|The Kit Kat Girls|
"It has been surprising, feeling the respect from my peers", says director Lexie Farr. "It has also been great to push myself and gain abilities I never had before." Farr, a junior at Aptos High School, beamed with pride as the house began to fill for their evening performance and she assumed her position behind the sound desk. From the first notes by the onstage orchestra, it was obvious that the production was not going to play it safe.
|Ryland Gordon as the Emcee|
The effect in the famous opening number "Wilkommen" is thick, with stylized choreography from Sadie Rose and costumes by Farr, Rose and Thyme. The seediness and raw reality of the setting is furthered by some clever staging, and by the straightforward character work of John Wasielewski as Clifford Bradshaw and Jessica Pierini as Fräulein Schneider. The two find an entertaining repartee in their scene work, venturing further into the characters and out of the rigid framework of the text. While there were some moments of disconnect mostly due to occasional spacing issues, the actors kept the pace tight through the many busy entrances and exits in the show. Wasielewski also paired beautifully with London Murray's Sally Bowles, both showing endearing vocal acumen in "Perfectly Marvelous". Murray brings a precocious quality to the role, opting out of the wearied and traveled portrayal that would not have worked for such a young actress. The result is a Sally Bowles that is fresh and energized which helps with the pace the long first act of the show.
|Rispoli and Pierini as Schultz and Schneider|
There is an infectious sense of fearlessness in this production, possibly due to the high stakes of the venture. Safe choices are thrown by the wayside as the cast and creative team gambles on moments that would make more seasoned directors' hair stand on end. However, their gutsy approach often paid off with moments of unexpected power and fun. Artistic Director and choreographer Sadie Rose added that "the actors were not intimidated by [the directors] or by the process. It was very honest, democratic, and collaborative." The result is something special as these students have climbed the mountain and firmly planted the flag at the top under their own power.
It is an impressive feat, especially given the fact that their show selection is not a "gimme" in any way. For them, it was a perfect choice. A gutsy show for a gutsy group of Santa Cruz County's finest up-and-coming theatrical talents. The power of this production will resonate far beyond the run of this show and into the many schools and local theatre companies who are lucky enough to have these burgeoning professionals as a part of their ranks.
Santa Cruz Performing Arts Teen Theatre presents Cabaret
Aptos High School Theatre - 100 Mariner Way, Aptos, CA 95003
See Facebook event page for more info
Through September 15, 2012