The concept of “VIP” has been so overused and bastardised that it has lost all meaning, and don’t get me started on “exclusive”. The Fugard Theatre’s Golden Ticket Event added meaning to these concepts again.
When they opened sales for Cabaret early-bird tickets a year ago they “hid” 50 golden tickets in the tickets for the special event. Details of this event remained sketchy until the very end, not that anything could have prepared us for the night we had.
The eve before Freedom Day, a fleet of white stretch limousines lined the street outside The Fugard. While limos aren’t really that fabulous this side of the millennium, for the few hours that we hopped over to the unjaded other side, and it was spectacular. Through the tinted windows we could hardly see where we were going, and even when we entered a building that seemed borderline derelict, I still had no idea.
It was the Sideshow, kitted out to resemble the Kit Kat Club. The round tables were set with heavy glass– and silverware with a lone vintage musical instrument as a centrepiece. A working instrument as it turned out when a musician 2 tables over trumpeted a tune with their centrepiece.
Now please excuse me while I gush a bit like the theatre nerd that I am. We were seated next Dominque Maher (Columbia) and Emile Doubell (the usher that screamed “Oh you naughty man”) from The Rocky Horror Show amongst other performers. It was illuminating seeing performers’ reaction to a show, so much more enthusiastic and encouraging, obviously the way they want to be for cheered themselves.
The entertainment kicked off with the first number from Cabaret, Willkommen. My favourite was a dazzling mashup of Money and Lord’s Royals by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (Emcee) and Claire Taylor (Sally Bowles). The band was not quite as beautiful as the stage production, though I recon a Big Band clad in white blazers would prefer the term handsome anyway. The real beauty was a lovely trapeze artist in the Kit Kat Klub uniform of nude undergarments that took to the air above us.
Mingling with the cast was a pleasure as they kept in character and were always 2 seconds away from striking a pose. Pulane Rampoana (who plays the snarling Texas) made the biggest impression when she slipped out of her snarling character of Texas, and was warm and friendly – taking a few ladies for a twirl between the tables.
The Fugard Theatre’s Kit Kat Klub was like Disneyland for theatre freaks; a divine decadence. Maybe the best things in life are free – and VIP!
Cabaret is currently showing at The Fugard Theatre, Tuesdays to Saturdays from R100-R280.
* Initially I thought it was way to early for another Cabaret production in Cape Town, as there was one about 3 years ago. The Fugard Theatre’s production, however, is darker and closer to the subject matter. While I never got around to writing a review, my sentiments were summed up by a conversion I eavesdropped while waiting for a taxi outside the Kit Kat Klub: “I don’t care if we don’t have any money, you have to see it. Even if I wait outside in the car for you.”
My Rocky write up: The Horror on Caledon Street