By Michael Aushenker
“Come to the cabaret, my cuttlefish?”
That’s what locals might be singing after veteran actor Paul Sand premiers “Kurt Weill at the Cuttlefish Hotel” tomorrow night on the historic Santa Monica Pier.
Sand’s recent odyssey began with a walk down to the end of the pier, where the Ocean Park resident discovered a corner in which he could pay tribute to one of his favorites: composer Kurt Weill.
Sand, who won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his work in “Paul Sill’s Story Theatre” on Broadway, has appeared on numerous TV shows, including “Taxi,” “The X-Files,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
According to Sand, Weill would walk this Pier often with friend and collaborator Bertolt Brecht, who lived walking distance from the downtown Santa Monica landmark. Sand contacted Jim Harris, deputy director of the Santa Monica Pier Corp., who welcomed the idea enthusiastically.
“For years the pier has been trying to expand its programming to include a variety of arts, and the one area that’s been lacking is theater,” said Harris. “Cabaret will work wonderfully in that space.”
Beginning tomorrow night, Sand will utilize an enclosed observation deck next to Mariasol Restaurant and transform the space into a thriving, throbbing cabaret in homage to his hero.
Weill, a German-Jewish composer who fled Nazi Germany in 1933, was best known for composing the song “Mack the Knife,” which Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin famously transformed into a jazz standard.
Expect to hear Sand and his company also perform Weill favorites “Pirate Jenny” and “Barbara Song” as well as Weill collaborations with Brecht, “Surabaya Johnny” from “Happy End” and “Luck Song,” (also known as “The Insufficiency of Human Behavior”). The finale will be the Weill-Brecht classic “The Alabama Song” from “Mahagonny,” popularized in the 1960s by a cover by The Doors’ debut album.
Santa Monica resident Michael Roth will serve as music director of Sand’s show, and cast members will include Megan Rippey, Shay Astar and Sol Mason as the narrator.
“Kurt Weill at the Cuttlefish Hotel” opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday on Santa Monica Pier and continues with performances on Dec. 13, 14, 20 and 21. Tickets are $20, with parking available on the pier and at beach level just north of the pier.