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Cabaret Review

Schmutzigen Deutsche Kabarett

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How much do we love an after-hours "Willkommen," especially if it involves lingerie, men in makeup, and more than a few spankings? The crafty folks at Zombie Joe's Underground have given us all that and more in a German back-alley cabaret. Yep, it's the Emcee, Sally Bowles, and the Kit Kat Club girls in a somewhat familiar song and dance, but with an up-close-and-personal twist that makes it a delicious late-night snack.

Director Amanda Marquardt puts together a sexy and tight—in all the right places—package, pairing songs and patter from the musical "Cabaret" with a few more Weimar cabaret tunes and her own dynamite choreography. The young cast is tops, headed by Luke Wright as an Aryan teddy bear of an Emcee. Lauren Parkinson is also swell as Sally. And they're surrounded by girls who hold their own to complete this strong and damned attractive ensemble. The girlish Samantha Jordan and lovely Lana Inderman are spotlighted, but Rachel McVay, Rebecca Safier, and Ashley Fuller help to make this team of sluts in satin oh-so-touchable. Then there's Jonica Patella, who nearly brings the house down in a striptease that's most definitely worth waiting for, thanks in part to Marquardt's wonderfully strange moves.

Credit to dance captain Skye Noel for cracking the whip and additional choreography, and to Adam Neubauer for tying up a few loose technical ends, in particular the canned music that works beautifully. Although audiences may want a bit more of an original stamp on the dialogue and overall concept, this is a fun and beautifully executed little treat. So as "Dirty German Cabaret," it delivers on its promise in a pretty fabulous way.

Presented by and at ZJU Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Jan. 22–Feb. 26. Sat., 11 p.m. (818) 202-4120. www.zombiejoes.com.

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