This performance was fabulous because of superb direction by the award-winning Director, James Dunn, the musical direction of Musical Director, Deborah Chambliss; Choreography by Sandra Tanner, the strong, talented ensemble cast; and the wonderful RVP tech team!
This critic attended the opening Sunday Matinee on September 24th and got the last possible seat in the house (and it had to be added)!
Dunn’s direction was brilliant. The outstanding actor this day was leading man Erik Batz who portrayed the Emcee! Erik was hypnotizing – he gave us a dazzling performance with a chilling close!
We’re not surprised at the magical direction by James Dunn – the 80-year old teacher and brilliant Director at the College of Marin. Having limited props and scenery, Director Dunn brings the focus to music and chilling political story. Emily Radosevitch was the most powerful vocalist, as Sally Bowles at Berlin’s Kit Kat club in the early 1930s as the Nazi occupation builds with the rise in Anti-Semitism. An added plus – in this production, the audience isn’t so involved in the music that they miss the words being spoken.
Solid and appropriate accompaniment is provided by a 3-piece ensemble (Debra Chambliss, keyboard; Jonathan Bretan, bass; and Mike Evans, drums). The top-notch cast includes a beautiful and talented KitKat girls dancing chorus (Jannaly Calmell, Mia Camera, Cindy Head, and Alexa Sakellariou). Very convincing performances were from Ian Swift as Herr Schultz, Sumi Narendran as Fraulein Kost, Maxine Sattizahn as Fraulein Schneider, and Raphael Telles as the waiter and sailor. Other fine performances were by Skylar Collins who portrayed Ernest Ludwig, Isaak Heath as Cliff Bradshaw, and Ralph Kalbus as Max.
The wonderful music highlights of the show included Wilkomen; Maybe This Time; Two Ladies; If You Could See Her; a mock ballet, and the horrifying Nazi marching anthem Tomorrow Belongs to Me.
Worthy of note were the show-stopping choreography by Sandra Tanner and costumes by Michael Berg.
Excellence best describes the work of the technical team, which includes lighting design by Frank Sarubbi, the set design by Ron Krempetz, with set construction by Eugene DeChristopher, and the Sound Design of Stephen Dietz, with Halina as Light Operator, as well as scenic artistry by Dhyanis Carniglia; publicity by Karin Conn, and last but certainly not least, the outstanding Graphic Design work by Jamie Catalano.
Gratitude goes to Co-Producers Robin Jackson and Robert Wilson for bringing this fabulous production to us.
I am thoroughly delighted to say I hope you’ll get over to the Barn to seen this outstanding production of Cabaret. – You still have chances to see it, until next Sunday. Tickets are selling so fast, the run is extended to October 22nd. This is a superb musical, written by Joe Masteroff with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, and I concur with Director James Dunn, who said in part, “Given what’s going on in this country, I thought it was important to revive this show… not only is it hugely entertaining … but it’s the best production in Marin County this year – not to be missed.”
Cabaret began September 21st and runs through October 22, 2017. Regular performances are scheduled for Thursday 7:30 p.m., Friday 8:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 p.m., and the final performance at the Sunday Matinee at 2:00 p.m. For tickets to Cabaret, go online to www.rossvalleyplayers.com or call 800/838-9555, and tickets for School Groups, call 415/456-9555 extension 3. All performances take place at The Barn, home of the Ross Valley Players, Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross.
Photography by Robin Jackson
Coming up next will be The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig from November 16 through December 10, 2017, and will be directed by Christian Haines.
FLORA LYNN ISAACSON