A dazzling 'Cabaret' at Pantages

MinnPostBy Pamela Espeland January 21, 2014

What can we say about “Cabaret,” which opened at the Pantages on Friday? Simply that “Cab” is fab. From the moment emcee Tyler Michaels drops down on a rope into an audience member’s lap to Kira Lace Hawkins’ final appearance as Sally Bowles, Peter Rothstein’s production is a (mostly) nonstop whirl of song, dance, glam, torn stockings, flesh, and mounting, sickening dread as the Nazis rise to power in Weimar Germany. Part of the Broadway Re-Imagined series, a collaboration between Rothstein’s Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust (previous projects: “All Is Calm” and “Aida”), this all-local show is dazzling. We’d seen the 1972 Oscar-winning film by Bob Fosse and were a bit concerned going in that we wouldn’t be able to get past the indelible performances by Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli. But the extravagantly talented Michaels, who is destined to be a big star, and Hawkins, whose performance grew in power and conviction, took care of all that, along with their co-stars Sally Wingert as brittle, who-cares Fraulein Schneider, James Michael Detmar as her tender and patient Jewish suitor, Herr Schultz, and Sean Dooley as American writer Clifford Bradshaw, alter-ego for Christopher Isherwood, on whose “Berlin Stories” the musical is based. New York’s Roundabout Theatre is preparing its own Broadway revival of “Cabaret,” which opens in April. They should save themselves the trouble and borrow ours. FMI; through Feb. 9.