Highlights of Cabaret and More

Cabaret CD cover

This will be a rather short review, because the CD only has 10 tracks--and three of those (Don't Tell Mama Stage Band, Fruit Shop Dance, and Kick Line) are instrumentals. Still, I thought I ought to write something, since 1) it's been so long since I've added anything to the pages, and 2) this recording shows how much Kröger has grown vocally in the past few years. Still, I ought to point out that I have little to compare it with in terms of other productions--I've avoided the film all my life, since I hate Liza, and the one time I had a chance to see a live production, I opted for Bebe Neuwirth and Karen Ziemba in Chicago instead.

Willkommen, while a song I would happily go the rest of my life without hearing again in any form, is, in my opinion, much better here than, for instance, any of the four thousand times I've seen the Broadway revival cast performing it on TV. For one thing, the Vienna cast's pronunciation of all three languages was much better than the Broadway's for any of them (and we know how I feel about pronunciation! :)).

I find Don't Tell Mama fun, although I suspect a lot of the Cabaret purists would say that Vasiliki Roussi's too strong vocally for Sally. I rather like the fact that they do about half of it in English, half in German--I think it's more fun that way. But then, I'm strange, just ask anybody who knows me.

Maybe This Time and Money are fine; I simply can't really think of much to say about either. *shrug* Well, other than noting that they're both entirely in English....

In my opinion, one of the best numbers on this CD is Säht ihr sie mit meinen Augen. Okay, so there's some controversy on rec.arts.theatre.musicals regarding the translation of the final line being rather....wimpy, but vocally I think it's pretty darn good. From what I've heard, I'd say that if he'd sung this a few years ago (like, oh, around the first time he did Saigon), Kröger wouldn't have done nearly as good a job as he does here. His upper range seems to have improved dramatically, and the result is quite pleasant, in my opinion.

The other track I like a lot is The World Goes Round (yes, I know it's not actually from Cabaret--but it's on this CD), albeit for a rather different reason. The first time I heard it, it took me a while to realise what seemed strange about it: Kröger isn't devoicing all of his final consonants! *shock* Several occurances of "world", "round", "bad", etc, actually sound like they're supposed to, not "worlt", "rount", "bat", and so on! Okay, so some of the other voiced consonants still get devoiced, and his vowels are still all over the place at times, and the Rs aren't quite right, and I think his Ds are still dental, and...but hey, one step at a time. :)

Cabaret is, well, Cabaret. Again, not a song I've ever really liked, but oh well. I suppose it would be hard to make a recording of Cabaret without including it, wouldn't it?

All in all, I think it's a pretty good recording, but I certainly wouldn't recommend getting it from somewhere like Footlight which charges (last I checked) about US$40 plus shipping, when it's only a 35 minute CD.

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