|The stage as viewed from our seats in the stalls, second row centre|
It's not every day you get to meet not one, but three theatre legends. Last night, in the company of Shane Jones and Paul Compton, I attended an electrifying production of the Bob Kander and Fred Ebb musical Cabaret at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. It's here for an all too brief time after a sellout season at the Hayes Theatre in Sydney. The production is far closer in spirit to its source material, Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin and Mr Norris Changes Trains, than Bob Fosse's 1972 movie - although I do admire much of it - and Fosse too.
Afterwards, still in a state of exhilaration, we had a celebratory drink in the theatre bar. Most of the other theatre patrons had left, but one by one we were gradually joined by members of the equally superb cast, including Chelsea Gibb, who was an unforgettable Sally Bowles. Shane, Paul and I had lively conversations with John O'May, Kate Fitzpatrick and the great Paul Capsis - theatre royalty, all of them, and lovely people to boot. Kate Fitzpatrick played Fräulein Schneider and John O'May, Herr Schultz, two key roles that were inexplicably (and in my opinion, unforgivably) written out of Bob Fosse's film, along with a number of the finest songs. Their performances moved me to tears. Paul Capsis was astounding as the emcee. I challenge anyone who sees this (and you really should) to be able to take their eyes off him for even a moment. Until last night, I thought no one could inhabit the role as completely as its legendary originator, Joel Grey. Capsis proved me wrong.
It was an evening Shane, Paul and I will never forget. Due to popular demand, the season has been extended to May 27. For further information, including a short trailer of the show, visit the website HERE.
|L - R: Myself, Paul Capsis and Shane Jones in the bar of the Athenaeum Theatre|
|L - R: Paul Compton and Paul Capsis|