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Kim Medcalf takes over Sally Bowles in Cabaret


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#41 Susan

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 09:52 AM

Completely agree, the end is so hard hitting it's amazing. James is slightly scary but he does play the role really well.

I've seen it twice now and think Kim was fantastic again. I love the way she portrays the character, and her acting and singing both compliment each other beautifully.

#42 Marius

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 10:05 AM

QUOTE(JonnyBoy @ Apr 8 2007, 07:50 PM) View Post
The ending to this stage show is surely one of the most moving and well done of all the musicals - anyone agree?



Yep completely agree, its th best revival of last year in my view, also agree with James Dreyfuss comment. Although I do wonder if anyone could better AMM Sally, her acting was spot on.

#43 curzon

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 12:03 PM

QUOTE(JonnyBoy @ Apr 8 2007, 07:50 PM) View Post
I saw Kim on her 1st night and she has a great voice.  Her acting did not blow me away but I suspect this will improve over time.  Honor Blackman was very gracious and, even though a little old, was good in the part.  The real star of the show is surely James Dreyfuss; how was he not nominated for an award? - he is perfect in the role.

The ending to this stage show is surely one of the most moving and well done of all the musicals - anyone agree?
I felt that the Broadway Mendes one was simpler and more effective. At the end of the show, after the orchestra had gone off the rails musically we were left with the MC (the unbeatable Alan Cumming) singing a very downbeat version of his theme tune. On the last notes he removed his overcoat and he was wearing the uniform of a concentration camp inmate underneath. The lights then faded to black. It was an absolutely shattering end to a stunning production. Even the American audience was stunned into several seconds silence before applauding... rolleyes.gif

Sebastian


#44 JIJane

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:35 AM

I know from somebody who sat with Fred Ebb watching this version in London with Jane Horrocks (is that the same one as the one you described on Broadway??) in the lead that he loathed the concentration camp uniform ending and said it had nothing at all to do with his show and idea of the characters and story. He was apalled apparently and kept swearing.

#45 Matthew Winn

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE(JIJane @ Apr 13 2007, 12:35 PM) View Post
I know from somebody who sat with Fred Ebb watching this version in London with Jane Horrocks (is that the same one as the one you described on Broadway??) in the lead that he loathed the concentration camp uniform ending and said it had nothing at all to do with his show and idea of the characters and story. He was apalled apparently and kept swearing.

I heard much the same thing, and I know that many people felt the concentration camp ending killed any concept of subtlety in the show. The Emcee is supposed to be an Everyman character, and making him an explicit victim of the Nazi purges is as bad as making him a Nazi, and nearly as bad as making him Hitler.

The Emcee represents all the people who think that because they're not involved life is beautiful, and if they can stay uninvolved life will remain beautiful. We know from history that in the end nobody will be untouched by events still in the characters' future, but the characters themselves don't know how things will turn out. If we were supposed to know what happens to the Emcee then that's how the show would have been written. The ending isn't left open because nobody remembered to finish the show. It's left open because that's what serves the show the best. I hate it when a director approaches a show with an attitude of "Well, I guess it's OK, but it'll be better if I do this instead".



I have always hated eggs. I remember back when I was a sperm I tried to head-butt one. It did not end well.

#46 curzon

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 04:29 PM

QUOTE(Matthew Winn @ Apr 13 2007, 01:18 PM) View Post
I heard much the same thing, and I know that many people felt the concentration camp ending killed any concept of subtlety in the show. The Emcee is supposed to be an Everyman character, and making him an explicit victim of the Nazi purges is as bad as making him a Nazi, and nearly as bad as making him Hitler.

QUOTE(Matthew Winn @ Apr 13 2007, 01:18 PM) View Post
I heard much the same thing, and I know that many people felt the concentration camp ending killed any concept of subtlety in the show. The Emcee is supposed to be an Everyman character, and making him an explicit victim of the Nazi purges is as bad as making him a Nazi, and nearly as bad as making him Hitler.

The Emcee represents all the people who think that because they're not involved life is beautiful, and if they can stay uninvolved life will remain beautiful. We know from history that in the end nobody will be untouched by events still in the characters' future, but the characters themselves don't know how things will turn out. If we were supposed to know what happens to the Emcee then that's how the show would have been written. The ending isn't left open because nobody remembered to finish the show. It's left open because that's what serves the show the best. I hate it when a director approaches a show with an attitude of "Well, I guess it's OK, but it'll be better if I do this instead".


Well actually that ending, which I found shattering and moving, appears to be in the current version of the script so I guess you'd better apportion some of the blame to Kander and Ebb. But, hell - what would they know?
I can't say I agree with the idea of the Emcee as everyman. It seems a far more defined character than that.

Sebastian

#47 Matthew Winn

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE(curzon @ Apr 14 2007, 05:29 PM) View Post
Well actually that ending, which I found shattering and moving, appears to be in the current version of the script so I guess you'd better apportion some of the blame to Kander and Ebb. But, hell - what would they know?

I find it obvious and patronising. For me the reason Cabaret works so well is that the audience sees it from a fundamentally different perspective from the characters. We know what's coming, and everything that happens has the shadow of the future lying over it. But for the characters it's still the future.

In the traditional ending of Cabaret, the Emcee hasn't changed. The world is moving on and disaster is coming, but he can't see it. Life is beautiful. Despite all we've seen in the show, the Emcee persists in his belief that life in the club will never change. We know he's wrong, but we don't have to be shown that he's wrong. Sometimes suggestion is far better than an explicit portrayal.

I think it's important that we don't know the end of the Emcee's story. He may be a victim of Nazi purges, he may end up joining the Nazis, he may die in battle, he may die in an air raid, he may survive the war only to starve to death in the post-war poverty, or he may come through almost unscathed. We don't know, and I don't think we should know. To me, what matters is that at the very end of the show he still thinks nothing is changing.

QUOTE
I can't say I agree with the idea of the Emcee as everyman. It seems a far more defined character than that.

There's no reason why Everyman needs to be ill-defined. Quite the opposite, in fact. The Emcee is very clearly defined: he's the part of all of us that hopes the world will stay the way we want it to stay, and that thinks that if we just stand back we can't be pulled in.

I would say that it's vital to the meaning of Cabaret that the Emcee isn't tied to any particular group of people because that creates the idea that the Emcee is "them". The Emcee isn't "them". The Emcee is all the people who allowed the Third Reich to become established. The Emcee is all the people who have ever thought "It's not as bad as that". Making the Emcee into a specific person may lead to a superficially more dramatic ending, but it allows the audience to distance themselves from the Emcee. That drives a knife right through the heart of the show and wipes out the important message it might otherwise tell: that the Emcee is us.
I have always hated eggs. I remember back when I was a sperm I tried to head-butt one. It did not end well.




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