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Theatre Review: I Am A Camera

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, April 9, 2010
(Music:  Marlene Dietrich, “Falling In Love Again.”)
The setting is Berlin in the 1930s, when the economy was sputtering, and morality was a quaint thing of the past.
In the midst of this, we meet Sally Bowles -- an irrepressible party girl whose affections flit from one wealthy man to the next. Here she is, reading a farewell note from her latest.

“It’s what I thought… He’s throwing me over. Right over, with a whole lot of stuff about how badly he’s behaved toward me. Apparently there’s another woman, a Lady Gore-Eckersly… He says she’s wonderful, and she’s a virgin. A Communist virgin. Well, those are two things one could never say of me!”

Sally, of course, is aware that the world around her is getting nasty, and the Nazis are taking over – it’s just that she’s not interested, because the only things she cares about are parties and champagne. Newcomer Julie Granata has twinkling eyes and a quick, bright smile that suit the role.

Every other character in this dissolute story orbits the magnetic Sally, the way planets circle the sun – including her devoted ally Christopher. He’s a mild-mannered writer who isn’t Sally’s boyfriend, mostly because he doesn’t have the cash to qualify. And then there’s the worldly-wise landlady, with a sexy past.

The performances make the difference in this low-key production, because the script, a relic from 1951, is something less than classic material. This show is also a bit of a departure from the company’s standard fare – but in this case, the change is refreshing.

“I Am A Camera” plays through April 24th at the B Street Theatre
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