Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

Cabaret at DPAC Puts a New and Wonderful Spin on a Classic

Randy Harrison stars as the Emcee in Roundabout Theatre Company's 2016 tour (photo by Joan Marcus)

Randy Harrison stars as the Emcee in Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2016 tour (photo by Joan Marcus)

Cabaret, presented by Roundabout Theatre Company, and currently onstage at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) under the magical direction of BT McNicholl, is a super-fun, super-funny, high-energy production that begs to be seen.

This well-loved and often-bawdy musical focuses on The Kit Kat Club, a seedy establishment, and a young writer, Clifford Bradshaw (Lee Aaron Rosen) who visits it and subsequently falls in love with Sally Bowles (Andrea Gross), a somewhat wayward singer.

While their love affair is ill-fated based on the time period and the vast chasm between their two lives, the journey is an exciting (and sometimes heartbreaking) one to watch. For all its tawdry songs and low-brow jokes, Cabaret is also a musical about love, about darkness, and about the despair of the human condition.

Focusing less on the aforementioned low-brow comedy, so commonly played up in modern performances, and more on the beauty of the script itself, this production really takes Cabaret to new depths, making it a good viewing choice for those who have seen the musical before and who are ready to understand it on a deeper level.

While the set is basic, it only serves to make the larger-than-life show feel more intimate and accessible. And, despite the surprisingly small scale of the set, the musical numbers are still just as much fun to watch and still just as lively- perhaps even more lively than usual- thanks in large part to amazing choreography from Cynthia Onrubia and glittering, bedazzling costumes by William Ivey Long.

The intimate setting also adds to the enjoyment and full realization of the characters, though the actors do a fine job of assisting with that task themselves. Gross is likeable and charming, in spite of her character’s faults, in her role, and Rosen makes for a very sympathetic and understandable Clifford Bradshaw.

Add in all of these awesome elements with pitch-perfect lighting effects from Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari, and it all equals out to an amazing, unique production of Cabaret that will allow viewers to experience it in an entirely different way than ever before.

Andrea Goss and Lee Aaron Rosen star as Sally Bowles and Clifford Bradshaw (photo by Joan Marcus)

Andrea Goss and Lee Aaron Rosen star as Sally Bowles and Clifford Bradshaw (photo by Joan Marcus)

The Durham Performing Arts Center presents CABARET at 8 p.m. April 22, 2 and 8 p.m. April 23, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. April 23 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.

TICKETS: $30-$145 (including fees). Click here for DPAC Special Offers.


DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787),, or

Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or

GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587,, or




THE TOUR:,,, and


TOUR CREATIVE TEAM (scroll down):






NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 8 p.m. Saturday, April 23rd, performance.


Goodbye to Berlin (1939 short novel): (Wikipedia).

Christopher Isherwood (English novelist, 1904-86): (Christopher Isherwood Foundation), (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), and (Wikipedia).

I Am a Camera (1951 play): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia).

John Van Druten (playwright): (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), and (Wikipedia).

I Am a Camera (1955 film): (Turner Classic Movies), (Internet Movie Database), and (Wikipedia).

Cabaret (1966 Broadway and 1968 West End musical): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia).

John Kander (composer, 1927-): (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), and (Wikipedia).

Fred Ebb (lyricist, 1928-2004): (Fred Ebb Foundation), (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), and (Wikipedia).

Joe Masteroff (playwright, 1919-): (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Movie Database), and (Wikipedia).

Cabaret (1972 film): (Turner Classic Movies), (Internet Movie Database), (Wikipedia).

Cabaret (1998 Broadway revival): (Internet Broadway Database) and (Wikipedia).

B.T. McNicholl (director) (tour bio), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Internet Broadway Database).


Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click To read more of her writings, click and

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Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Lead Story, Reviews