Cabaret at the Icelandic Opera - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Cabaret at the Icelandic Opera

Cabaret at the Icelandic Opera

Published August 5, 2005

The famous musical comes to life with all necessary glamour and decay. Based on the Berlin tales of Christopher Isherwood it tells a story of an American writer who arrives in Berlin in 1932 and gets caught up in a love affair and the political changes in Germany. The writer (Felix Bergsson) finds himself falling in love with the party girl and night club-singer Sally Bowles (Þórunn Lárusdóttir), and parallel to their struggle is the story of an elderly couple, the Jewish Herr Schultz (Borgar Garðarsson ) and the independent Fraulein Schneider (Edda Þórarinsdóttir). And of course the notorious Kit-Kat club and its gender-bending party-crowd is present as well with the MC (Magnús Jónsson) in charge, they sing and dance and set the background of the musical. Of course, all this offers a lot of drama, emotionally bursting into cabaret singing, crying, laughing and basic fun. The music is classic as is the production in general; director Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir walks down a familiar path with her emphasis in this project. Some extreme situations are a bit melodramatic but that is something you can always expect in musical theatre.
However the first open rehearsal of the musical lacked a lot of energy. The famous Cabaret songs, especially those performed by Þórunn Lárusdóttir, were great; she is a talented singer and gave a great performance, but she could not hold up the whole show by herself. The other actors seemed to be saving themselves, in the songs you could see the potentials of their performance but the tempo was too slow. The elderly couple really slowed things down and their relationship – a romantic one in a highly dramatic situation- didn’t capture my attention as acted. The control-freakish MC seemed to be haunted by Tourette’s syndrome but was much more fun after the break when his devilish side was more visible. The five singing/dancing/provoking girls were charming in an odd way.
One must hope that the artists will surely boost up their performance before the premier.


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