BWW Interviews: David Light Talks Playing Cliff Bradshaw in CABARET, and Working With Friends at the Lower Ossington Theatre
Currently on stage at the Lower Ossington Theatre is an innovative production of the classic musical, CABARET. Directed by Jeremy Hutton, CABARET at the LOT follows the iconic story you know and love, but does so with its own creative twists.
The Kander and Ebb musical takes place in Berlin under the Weimar republic as the Nazi's gain power. Against this tense setting, the play follows the love affair of the English Cabaret dancer Sally Bowles, and American writer Cliff Bradshaw. The story forms as the club's Emcee guides us through the story of dance, song, love, loss and depicts a part of history we will never forget.
Playing the writers block ridden Cliff Bradshaw at the LOT is David Light, who you may have previously seen in Ross Petty's THE LITTLE MERMAID. Light took some time to talk to BWW about being back at the LOT, playing a revamped Cliff Bradshaw, and working with friends.
BWW: How did you learn about the role of Cliff and the LOT?
David Light: I did a show with the LOT four years ago, that was the last time I did [a show there]. I've known of the LOT for many years [so] when [I was told they were] doing CABARET, I [said] I had to audition because it's one of my favourite musicals.
BWW: What drew you to the character?
David Light: I was auditioning to play the Emcee. Cliff [normally] plays a wimp, [but] the director [Jeremy Hutton] wanted to masculinize him, [and] turn him into someone Sally could fall in love with. When he started to talk about that, I became more interested in the character.
BWW: You just wrapped up with THE LITTLE MERMAID, so what was that transition like going from fish to American writer?
David Light: They're different. It's just the place and time, [and] knowing what your character is. I played a bunch of characters in THE LITTLE MERMAID; I was always transitioning in that show, so it's nice having one character to focus on.
BWW: What do you like the most about Cliff, and how to you relate to the character?
David Light: I kind of like that he's still naïve and willing to learn. He's taking it all in. He's going through some heartbreak at the end of the show, he goes in full force and then gets the rug pulled under him at the end. Everyone has heartbreak in their life that they can relate to, so it's nice to pull some real life into that.
BWW: Have you listened to the cast recording or watched the movie for inspiration?
David Light: Oh no, I've been trying to kind of steer clear of them Because we've added in the two songs that Cliff sings, but there aren't really good recordings of them. Because we're trying to take Cliff a different route, I'm trying to not go off of any recordings.
BWW: Did you have to overcome any obstacles? What were your challenges getting into the character of Cliff?
David Light: I think the hardest thing about staying in character with cliff, is [that] Kylie McMahon and I are very close friends and we fool around a lot. There are certain moments in the show where Kylie and I see we are not in character, [that] we are being ourselves, and we start laughing. I think the hardest challenge [is] not breaking with Kylie and staying serious in character.
BWW: What kind of comfort is there going into a show where you are working with people you are so close with?
David Light: It's fun. There's not a lot of judgment [so] you're not afraid to make mistakes. You feel like you can push yourself a little bit further and definitely go out your comfort zone. I think working with Kylie and these people, I've worked with Jeremy the director before, I think it's just a really great work environment and we're getting a great product out of it.
BWW: Were there any songs you found vocally challenging