History and timeless words and music meet on stage in Singapore
All the odds are in my favourSally Bowles
Something’s bound to begin
It’s got to happen, happen sometime
Maybe this time I’ll win
At the beginning of the last century, c. 1901, an alternative theatre genre came to Berlin by way of Paris. Called “cabaret” (a small tavern), it began in the tiny, smoky, noisy, nightclubs in the streets and alleys of each metropolis. Raucous, uninhibited, nouveau, and daring, cabaret embraced a continental yearning to not think about the political and economic clouds looming darkly on Europe’s horizon.
Born in the turbulent sixties, the musical, Cabaret was a sensation that continues to charm, beguile, taunt and tease audiences around the globe. It’s opening now right here in Singapore! Imagine the Kit Kat club of old Berlin transplanted to the Garden City. Are there chronological and/or cultural similarities to Singapore in 2023? It may be food for thought but don’t think about it during the show. Anyway, you’ll be rapt by the fabulous costumes and dazzled by the choreography as well as caught up by the Sally meets Clifford storyline. Think about it, talk about it after you’ve seen the show. Below the surface of the production, something is going on. “All the odds are in my favour/Something’s bound to begin.”
With a hearty welcome, the ‘Emcee’ (Dwayne Lau) opens the show with a bang and a song. With dancers aplenty, the stage comes to vibrant life instantly. Willkommen in Berlin! In a time warp, the audience can sit back and join life as it was in Europe deep in the throes of war or the looming threat of war. When the show closes (spoiler alert) the Nazis are on the brink of taking over Germany for their own nefarious perversions. Before the calamity falls, however, there was a sense that with horrible times ahead, now, the characters may have thought, is the time to quaff life with a great deal of gusto because tomorrow may be too late. Alas, it was too late as subsequent horrific events emphasised. For now, though, have another drink and a laugh.
Leave your troubles outside!
To bring the complex plot and memorable characterizations to life, Sing’theatre has assembled an effervescent cast and an 8-piece orchestra. The result is live theatre that would make even the Kit Kat proud. Taking you to Berlin’s Kit Kat Club are:
- Dwayne Lau as Emcee.
- Kimberly Chan as Sally Bowles.
- Vester Ng as Clifford Bradshaw.
- Siti Khalijah Zainal as Fraulein Schneider.
- Vanessa Kee as Fraulein Kost.
- Matt Grey as Herr Schultz.
- Keagan Kang as Ernst Ludwig.
- Gaby Rae as Sally Bowles Understudy / Ensemble.
Ten dancers and a supporting cast keep the stage well-trodden with never a dull moment. Songs like Willkommen, Cabaret, Don’t Tell Mama and Two Ladies are familiar now after so many performances on screen and stage. The orchestra, choreography, and clever stage direction give each rendition a 2023-modern feel.
The show is vibrant and modern thanks to the efforts of a crack Sing’Theatre team of creatives:
Director: Hossan Leong
Producer: Nathalie Ribette
Choreographer: Lisa Keegan
Musical Director: Elaine W. Chan
Set Designer: Wong Chee Wai
Costume Designer: Max Tan
Lighting Designer: Reuben Ong
Sound Designer: Shah Tahir
For a musical stage production with many songs, dances, laughs, and drama, Cabaret checks all the boxes. As well as rollicking dance and song, Cabaret is a very special entertainment. Making it special are a dedicated cast, crew, and creatives.
Lying just below the surface of the production, though, is the niggling sense that our times may be perilously close to the zeitgeist of Europe not so very long ago.
Research and writing help from JKJ