'Cabaret's' Nazi overtones upset audiences

Oct. 26, 2004 at 4:11 PM

BERLIN, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- A new Berlin production of "Cabaret," a musical set in 1929 Germany, reportedly unnerved the audience with its Nazi overtones and racial slurs.

Some people at last weekend's opening at the Bar Jeder Vernunft shifted nervously while others sat quietly through political and racial quips related to the rise of the Nazi party, the Times of London said Tuesday.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit refused to comment on the show, but rather focused on the acting.

"Sally Bowles was brilliantly played," he said of Anna Loos in the role Liza Minnelli made famous onscreen in 1972.

Even the German actors had a difficult time playing Nazis.

"It wasn't easy, believe me. Everyone wants to be loved and no one loves a Nazi," said Marco Billep, who plays a homosexual Nazi sympathizer.

"Cabaret" chronicles the Nazi party's influence in Germany through the medium of the love story between a bisexual American writer and the amoral Bowles.

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