It is a proven fact that the human brain can remember over fifty thousand different scents. Whether it be the smell of fresh-baked cookies or clean linen individuals can recall them all. Immediately after walking into the Clayton High School auditorium, one could identify the tickling scent of smoke. The smoke filled the theatre and hung low to the floor. It made a thick line that lead to the stage and to the fluorescent sign that read "Kabarett."
Taking place in the early 1930s, in the party city of Berlin, Germany, the musical CABARET illustrates the dramatic ending and beginning of eras between wars. Sally Bowles, played by Annelise Laakko, is a British cabaret singer and dancer who works at the Kit Kat Klub. She meets the aspiring American novelist, Clifford Bradshaw, played by Eli Hayward. The boisterous Emcee of the show, played by Kamal Lado, narrates the story as it progresses and keeps the audience highly entertained. He later pulls the rug out from under everyone's feet and throws the haunting reality of the Holocaust in the audience's faces.
The casting directors of Clayton deserve a round of applause. With her stunning voice, sexiness, and acting skills Clayton High School's theatre program could not have picked a more talented actress than Annelise Laakko to play Sally Bowles. Laakko owned her character and proved it by leaving the audience with goosebumps from her powerful voice that stood tall above the ensemble. The Emcee of the night also stole the spotlight with his flamboyant personality. Kamal Lado entertained the audience with ease and embraced his character in an over-the-top, professional way. Lado gave the show a reputation that will be hard to forget.
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With his American charm and good looks, Eli Hayward supported the cast and main characters and is a force to be reckoned with. He portrayed the character of a young American with confidence, and his voice could blow away a crowd.
The set design of CABARET illustrated a perfect picture of a nightclub in the 1930s. With its wrought-iron staircase and other furnishings the set took the audience back in time. The sound and lights created beautiful images of their own and lit up the glamorous costumes. The costume, construction, sound and light crews knew how to sync together and create a beautiful show.
When the ensemble came together on stage a true work of art was created. The actors had impressive accents that stayed consistent throughout the show. They showed no signs of weakness when asked to go out of their comfort zones while acting. Although it could have flowed more smoothly, the choreography was beyond expectation for a high school performance.
The theatre students of Clayton High School went above and beyond in their performance of the musical CABARET. They showed true passion and had fun with their work, all while keeping the audience aware of the devastating reality of the past.