At Keegan, Paul Scanlan’s Emcee brings a slightly different edge to the proceedings…Bare-chested except for crossed suspenders, made up in whiteface with arched brows, Scanlan’s more imposing Emcee can be downright menacing. He sings with assured power, too, and it pays off in a number such as “Money (Makes the World Go Round).”
But the heart of the story belongs to the least flamboyant character — the young American writer Clifford Bradshaw, new in Berlin and looking for inspiration. Bradley Foster Smith as Clifford shows a fine blend of shy tenderness and, when necessary, anger.
[Maria] Rizzo’s Sally has the voice and the acting skills to belt the famous title song and still make it wholly convincing as Sally’s breakdown moment. She also has the dance moves to sell naughty numbers like “Don’t Tell Mama.”
The stage offers little room for choreography, but the tiny ensemble of singer/dancers gambol saucily in Shadia Hafiz’s assemblages of 1930s lingerie. The small orchestra achieves a brassy, tinny sound that is Kit-Kat appropriate under John-Michael d’Haviland’s baton.