ACT­ING OUT Iconic, gay-themed ‘Cabaret’ ar­rives at Serenbe

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

As he was putting to­gether Serenbe Play­house’s 2017 sea­son, Artis­tic Di­rec­tor Brian Clow­dus locked in one show that led the way for all others: the iconic gay-themed “Cabaret.” Serenbe’s out­door ver­sion of the clas­sic just opened.

“I knew I wanted to do some­thing that fit the theme of re­belling and for me, this is the per­fect story of re­bel­lion,” he said. “What I love about it, when peo­ple are in times of dire need and stress, they came to the Kit Kat Club as a cop­ing mech­a­nism.”

For this pro­duc­tion, Clow­dus is wear­ing more than one hat. Not only is he di­rect­ing this ver­sion, but he stars as The Em­cee, the role made fa­mous by Joel Grey in an Os­car­win­ning role.

“I am wear­ing mul­ti­ple hats,” Clow­dus said. “Ryan Oliveti is my as­so­ciate di­rec­tor and he and I are tag-team­ing. I have a long his­tory with the show and this is my fourth time do­ing The Em­cee. It’s in me, in my body. It was some­thing that felt re­ally right. I had a very spe­cific vi­sion of what I wanted to tell. The Em­cee is such a unique char­ac­ter in that he is the con­troller and di­rec­tor of the Kit Kat Club. This is the per­fect in­stance – it made sense to do both. It’s been won­der­ful do­ing both, and hav­ing my team around has made it seam­less.”

Play­ing such an iconic char­ac­ter may be a chal­lenge, but the trick is to make it your own, he said.

“You al­ways have to ac­knowl­edge what has been done in the past, but you know me – I am go­ing to put my stamp on it,” Clow­dus said. “The Em­cee is every­thing we wish we could do, but so­ci­ety tells us we can­not do. He is overtly sex­ual, he is emo­tional. He feels things deeply. He finds joys in things. In the mo­ment of the demise around him, he is al­ways help­ful and in con­trol of his life.”

The com­pany is work­ing off of the 1998 re­vival, which won Tony Awards for Alan Cum­ming and Natasha Richard­son. It is quite dif­fer­ent from the orig­i­nal ver­sion, fo­cus­ing a lot on the ac­tion at the Kit Kat Club, and blur­ring the line of what is re­al­ity ver­sus what is in the char­ac­ters’ minds.

“Hav­ing that script to work off of is

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