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February 6 2016 @ 2:00 pm
The ruling artistic style of our time is dystopian. So many cultural products are created in this key that they ought to carry warning labels, lest the masses suffer dystopian overdose. Yet some perennial classics stand out from all the look-alikes, one of them being Cabaret, by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff, of which a new touring production visits Pittsburgh. This Tony-winning Best Musical of 1966 is not set in any shadowy, unspecified future time and place. Cabaret is drawn from Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin, set in the actual dystopia of Germany during the early 1930s. The Depression had flattened people’s spirits, and while many sought an escapist lift in kinky night spots like the musical’s Kit Kat Klub, another kind of spirit—Hitler’s—crept over the scene. If you know Cabaret from the movie with Liza Minnelli (above) and Joel Grey, you’ll find the new road show dials up the kink even further. It is produced by the maestros at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company, who did the revival that featured Alan Cumming as a deliciously wicked Emcee. Randy Harrison of TV’s “Queer as Folk” plays the Emcee here. 2 and 8 p.m. Performances through tomorrow. Benedum Center, 237 7th Ave., Cultural District. (MV)