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Love and Lust in a Burning Forest

“There was a cabaret and there was a master of ceremonies and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world…” So writes Cliff Bradshaw, the starry-eyed American novelist whose search for love and adventure in 1930s Germany frames John Kander and Fred Ebbs’s Cabaret. In the haze of the Kit Kat Klub, a haven for stockings, lipstick, and high-heeled performers, Berlin is in full-view, beautiful in its celebration of self and doomed by the rising political waves that would ultimately engulf Europe. Ithaca College’s production of Cabaret was an astounding success, executed with masterful design, orchestration, choreography and particularly amazing talent. Designed to bring the audience into the nightclub, with red “Ausgang” signs, dim lights and the orchestra dressed as a cabaret band, Clark Theatre brought the tantalizing Kit Kat Girls and Gals as close to the audience as possible.

Max Buettner '21 acts in last week's Odysseus Wounded.

Odysseus Wounded: A Modern Take on a Greek Epic

At the end of The Odyssey, Odysseus finally journeys back from the fallen city of Troy to Ithaca, where he once reigned as king. Disguised, Odysseus finds his kingdom infested with once-loyal suitors competing for Odysseus’ wife’s, Penelope, hand in marriage. After skillfully shooting an arrow through twelve axes to prove his identity in a now iconic scene, Odysseus, along with his son Telemachus, in rage, proceeds to slay every single one of the suitors in barbarous fashion. The epic poem, attributed to Homer, was composed in oral tradition by a rhapsode, a classical Greek performer of epic poetry. Appropriately, the play Odysseus Wounded, by Nathan Chazan ’19, former Sun arts columnist, and Alexander Lugo ’19 was performed as a live reading.

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Birds of East Africa is Taking Off at Kitchen Theatre

The Kitchen Theatre’s premiere of Birds of East Africa, a new play written by Wendy Dann and directed by Rachel Lampert, is incredibly quirky and starts out slow but becomes more meaningful as it progresses. The play feels disjointed at times but is saved by strong acting and its realistic portrayal of damaged relationships. As the play begins, two men dressed in colorful clothing meant to look like birds dance around the stage, and an ornithologist named Marion (Lena Kaminsky) appears soon after. The dancers often perform between scenes and sometimes interact with Marion. The birds she has studied have a constant presence in her life, even when she moves in with a college friend Stephen (Daniel Pettrow) and his husband Nick (Gabriel Marin) in Las Vegas, far from any hornbills, her professed favorite species.

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DOOLITTLE | Sit Down, 1776

“Does anybody care?” John Adams inquires of an empty congress chamber at the climax of 1776, but he may as well ask the same of a modern, post-Hamilton audience settling for the second best founding fathers musical to grace the Broadway stage. It’s impossible to talk about 1776 today without drawing immediate comparison to the groundbreaking hip-hop musical that I have tried so hard to avoid talking about in a column but oh well, there it is. It was a comparison that City Center Encores! attempted to lean into with their latest revival of the classic 1969 musical, setting it in a modern context and boasting a “multi-racial” cast. But is that a comparison anyone should wish to invite?