Truer words were never spoken nor sung then those belted out by Sally Bowles at the now world renown Kit Kat Klub in the global smash hit musical play “Cabaret.”
What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play
Life is a cabaret, old chum
Come to the cabaret
I mean seriously what good is sitting alone at home or in your room? Why not go and hear the music play, it can rejuvenate and inspire you and bring happiness into your life. In many ways life truly is a cabaret so why no get up and go to the cabaret?
The problem is these days the cabarets have been closed, or if open you will need to were a mask and social distance. That can severely cut back on the joy of the experience. Not only that in today’s world Sally Bowles would sound something like this:
Wha goo s itting lone in yur rum
ome hair mus lay
ie s a cab
Sadly the entire world of theatre has been shut down since March. Just one of tens of thousands of tragic stories rings personal with me because a young man my daughter attended high school with finally got his big break on Broadway. After just two shows the theatre got shur down and he has been out of work ever since. In an odd way that reality brought back yet another interesting theatrical experience.
Many years ago now my wife and I went to see ‘Miss Saigon” at a theatre at London’s West End. I was intrigued because it was a story about a war I had been in. My beautiful bride was interested because the star of the show was Lea Salonga. Both of them, my bride and Lea, are from the Philippines. It was a truly great show and at intermission something else truly amazing appeared before our eyes as we went down stairs for some refreshments. There was a large bomb literally stuck in the floor. We learned that it had been dropped during World War Two but miraculously it did not explode. The theatre survived as did London but the bomb remained as a reminder of those clearly difficult times.
All over our world there are theatres large and small that have brought a wide range of entertainment and sometimes even unexpected wonderful surprises. A few years ago now my wife and I went to see the show “On Your Feet” at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. It is a great musical focused on the life and music of Gloria Estefan. Before the show began I excused myself for a few minutes to use the rest room. When I returned there was my lovely lady having a wonderful conversation with Gloria Estefan. Gloria as not in the show but most if not all of her rich music was. My wife is absolutely not a celebrity hound but there she was having a very happy conversation. These are just some of the great things that can and do happen at the theatre.
In the greater Los Angeles area alone there are literally hundreds of theatres ranging from the mighty Pantages and Ahmanson to the hundreds on 99 seat and black box theatres. New York is, of course, the home of Broadway and off Broadway and in virtually every American city there are theatres ready to entertain local audiences. Each and all present an opportunity for their audiences to enjoy an escape from reality for an hour or two; often to be immersed in song and dance and a great way to free our minds from the daily hassles. Each show, of course, requires a cast and sometimes musicians and lighting experts and sound designers – theatre is huge and extremely important to enjoying life and right now in America it is dead. I find it deeply disturbing that while a theatre in London’s West End can survive a German bombing raid virtually no theatre on earth has been able to survive the ravages of a tiny virus invisible to the naked eye.
And as I think about all of this my mind goes back a few days to the final day of the Republican National Convention. You remember don’t you as President Donald Trump not wearing a mask, addressed hundreds of people on the White House lawn with absolutely no social distancing and very few masks. Where was Anthony Fauci?
So where has this taken us? I think to the realization that we all, the entire world, needs and deserves freedom to include the right to enjoy entertainment and a wide range of human expression. If you don’t believe that our reaction to Covid – 19 has been far too greatly exaggerated consider this recent headline ATLANTA, GA (WJW) New CDC report shows 94% of COVID – 19 deaths in US had underlying medical conditions. That means that only 6% reported to be positive for Covid – 19 actually died from Covid – 19. Sobering isn’t it?
So come on let’s open up that cabaret; come right this way your table is waitingl so come to the cabaret.
Photos: Ron Irwin
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