If you follow me on other forms of social media, you may have noticed that I'm in rehearsals for Cabaret with Utah Repertory Theatre. I'm in the ensemble, playing one of the Kit Kat Klub girls, who works in the nightclub in "a pair of lacy pants." (Incidentally, this is the one show I've done in the past several years that my dad and stepmom are able to come see. The one where I'm dancing in my underwear. I gave my dad fair warning, and he replied that he's not prudish, and truth be told, he knew me as a toddler, and has seen me dance in less than my underwear. Fair enough.)
You may be thinking, "But Liz! 'Cabaret' all sex and stuff! You're a True Believing Mormon! What are you doing dancing in your underwear?!"
I'm dancing in my underwear because I believe in the story that Cabaret tells, and I think it's important.
Here's my philosophy; the six main ideas behind my decision to do Cabaret.
And I agree. But I don't think that limits valuable theatre to ONLY "The Testaments" and the Nauvoo Pageant. Mormons don't have a monopoly on truth and virtue. We can learn important lessons about how to be smart and kind humans from so many sources, including shows like Cabaret.
(And to be honest, I don't even know if my character's choices to work in a nightclub are all bad. I haven't decided yet.)
Sometimes there are just characters making choices, and you as the audience can evaluate if they're good or bad, or why they made them, or how you can live your life differently because of their example.
- It's about the dangers of nationalism, when it runs unchecked.
- It's about what happens when a leader shows up and promises to fix the problems of a lot of people who are underemployed, disenfranchised, and angry.
- It's about blaming an entire group of people for the problems of society.
- It's about a time and place in history when LGBT rights were being fought for, and sexuality and gender was being researched and honored, and the LGBT community was given a safe haven from bigotry, before a World War sent the entire movement underground again.
- It's about joining the crowd without trusting your own heart and conscience first.
Those are lessons we need now and always. As the granddaughter of German immigrants, as an LGBT ally, as a citizen of the United States, and yes, as a Latter-day Saint, I feel a duty to share these lessons. It really is okay if you feel uncomfortable about the context in which these lessons are shared. But for me, I'm grateful for the opportunity.