Around New England

Trump Is Like Nazis, Theatrical Company Putting On New Version of Broadway Musical Says

August 21, 2019

A theater company in Portland, Maine is using a 1960s anti-Nazi Broadway musical as a way to warn about the administration of President Donald Trump.

“This isn’t a period piece anymore. It’s the reality around us,” the play’s artistic director said, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The cast of the new production of Cabaret is made up entirely of women and “nonbinary” actors – meaning people who don’t identify as either male or female.

The artistic director describes the show as “hypersexualized,” and the review includes the adjectives “bawdy,” “writhing,” and “ecstatic” while describing lightly clad actors.

A “cabaret” is a floor show of entertainment provided by a nightclub or restaurant. A Broadway musical called Cabaret premiered in 1966, followed by a 1972 movie of that name starring Liza Minnelli. The story centers on a singer in a nightclub in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in the 1930s who doesn’t realize what’s going on around her as the Nazis take power.

Cast members viewed footage of cabarets in Nazi concentration camps, which they find comparable to detention camps operated by the U.S. government to hold Mexican migrants at the border who are seeking to enter the United States illegally.

A review in the Bangor Daily News includes the following paragraph:

In American politics, discussions about white supremacy and white nationalism have reached the mainstream over the last several years, spurred by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies and racist rhetoric at rallies and on Twitter. According to a study from the Brookings Institute, Trump has benefited politically from “anti-immigrant sentiment, racism and sexism.” A violent neo-Nazi group, reported to have “secretive cells” around the U.S., has sprung from the country’s right-wing.

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