Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome! Whether you’re a clown, a Berliner or a “beige person” (that’s clown slang for non-clowns), Majestic Repertory Theatre invites you to leave your troubles outside as it presents two completely immersive and wholly different shows this August: Cabaret and Clown Bar.
“Somehow I’ve become the social justice theater artist in Las Vegas,” Artistic Director Troy Heard says of Majestic’s current programs having deep resonance, such as Hair, Animal Farm and Marie Antoinette. With its Nazi-era Berlin setting and styles of resistance, Cabaret fits right into the pattern. “On the other hand, Clown Bar is a show that happily has no redeeming social value whatsoever,” Heard states. “It’s an enjoyable roller rollercoaster flight.”
Heard selected Cabaret to lead off Majestic’s 2018-19 season after listening to the musical’s track “So Exactly what.” Sung by a German character in the 1930s, the lyrics have to do with not sweating the small stuff. “Regrettably at the time, the small things was the rise of Adolf Hitler,” Heard states. He instantly thought about the “why vote?” mindsets surrounding the 2016 election.
“There’s no navigating an allegory, when it pertains to Cabaret,” Heard states. “It’s a show that speaks to each generation.” Heard says that because debuting in 1966, Cabaret has actually been an allegory for the American Civil Liberty Movement, the persecution of gays in Russia, and now, the “bubbling up of fascism enabled by the Trump routine.” Heard’s version stars Charlie Starling as the stubborn British ingenue Sally Bowles and Anita Bean as the Emcee.
And then, due to the fact that the space was currently established like a bar, Heard chose to reprise last summer’s effective run of Clown Bar, which likewise played LA’s Viper Space. It’s a movie noir-style mystery filled with mobsters and gumshoes– all of whom take place to be clowns.
“We all really enjoy it,” states Natalie Senecal, who will resume her role as Petunia, the rubber chicken-loving clown hooker with a heart of gold. “It’s simply fun to do, to be honest. There’s a great deal of shows you always want you could restore, so when the stars align and you can do that, why not?” In fact, Senecal enjoys Clown Bar a lot, she plans to get a rubber chicken tattoo.
Kady Heard, who takes place to be wed to Troy, will perform in both Cabaret and Clown Bar, as a Package Kat Woman and as Blinky Fatale, respectively. “I finally get to dance while I’m acting in both of them,” she states. “Cabaret does go to some dark places, and I have to tap into some uneasy psychological circumstances, but in both I am playing a seasoned female who’s been treated improperly by men, so it’s not that tough to go back and forth.”
So ways to watch? Heard recommends a double feature: “See Cabaret. Pop throughout to Velveteen Bunny for a drink. And come back for Clown Bar as a taste buds cleanser.”
CABARET August 2-26; Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m.; $15-$28. Majestic Repertory Theatre, 702-423-6366.
CLOWN BAR August 4-25; Saturday, 11 p.m.; $25. Majestic Repertory Theatre, 702-423-6366.