Life is a Cabaret

One night at dinner a few months ago, my mother in-law coaxed a new friend at Belmont Village to stick around for the evening’s entertainment by bursting into song.
“What good is sitting alone in your room, come hear the music play. Life is a cabaret old chum, come to the cabaret.”
Grandma Mary Jane has developed a reputation among the residents and staff for spreading joy.
Imagine our multi-generation excitement yesterday when we were able to gather up both Grandma Mary Jane and Grandma Peggy to see their granddaughter Katherine perform in Citadel Theatre’s production of Cabaret.
Life is a cabaret for both women, who maintain a contagious joie de vivre. How thrilling for Katherine, who played LuLu, a Kit Kat dancer, to have both of her grandmothers in the audience for the matinée!
We all loved the show, which told the story of 1930’s Berlin, a city of vast contrasts and a determined , somewhat collective, refusal to recognize its impending doom. Both Molly and I left the theatre with a desire to read Goodbye to Berlin, the book on which the play is based.
Despite its melancholic theme and the desperate fate we all knew awaited the hedonistic members of the Kit Kat Club, we really enjoyed our Sunday afternoon at the Citadel.
Led by our matriarchs, we appreciated some of its  carpe diem messages.  “It is not always a good thing to settle for the lowest apple on the tree, the one easiest to reach. Climb up, a little way. It is worth it! Up there the apples are so much more delicious!”


“Start by admitting, from cradle to tomb, it isn’t that long a stay. Life is a Cabaret, old chum. It’s only a Cabaret, old chum.”

And in this family, we all love a Cabaret.

I asked ahead of time and was gently discouraged from taking photos during the production, so these next three pictures are courtesy of the North Shore Camera Club. (That’s Katherine on the left and we’d like to publicly thank Katherine’s childhood ballet teacher Juanita Makaroff for coaxing all those limbs to move in the right direction.)
These are the Kit Kat dancers and that’s our Kit Kat in purple.
Again, courtesy of the North Shore Camera Club.
Grandma Mary Jane
That’s Grandma Mary Jane in the far right corner. Though the show itself was sold-out, the post-show talk back was less well-attended. Grandma Mary Jane and Vince were the only two in our group to stay for the it. We needed to drive back to Wisconsin, Katherine had to drive her car pool back into the city and one of the actors in it had an audition and yada yada yada…Grandma Mary Jane and Vince are not in any of our post-show photos. Boo.
Grandma Peggy and group
This is Vinnie, Grandma Peggy, Molly, Jenny and Katherine.
Katherine and cast
The gang with the male members of the Kit Kat Club.
Katherine, Molly and Me
Me and my girls.
I’m including this picture because I love it and because both of these good people attended the show but, because they stayed for the post-show discussion, they weren’t in any of our post-show photos.


8 thoughts on “Life is a Cabaret

  1. How fortunate to have grandmas in the audience – I think, above all else, that’s what your daughter will remember most in years to come – and congrats, I’m sure she was amazing!

      1. Absolutely, I lost my father-in-law, but still have both my mom 78 and dad 82 and mother-in-law 80 and all (do you hear me knocking on wood) are in good health. I hope they hang in there a while as we all still like them a lot 🙂

  2. What a great day! Please continue to invite the Sun Prairie Kostelniks to these events. We love spending time with you when we can.

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