Karson St. John plays The Emcee. She is a very talented actress and confident performer but I suspect was cast to give a woman a shot at this iconic role and/or to provide a twist on the show. Well, if you are going to cast a woman in the role, Ms. St. John would be a great choice. She is sexy, sings and dances well, and can be menacing, but a woman in Nazi gear does not conjure up the terror of an SS soldier. She runs the risk of being cute. Joel Grey was, in my estimation, too cute and not menacing in the role, but some of the others listed above would have been my choice. There is also a strong suggestion of homosexuality or at least bisexuality about the role. I think a man works better, to provide a push to the Cliff character to further explore his homosexuality.
Cabaret plays in San Diego’s Old Town Theatre until May 15.