Oh how time, she flies right by, eh?  And now here we are - mid-October.  I'm still savoring my summer reading list, and putting off reading Mockingjay as long as possible.  To supplement the feminist YA I've been immersed in, I went up to Cambridge, MA last weekend to see Amanda Fucking Palmer in the American Repertory Theater's production of Cabaret.

*****If you've never seen or listened to Cabaret, the rest of this review/discussion may be hard to follow.  Solution?  Go watch it!  Or listen to it!******

Now, normally, I wouldn't consider Cabaret an at all feminist piece.  Then the A.R.T. got a hold of it and turned the gender and sexuality all to sexy, twisty, salty pretzel pieces.  As far as I'm concerned, it was just what the musical needed.  There was a lot to love about the production - the interactive Kit Kat Klub venue, the sing-alongs and table service, the sheer talent on display, the sick hollow feeling when you turn around in act II and notice the Nazi soldier, stony faced and at attention, two feet from your happy cabaret table, the gut-wrenching ending designed to remind a generation that doesn't know anyone who lived through the Nazi regime, just what was in store for their new friends at the Kit Kat Klub.  The insidious fascism is there all along, and as the production moves forward it peels off the layers of leather, lace, and greasepaint . . . to great effect.

So all that said, perhaps what I loved most was the way this production respected Sally Bowles.  When she makes the decision to stay in Berlin, without Cliff, her rendition of Cabaret is not a piece of triumphant denial.  Rather it is a painful, heartbreaking, bitter acknowledgment of the future to come.  It will stay with me for a long, long while.

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