Das Kabarett: don't miss this historic lesson

Tito, victor or bastard

I had no idea what I was going to see when I walked into this show.  I thought this show was going to be about a bunch of dancing girls or some Moulin Rouge type story that may be nothing more than scantily clad girls.  I was totally wrong and as punishment, this performance kicked me in the gut, smacked me upside my head, made fun of my life, and then drop kicked my ass into reality.  I was shocked to get a short history lesson on a part of the 20th century that I had no idea existed.

The story takes place in Serbia during 1944 and tells the story of a German family that has recently been forced to entertain the Russian Army.  Tito's troops have arrived and all German families are stripped of citizenship and are ordered to leave the country or be killed.  It is such a complex play that I don't know how to do it justice in a short review.  There is so much going on in the dialogue and I was empathizing from the first moment she started telling her story.  The set was simple and the costumes were excellent.  You can't tell from the poster for this show that the costume displayed only appears for the first few minutes and lays the foundation for what is to come.  In one corner there was a gold fish in a bowl that has significant meaning.

The actress (I can't remember her name and have lost my program!) was brilliant.  From singing to dancing and relaying the anguish and guilt of a mother who secretly knows she may have little time left to protect her children - simply amazing.  I wish this production had been in a larger venue because it deserves it.  More people need to see it.  If you don't know much about this time period in this part of the world, it is heart wrenching and the changes in Yugoslavia late in World War II laid the foundation for the problems we've seen in recent years.  I have only been reading a little bit about for an hour and, already, I am finding the depth of this script astounding.  It is well laid out and doesn't beat you over the head with a history stick.  I find it incredible that such a simple story can combine so much history and emotion without the audience knowing it.

You need to see this play.  Don't miss it.

By Shane Birley