Arryck Adams plays the role of the Emcee in Camarillo Skyway Playhouse’s production of “Cabaret,” which opened a six-week run this past weekend. I got a few minutes with him after the opening night performance last Friday night.
VCOS: Have you ever played the Emcee before?
Arryck: I have not, but it’s been a bucket list item for me for a long time. I play the Emcee and I get to choreograph as well.
VCOS: Don’t you need a mirror when you perform to see what everyone else is doing?
Arryck: (laughs) Haven’t had a mirror in a long time! But it helps. Mirrors help.
VCOS: How hard is it to direct the choreography and perform at the same time?
Arryck: It’s challenging. It’s hard to get out of choreographer mode when you’re trying to be in dancer mode so I brought Tami Keaton in to help me so she could watch and take notes for me, since we work so well together.
VCOS: What does the Emcee represent to you?
Arryck: He is Germany and the degradation of Germany throughout the process of the show. When we open the show, it’s the ’20s and Germany is bursting with entertainment and jazz and everything’s very exciting. And then slowly, everything starts to fall apart. By the end of the show, the Emcee has completely fallen apart, so he kind of represents the German society itself.
VCOS: It seems that one of the most effective numbers you did wasn’t one of the outrageous numbers in the show, it was “I Don’t Care Much,” the song at the end of the show, where his spirit is completely broken. That song wasn’t added until the revival, so it’s good you get to perform it in this version.
Arryck: That is the true emotional song for the Emcee. That’s really how he expresses what’s happening to him, whereas everything else is more of a satirical comment based on what is happening. This song is more personal for him.
VCOS: The show has many tragic figures but do you think his is the most tragic of all of them?
Arryck: I don’t think he’s tragic. He knows the path he’s chosen and he’s determined to stick with it, regardless of the consequences. I think Sally is a little more tragic because she had choices to make and in the end, she made the wrong choice.
VCOS: It seems that the recurring theme in the show is the naiveté of the German people about what was happening to their country.
Arryck: Absolutely. Everybody chose to either ignore it or they just didn’t see it coming, until it was too late.
VCOS: And as for your portrayal, I’m sure you’ve seen enough different versions of the Emcee. How is yours different?
Arryck: When I first heard about doing the show, I decided to stop listening to the cast recordings. I stopped watched any videos that had anything to do with the show, and tried to forget everything and treat it like it was a new piece of theater, and I tried to interpret everything solely on how I felt the Emcee would react. So I kind of let everything else go and started from scratch.