How much we like Cabaret, but how little this musical comedy by Kander, Ebb and Masteroff has to do with the cabaret that flourished in the Weimar Republic! Massively disseminated through Bob Fosse’s film, the image of the German cabaret offered by this show, sweetened and adapted to Anglo-Saxon taste, has little to do with the Dada pantomimes of Karl Valentin and Liesl Karlstadt; the eroticcathartic dances of Anita Berber, Otto Dix’s muse; the proletarian, lesbian and dissolving songs of Claire Waldoff; the political diatribes of Ernst Busch (a brigadista in the Spanish War), nor with the whore songs (whore songs) by Klabund, performed brilliantly by Annemarie Hase, though If you could see her from my eyes (Joel Gray’s two-step with an ape) preserves, muffled, the vitriolic essence of the The Jews are to blame for everything from actress bean.
Some song of Cabaret it is interchangeable with those of other musical comedies. Perfectly Marvellous, for example, would fit wonderfully, worth the redundancy, in Mary Poppins: It’s no wonder Fosse offered the role of Sally Bowles to Julie Andrews before Liza Minnelli. Directed with excellent taste by Jaime Azpilicueta, this new production has packaging, finesse, a convincing cast in general lines and a very good packaging: Antonio Belart’s wardrobe allows expressive fantasies, without losing sight of the canon, and the set designer Ricardo Sánchez-Cuerda takes advantage of the not very generous stage of the Rialto Theater. It is a pity that the orchestra directed by Raúl Patiño, which sounds like pearls, should be at the top, instead of at the foot of the stage, where it would give more dramatic play.
Azpilicueta’s hand reconciles the realism of the dramatic scenes and the expressionist point of the variety numbers, with very brief dreamlike surreal intermissions. The intermission of the welcome to Clifford seems inspired by that of the London version of Sam Mendes, and the master of ceremonies of José C. Campos (alternating with Edu Soto in this role), comes to be the disturbing and mephistophelic reply to the MC of the Scottish actor. Campos feels a bit tense at first, but he is immediately determined and, as the show progresses, he reveals himself as the author of a convincing and sharp creation. I especially like Cristina Castaño’s temperament and how she keeps her Sally Bowles alive every second. Daniel Muriel brings charm and character to the stereotypical role of Clifford. In the canoro, Marta Ribera stands out, characterized as Mrs. Schneider. Enrique del Portal (the ill-fated Schulz) and Víctor Díaz (Ernst) also shine. The program does not include the identity of the person responsible for the Spanish version of the songs being better than good.