin C. Madigan Recommends: The blockbuster musical “Cabaret” gets a new treatment from the Atlanta Opera as part of its ‘Come As You Are’ festival. The 1966 show on Broadway, based on the work of John Van Druten and Christopher Isherwood, was followed by a hit movie 50 years ago that made Liza Minnelli a star. Set towards the end of the Jazz Age and the onset of Nazism, Minnelli portrayed chanteuse Sally Bowles, headliner at a dingy Berlin nightclub who must deal with its hedonistic patrons while fending off the amorous advances of an American writer. A subplot revolves around the doomed flirtation of a boarding house madam by her elderly suitor, a Jewish fruit vendor. The Guardianrecently called the work “divinely decadent and chillingly relevant.” The original stage production, co-directed by Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes, was not initially a success due to its perceived immoral content, but positive reviews eventually worked their magic. — KCM
CL Critic Doug DeLoach Recommends: The Atlanta Opera concludes its 2021-22 season at Pullman Yards with the “Come As You Are” festival featuring a new production of Cabaret; the Atlanta premiere of As One, a highly acclaimed chamber opera featuring transgender baritone Lucia Lucas, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut in February, in the lead role; and a special Saturday matinee featuring Roswell resident and Metropolitan Opera performer Jay Hunter Morris in a cabaret-style concert. On one hand, “Come As You Are” builds on the company’s popular Discoveries Series, which for the last ten years has presented adventurous smaller works in unexpected venues around the metro area. On the other, it represents the Atlanta Opera’s community outreach campaign to build a broader audience by stripping away some of the formal trappings of “grand opera” including any pretense to a dress code. Witnessing opera in the uniquely configured environs of Pullman Yards promises to be a highlight of this summer’s arts events. -DD
From the venue:Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome! The Discoveries series returns with Kander and Ebb’s Tony Award-winning musical set in 1930s Berlin. Cabaret star Sally Bowles headlines at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, where an entourage of colorful characters entertains and seduces guests looking for refuge, solace, and acceptance against the ominous threat of fascism. When a wholesome American novelist falls for Sally, he tries to convince her to leave the cabaret behind–but in Berlin she’s free…as free as she’ll ever be.