Parents Want to Stop 'Vulgar' and 'Dangerous' Play 'Cabaret' at Local Catholic High School
Parents of students attending a Catholic high school in the San Fernando Valley have launched a grassroots campaign to halt the campus' upcoming production of the acclaimed Broadway musical "Cabaret."
The movement to have the production at Panorama City's St. Genevieve shelved began in late February, when a concerned Catholic sent an email to the publication Cal Catholic. Calling the 1966 Kander and Ebb musical "vulgar," the angry objecter issued a rally cry to have others join in the campaign (we're bolding some words):
Abominable that a Catholic high school would dare to have this play, would subject these children to performing acts of grave indecency, immodesty, immorality, and homosexual behavior on the stage. This is the first Catholic high school to attempt this lewd play. Antelope Valley (public) high school tried to put on this play, but the community protested, and it was pulled. We can do it too.
["Cabaret"] is based on John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera, which in turn was adapted from the 1939 short novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw. A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub which serves as a constant metaphor for the tenuous and threatening state of late Weimar Germany throughout the show.
"Cabaret" has no positive moral lesson, but glamorizes sexual immorality through provocative music, lyrics, dancing, and subject matter. It is dangerous for the minds and the souls of the children performing, for the audiences who see it, and for those who may be influenced to believe the Church approves of its content.
St. Genevieve principal Daniel Horn said the show would actually have a positive influence on the students, in a letter sent to parents, reports CBS2:
“We are using the characters’ lives to teach our students to respect life, to value above all their own God-given lives,” Horn wrote. “‘Cabaret’ does not celebrate immorality; it is a cautionary tale about the dangers of immorality.”
Several students agree with the principal.
"Cabaret" is expected to be performed April 25-27 at Madonna Hall at St. Genevieve High School.