Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Movie Madness: Cabaret

When I was a kid, I dressed up as a Spice Girl for Halloween.  Baby Spice, for those who know what that means.  I had my hair in high pigtails, a face full of makeup, and a short blue dress that actually came from the sleepwear section of Target.  Add to that my mother's high heeled shoes (no platforms available), and I'm sure that at least half of the people that gave me candy that night thought I was trick or treating as a prostitute.  But these are the things you only realize in hindsight.

I don't go trick or treating anymore, and I didn't have any parties or anything to go to, but I decided to dress up a little for Halloween last week anyway.  It was kind of a spur of the moment decision, though, so I had to source the costume from what was already in my closet.  Thankfully, I have some dramatic 'moments' in my wardrobe that could be combined to create a look.  Like a pair of sort of tweedy black shorts with some shiny thread to them and suspender buttons on the front.  And a black cardigan covered in sequins.  Add some basics, black leggings, black tank top, a pair of black Mary Jane-esque shoes.  Then top it off with a feathered headband and black ribbon tied around the neck, and voila!  Life is a 'Cabaret', old chum.

I have to admit, though, that I hadn't actually seen the entire movie when I wore the costume.  I had seen bits and pieces, but we rented it on iTunes on Saturday and watched it all the way through.

It's so funny, looking back, that I grew up watching musicals as a kid.  Because outside of Disney cartoons, and 'The Sound of Music', musicals tend to have some pretty inappropriate subject matter that they're so melodically portraying.  I wonder how my child-self would have naively processed everything from the divine decadence of Liza Minnelli's polished finger nails to the Nazis.  Well, I guess I already understood those from 'The Sound of Music'.  While some of the sexual or political stuff might make it controversial for some people, to me it all adds to the depth of experience.  The musical numbers are catchy and fun, but the characters are conflicted, and there's a kind of grotesqueness to the cabaret that the film is clearly playing with, and juxtaposing various elements to interesting effect.

When it comes right down to it, this is a classic.  I'm glad I finally got to see it.  And while I'm not in a hurry to watch it over and over again to memorize every line like other musicals, I do have some of the songs stuck in my head.

And I don't regret dressing up in its honor.  From Spice Girl to Cabaret doll, that's what Halloween is for, right?

Thanks to Amaryllis Musings for starting me on the movie madness meme.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Caberet is awesome. I have 2 broadway recordings on my ipod. Sorry to leave you hanging this week. Crazy Monday.