The Shawnee State University Musical Theatre Department is ready to open curtain on another hit musical this weekend with performances of “Cabaret.”
Concord Theatricals owns the rights to the show and describe it as, “In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920’s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the ‘Cabaret.’ With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, ‘Cabaret’ explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Cliff, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken with English singer Sally Bowles. Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally’s boarding house, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish. Musical numbers include ‘Willkommen,’ ‘Cabaret,’ ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ and ‘Two Ladies.’”
The program has 13 students preparing for the classic show.
“Rehearsals have been wonderful, we’ve brought in Guest Director Maggie Jackson from Gallipolis, Ohio. It’s really important to me that our cast have the chance to work with different directors,” Assistant Theatre Professor and Director of the Musical Theatre Program Summer Logan said. “Maggie has had a really strong vision for this show from the beginning. She approached this production as if it were a union show, which has been a great experience for the cast. This cast has been one of the strongest and most cohesive casts that we’ve worked with in several years it’s been a really wonderful experience for everyone involved.”
The production they’re preparing is the 1998 version, which includes some of the biggest fan favorites from the show’s history. The production won four Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards when it debuted.
“Cabaret is such a classic show, that has iconic music and the subject matter is incredibly important to contemporary culture,” Logan said. “I think that the community will enjoy the rowdiness and spectacle of the show and connect with the emotional aspects.”
This is just one production of many that the program has pulled off, and, according to Logan, the department is flourishing with talent from all over.
“The program is going strong! We are still rebuilding from COVID and getting back into the swing of performing a regular season without any regulations or audience restrictions.” Logan said.
The next production for the department is a one-act play festival in April that the students will be involved in. They’re currently finalizing next season and are also working on accepting new students for the upcoming year.
“Cabaret” runs February 22-25 and curtain opens 7:30 p.m. The show is rated PG-13 for content and subject matter.
They also have a special seating arrangement for this production, according to Logan.
“We’ve offered something special this year for our audience,” Logan explained. “We have 10 tables that are right up front as if you’re actually sitting in the Kit Kat Club! Cast members can get close and interact with the audience, but have no fear you won’t be pulled up on stage!”
Tickets are available at the box office or online at www.VRCFA.com
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