Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cabaret! Cabaret! Cabaret!

Here is Liza Minelli:

Here is Joel Grey:

And here is Alice (Audrey Hepburn), a combination between the two of them:

Alice: singer, dancer, and someone who got the following comment in a New York Times review of the Off-Broadway play "Desert Sunrise"in 2006: "...when the girlfriend, Layla (performed with passionate self-possession by Alice Borman), does arrive, she introduces an unpredictable element into the relationship between the two men..." is put in charge of the huge Talent Show event that takes place tonight.

A few weeks ago she gets the idea to run a "Cabaret" theme through the show. She does an opening and closing number with the entire talent show cast and emcees the rest in her tuxedo and high heels. The result is a New York Broadway quality show (except for the kids' individual talents in between the big numbers, although they are cute --some of the hip hop is great and the pianists are fantastic). If you've never seen "Wilkommen" from the musical Cabaret (and I know Sbill and # 1 Fan have probably been in it), here is the YouTube link (beware, though...the song will be in your head all day long):

It is such a perfect piece for this event; as emcee, she puts the spotlight on her students and invites the audience to participate (Vietnamese audiences are typically very quiet) -- so her role is to be both subtle and gracious while being the diva she is. She pulls it off to a "T" and makes it an amazing night for the kids; it's unbelievable how she pulls talent out of them. Alice, remember, is not allowed back in the states for ten years (a visa issue), and she calls New York her "mother, father, sister, brother, lover and friend." But here she is in Saigon, living with her parents who are international teachers at another school, feeling more full than ever in her first year teaching job. She loves teaching drama, she loves putting this show together, and she loves directing The Wizard of Oz. She is a phenomenal talent.

One little side story: a group of girls who name themselves "Toxic" are performing a dance to the Britney Spears song "Toxic" (yeah). They make hair appointments for today, the day of the show, and they tell Alice that they are leaving to get their hair done two hours before curtain. Alice says "No way. I am not letting you out of this theater. I will never see you again~" but she tells them, hey, we are in Vietnam. Call your hairdressers and have them come here, to the theater.

So that's what they do...four hairdressers come to the theater.
It's a mindset I am acquiring: I am in Vietnam. Things are a little bit magic here.


kumma said...

Awesome - kudos to Alice!

By the way, I have never been in Cabaret... Liza's tuxedo/leotard thing always looked too uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

OMG this is my best friend you're talking about!! Alice has always been a star :-) sumanah khan