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Posts Tagged ‘Joel Grey’

You know I love etymologies, oui, ja, si? Here’s one, fairly obvious, but which I could not perceive until I looked it up: Cabaret: French, tap-room, from Middle Dutch cabret, from Old North French camberet, diminutive of cambre, from Late Latin camera, from Ancient Greek kamara (καμάρα) “vaulted chamber.” And now I know where the word camera comes from, too. How interesting and useful!

This weekend I saw the Arena Civic Theater’s production of “Cabaret” at the lovely Shea Theater in Turner’s Falls, MA.

The show was great. Fantastic costumes, choreography, and a very strong cast top my list.

Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli had the iconic lead roles in Bob Fosse’s 1972 movie “Cabaret.” Theirs is a tough act to follow so theater people have to find a way to make anything from “Cabaret” their own. I thought the Emcee in the production at the Shea was strong all around, achieving the Triple Crown of musical theater fairly well–singing, dancing, and acting. I found his performance refreshing, something quite difficult in a role made so famous on film. It’s also an edgy role, so the word “refreshing” might not suit the persona of the Emcee, but it suits me just fine, so there.

Here’s Liza Minnelli doing “Mein Herr.” But don’t set yourself up: I recommend that you first see the production at the Shea and then poke around on youtube. You’ll even find Judy Dench (who knew?) vamping and singing as Sally Bowles. Wow.

If that’s not enough for you, here’s a honey of the intro, “Wilkommen,” from Sam Mendes’ 1998 Broadway revival starring that rapscallion Scotsman, Alan Cumming. A performer who definitely had his way with the role.

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