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Spotlight on NYC Theatre: Sam Mendes’ brilliant and chilling “Cabaret” is back

In a recent appearance on “Charlie Rose,” director Sam Mendes was asked why he keeps revisiting the 1950s’ Kander and Ebb musical “Cabaret”; he first revived it at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 1993, then on Broadway in 1997, and now he’s mounted it again at Studio 54 in New York.Mendes explained that it’s one of the great 21st-century plays, and probably the best play to explain how the rise of Nazism could have happened.”Cabaret” is the story of two couples in love – the young Sally Bowles and her American writer, Cliff Bradshaw, and the older Fraülein Schneider and her Jewish beau, Herr Schultz – who, because of the Nazis, can’t be together. They’re all so caught up in the party going on in Berlin, and the harsh realities of getting by on a day-to-day basis, that nobody notices the Nazis are gaining a scary amount of power.