BWW Interview: Troy Heard of CABARET at Majestic Repertory Theatre
The award-winning musical Cabaret transcends time with its relevant message for audiences today. The play captures the dark, oppressive mood of Berlin in the 1930s before the start of World War II with the distraction of sex, liquor, and drugs. Troy Heard directed the production for the Majestic Repertory Theatre with performances through Aug. 26. He took time to speak with BroadwayWorld.com about what the play conveys.
Cabaret is such a timeless story. How does it transcend to the world today?
Troy Heard: Fascist or dictatorial governments have been around for centuries before there was a word for it. Although Cabaret focuses on the Nazi party in pre-World War II Berlin, it was enabled because of people's complacency and their negligence in resisting it.
What lessons can the audience take away after watching this performance?
Troy Heard: Wake up.
Why was Cabaret selected for this season at Majestic?
Troy Heard: We just finished a highly charged season of socially minded shows including An Octoroon, Marie Antoinette, and Animal Farm, so I thought 2018-19 would probably be a lighter season. However, when I listened to the song "So What" from Cabaret, I was hooked. Here's a woman in her golden years, who's been through a hell of a life, whose motto is "so what?" and it struck a chord. The people who didn't vote in 2016; this could've been their anthem.
Majestic is a very intimate theater; much like the club Cabaret is set in, so how has this enhanced the performances?
Troy Heard: As soon as you set foot in Majestic, you're in the Kit Kat Klub. The action unfolds on a tiny stage and all around you. Also, who knows, you may be part of the show.
What elements make this presentation different from performances in other theaters?
Troy Heard: This staging of Cabaret is entirely new. Although we're using the 1998 revival script and score-which reduced the cast and scenery-the fact that you're sitting in the club heightens the intensity. We've made several other choices, including a reduced orchestra of three. The musical director created a rickety sound that would fit perfectly in the sub-par Kit Kat Klub. We've cast actress Anita Bean as the Emcee, a role traditionally played by a man. So when she says, "Every night we fight the battle to keep the (Kit Kat Girls) from taking off all their clothing," there's a real stake ... the choreographer and the dancers are all real-life burlesque performers.
Majestic Repertory Theatre presents Cabaret through Aug. 26. For dates, times, and tickets, visit majesticrepertory.com.