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Monday, May 22, 2017

The Happiest Corpse

WHEN “CABARET” OPENED ON BROADWAY a half-century ago, it was the edgy exception to a lineup of musicals that included “Mame,” “Sweet Charity,” the sentimental two-hander “I Do! I Do!” and “Cabaret” director Harold Prince’s previous, unsuccessful production of “It’s a Bird ... It’s a Plane ... It’s Superman.”

Although we’re now farther time-removed from 1966's “Cabaret” than it was from its setting in 1930 Berlin, the show’s message remains as relevant as ever. And it has struck a chord with audiences through the years: Its original run lasted nearly 1200 performances; the 1998 Broadway revival had almost twice as many shows.

The production that visited Proctors in Schenectady last week is based on the 2014 revival of the 1998 version, itself an import from a 1993 London revival by Sam Mendes at the Donmar Warehouse.