Rated 4.0

The exceptionally talented male lead, Joshua James (Master of Ceremonies) takes Runaway Stage’s production of Cabaret firmly in hand from the opening curtain, leading the troupe with both lasciviousness and grace on the emotional roller coaster that was Berlin in the last days of the Weimar Republic. He’s aided by the mighty voice of Amber Jean Moore (Sally Bowles) and the always-worthy Tevye Ditter as Clifford Bradshaw. A versatile set incorporates the live band into the stage. In spite of a rough sound system, this is well-done musical theater. Cabaret remains a thought-provoking reminder that, if you think your country’s going down the tubes, it probably is.
Runaway Stage Productions, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$20. 24th Street Theatre, 2791 24th Street; (916) 207-1226. Through March 23. K.M.