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Cabaret

Presented by Auckland Theatre Company in Spiegeltent Salon Perdu at Viaduct Basin
Auckland, New Zealand, 30 October-18 December 2010

Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb; Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Directed by Michael Hurst







CAST
 
PRODUCTION
Sally Bowles
  Amanda Billing  
Direction
  Michael Hurst
Emcee
  Michael Hurst  
Costume Design
  Nic Smillie
Fraulein Kost
  Colleen Davis  
Lighting Design
  Bryan Caldwell, Ph.D.
Fraulein Schneider
  Lynda Milligan  
Musical Direction
  Grant Winterburn
Herr Schulz
  Paul Barrett  
Choreography
  Shona McCullagh
Cliff Bradshaw
  Tyran Parke  
   
Ernst Ludwig
  Mike Edward  
BAND
     
piano
  Grant Winterburn
KIT-KAT GIRLS
 
percussion
  Chris O'Connor
Will Barling
  Ebon Grayman  
bass
  Aaron Coddel
Sarah Iwaskow
  Hannan Tasker-Poland   alto saxophone/clarinet   Jeff Henderson
Sia Trokenheim       accordion/keyboards   Eddie Giffney
        trumpet   Mike Booth



Director's Notes

In the 1930s, with a carefully manufactured and brutal wave of negative eugenics, the malefic agents of the Third Reich swiftly eradicated the troubled culture of the Weimer Republic.  But the spirit of that period still shimmers - the eroticism, art, architecture, music, film, theatre, literature and sheer ecstasy of a futurist society whose escape into hedonism before the Nazi storm was akin to re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Berlin pulsed into the 1930s debauched and unfettered.  But "Sin City" was ripe for a clean up, and the morally upright were ready and willing to wield the disinfectant, duped by the idea of a powerful, healthy and racially pure utopia.  And wield it they did.  Cabaret reminds us that fundamentalism of any kind is the antipathy of human freedom.  Religious extremism, reactionary politics, greed and the lust for power will always be the enemies of humanity.  This is as true today as it ever was.  From the Tea Party to the Taleban, we must be vigilant, or before we know it the clubs will again be closed, our children will be brainwashed with pseudo science and life won't be any kind of cabaret at all.

***

This has been a great rehearsal process - disciplined, focused, wild at times, exhausting, hilarious and often completely mad, but always based in trust and respect.  From the first concept, through planning and pre-production to the performance you are seeing today, everyone involved has said 'yes' - the most powerful word in the business.  To the cast, the production team and to my creative associates Shona McCullath, Nic Smillie, Grant Winterburn, Becky Ehlers and Bryan Caldwell - it has been a privilege.  Thank you all.  Fabulous!

Michael Hurst, Director

 

(photos: Michael Smith)




fan dance (Sarah Iwaskow)

snake dance (Hannah Tasker-Poland, Will Barling)

slap dance (Will Barling, Ebon Grayman)

Willkommen (Sia Trokenheim, Mike Edward, Michael Hurst, Lynda Milligan, Will Barling, Hannah Tasker-Poland, Colleen Davis, Ebon Grayman)
 
Willkommen (Michael Hurst, Colleen Davis, Will Barling, Lynda Milligan, Sia Trokenheim, Ebon Grayman, Mike Edward, Sarah Iwaskow, Hannah Tasker-Poland)

Willkommen (Sia Trokenheim, Lynda Milligan, Mike Edwards, Colleen Davis, Sarah Iwaskow; top, Michael Hurst; bottom, Ebon Grayman)


Don't Tell Mama (Amanda Billing, Sia Trokenheim)

Don't Tell Mama (Sia Trokenheim, Sarah Iwaskow, Mike Edward, Will Barling, Hannah Tasker-Poland)


Don't Tell Mama (Ebon Grayman, Colleen Davis, Amanda Billing, Will Barling, Mike Edward, Sarah Iwaskow, Hannah Tasker-Poland)

Amanda Billing as Sally Bowles

Colleen Davis, Michael Hurst, Tyran Parke, Will Barling, Ebon Grayman


Don't Go (Tyran Parke, Amanda Billing)


The Money Song (Will Barling, Sia Trokenheim)


Michael Hurst, Sarah Iwaskow

Ebon Grayman, Mike Edward

Paul Barrett, Amanda Billing

Michael Hurst, Tyran Parke, Sia Trokenheim


Cabaret (Amanda Billing)


 
 


Michael talks about Cabaret before opening night on Upbeat on Radio New Zealand Concert, 27 October 2010

 

Year-End Kudos

Best Theatre Guy in Metro's annual Best of Auckland issue:  "Michael Hurst, director and actor.  Michael Hurst's Cabaret for the Auckland Theatre Company is physically thrilling (acrobatically and sexually), politically shocking and musically fantastic - and he turns in a scorching performance himself as the EmCee".

Cabaret was ranked #1 in New Zealand Herald's list of the Top 5 Plays of the Year: "Bedazzling, political and provocative".

Cabaret Reviews

Los Angeles Times:  " . . . compelling new production of Cabaret.  . . . director Michael Hurst (he also appears in the Joel Grey-role as the emcee) is the star here, having mounted a taut, affecting version of the musical.  The traditionally weak story line actually supercedes the explicit choreography and musical numbers".

Theatreview:  " . . . this production pays homage, breaks new ground, sets standards, re-invents the genre and literally shreds the musical to its bare essentials.  . . . Hurst, as Director, has let his imagination and his cast run rampart resulting in a mesmerising, cult-ish swamp of decadence that delights with each shocking act.  . . . A must, if only to say you saw this production when it’s spoken about in years to come".

TV3:  "Michael Hurst's direction is fantastic, embracing the social and political ideas but not losing sight of the bawdy fun, the shimmer and shine, the action. There is plenty to see and a cumulatively huge energy and powerful chemistry between the cast.  . . . entertaining, thrilling... a little bit naughty and damn good fun!"

NBR:  "This is the best production of Cabaret ever staged in Auckland . . . At the core of the play is Michael Hurst who plays the MC and other roles.  He brilliantly creates parts which are sinister, evil and depraved . . . What really makes this production is the exceptional direction of Michael Hurst".

Coup de Main:  "As far as our impish master of ceremonies (both in the cast and as the Director of the production), Michael Hurst was born to play our host Emcee.  . . . Hurst has gone out of his way to in fact transport the audience from Auckland's bass-booming night club central to the middle of an authentic cabaret".

Listener:  "The daring production . . . never once sacrifices substance for style.  . . . Hurst has got it right . . . creating such vibrant chemistry, this is a spectacular that shouldn't be missed."

NZ Girl:  "An intoxicating mix of outrageous dance, political warning and unforgettable show tunes . . . this is Cabaret as you've never seen it before--up close and intimate.  Directed by Michael Hurst (he also shines in the role of Emcee) . . . this is a 'not to be missed' night out in the heart of Auckland City".

NZ Herald:  " . . . fabulous, original, risque production . . . the Spiegeltent, with its central revolving stage, creates fantastic atmosphere and intimacy . . . This is intelligent, witty burlesque . . . Chilling and thrilling".