Since no one that I know of in our class was in this performance or saw it, I'm going to summarize it a little before discussing it.
"Cabaret" is about a Puerto Rican woman who moves from Puerto Rico to a town near the Canadian border to Los Angeles to New York and finds herself missing her original home.
It is a solo piece, and the actress behind the production took stories from her various friends' experiences with moving to the US. She said in the post-show discussion that she had friends who never wanted to go back to Puerto Rico once they moved away, friends who longed for the island, friends who moved back, and friends who did not want to move back, but felt guilty for feeling that way. Her story is about several different kinds of love: love for one's old country, new country, and romantic love.
The performance was partly in English, partly in Spanish, and partly in Spanish with English subtitles, which she said she did to privelege the Spanish speakers. I don't speak Spanish, but I didn't feel like I missed a beat. Her facial expressions and body language said it all.
I've never seen a monologue quite this long or elaborate.
And I loved how she would announce things like, "Okay, in a moment I'm going to change into a red shawl, and I will be playing the other character for awhile. Okay? Okay." This clarified things for me, and it was also just cute. Makes me wish this kind of thing was common on stage, sometimes I get confused.
And she talked to the audience like we were her best friend or her diary; we got to see her little quirks and flaws, and I thought she was really charming.
I didn't know much about Puerto Rico before seeing this, and I still don't know much, but I feel like I have a better idea of what it's like to be a transplant in a new place. She goes through a lot of trials, but she keeps smiling and singing through it all.