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Cappies Review: ‘Cabaret’ at CVHS

What do Nazis, dancing girls, and sexy gorillas all have in common? They were all a part of Centreville High School's production of "Cabaret."

"Cabaret" is a musical extravaganza (book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb) which won eight Tony awards, including Best Musical. The story is set in 1931 Berlin where American author Cliff Bradshaw (Joshua Ewalt) meets the beautiful club singer, Sally Bowles. They eventually move in together and Sally becomes pregnant. But when the threat of a Nazi takeover becomes imminent, Cliff wants to go back to America. Sally decides to stay and keep her job, saying that politics have nothing to do with them.

The production was highlighted by a sparkling set, some solid singing, and beautiful dancing, most notably by the Kit Kat Girls. They executed difficult choreography with ease, staying in step with the each other while retaining facial expressions. With their flawless leg extensions, sharp arm movements, and stunning splits, the Kit Kat Girls showed off their talent.

In the leading role of Cliff Bradshaw, Joshua Ewalt was a joy to hear, coolly hitting each note in a pleasant manner. Ewalt made clear acting choices that made him seem as though he were really dealing with a Nazi takeover. One realistic moment was when he slapped Sally, evoking gasps from the audience. Playing the flirtatious Sally Bowles was Binta Barry who, despite microphone issues, carried on with her performance unfazed.

In the role of the prostitute Fraulein Kost, Maddie Helms delivered a commendable performance. Her flirtatious walk helped define her character, unlike other actors who seemed at times to lack characterization.

The Kit Kat nightclub set, designed by Nick Dell'Omo and Jeremy Smith, was nothing short of a jiving location, with the band at center, tables on the sides, and a shimmering backdrop casting the stage in a shining glow. Although the band sometimes overpowered the vocals, the microphones were handled well by Nick Dell'Omo and Reid Spencer. Along with manageable scene changes and accurate props, technical elements were solid.

The cast and crew took on the challenge of portraying the Nazi takeover with poise. All in all, Centreville High School's "Cabaret" was a commendable take on a well-known show.