At the Sexson Auditorium the play “Cabaret” showcased the love stories of Herr Schultz, Fraulein Schneider, Clifford Bradshaw and Sally Bowels and their experiences with sexual fluidity, drug use, liberalism, poverty and income inequality while faced with the rise of fascism in a liberal and modern Berlin, Germany in 1931.
“It’s important to have stories like this that tell history is starting to repeat itself,” Lancer and LGBTQ+ Charles Rangel said. “One of the lines was, ‘Politics has nothing to do with us,’ and if you don’t do anything about it and you don’t pay attention some really crazy shit is going to go down”.
The stories of the characters in “Cabaret” are important to put on stage on campus because they’re a reminder of the fears and consequences of political extreme experienced by a diverse community like PCC’s.
“This is a play that continues to resonate with modern audiences, not just for it’s fabulous music and performance opportunities, but for the challenging questions it raises,” director and full time faculty professor for the Arts William Hickman stated on the play bill. “This is a play about terrifying times just before devastation. It is a play about four lives and two relationships and how they are all affected by the rise of a political extreme.”
PCC’s “Cabaret” production is an adaptation of “Cabaret” 1998 version, a book by Joe Masteroff.
“It’s so hard to see literally people who love each other have to hate each other because of political views and it’s very relevant to what’s happening today,” PCC student actress Montserrat Fost said. “I think it’s important to see what’s going on around them because it affects them. At first it didn’t personally affect Sally, but it affected everybody around her, it affected her love life and the future it was supposed to create.”
In the play, Clifford Bradshaw, a novelist from Pennsylvania who travels to Berlin in search of stories to write a novel, finds himself falling in love with Sally Bowels, a cabaret singer, that ends her love relationship with Clifford as he’s trying to go back to Pennsylvania for fear of the violence and the political turmoil caused by the Nazis in Germany.
“I’m a teacher, I teach in East LA and I have a student who has witnessed how ICE took his father,” attendee Miriam Gonzalez said. “That happened almost a year ago and the experience he had hasn’t changed. I’m helping my students understand what’s going on and guide them on how they can be good citizens and how they have a right and responsibility to vote and participate [in elections].”
Like the unfortunate and very sad story of Miriam’s student from East LA, “Cabaret” showcases the story of Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz who decide to marry at a late age in their life and end their engagement because Mr. Schultz is a Jewish-German and not a “real German” according to Nazis, even though he was born in Germany.
“The play brings a very important message on stage and reminds the audiences to speak up and to get involved in politics and to pay attention to what’s going on around them because politics affect all of us,” attendee Francisco Aguilar stated. “My husband who is a DACA beneficiary thought he was an American until he had to apply for a drivers license and a job. When we met, I didn’t know his situation and never saw him any different than any other American.”
Click here to view a gallery from the show: