Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 1:09 pm | Fair 75º


Upstage Left/SBHS Theatre Production of ‘Cabaret’ Opens Thursday

Upstage Left and Santa Barbara High School Theatre will present Cabaret this Thursday through Saturday.

“No good is sitting alone in your room; come hear the music play!”

This legendary, landmark musical turns Weimar Berlin of 1931 into a dark and sexually charged haven of decadence where its extraordinary and morally ambiguous inhabitants are determined to keep up appearances as the real world — outside the comfortable sanctuary of the cabaret — prepares for the nightmarish chaos of genocide and war. It is here that Sally Bowles performs nightly at the infamous Kit Kat Klub. “It's divine decadence, darling!”

Cabaret is the first-ever summer production of the nationally award-winning theater program at Santa Barbara High School, and part of a summer stock season in collaboration with Cheri Steinkellner and Upstage Left.

The cast includes MC, Clayton Barry, Sally Bowles, Xeni Tziouvaras, Cliff Bradshaw, Jordan Lemmond, Herr Schultz, David Childs, Fräulein Schneider, Mary Cusimano, Ernst Ludwig, Aaron Linker, Fräulein Kost and Sable Layman.

Ensemble members are McKenna Mender, Carly Cummings, Cameron Wells, Sofia Ross, Luana Psaros, Will Geare, Allison Towbes, Jason Gonzales Larson, Courtney Morse, Lizzie Saunders, Grant Bower, Libby Sestak, Rio Salazar and Hailey Turner.

Orchestra: Aaron Dutton on flute, clarinet, soprano sax and alto sax; Lito Hernandez on clarinet, soprano sax and tenor sax; Scott Lillard on trumpet; Mike Evans on trombone; Chet Stussy on accordion; Santino Tafarella on acoustic bass; Brandon Thibeault on drums/percussion; and John Douglas on piano and as conductor.

The production staff includes director Otto Layman, choreographer Christina McCarthy, musical director John Douglas, costume designer Lise Lange, sets/tech director David Guy, set painter Ingrid Holden, lighting coordinator Spencer Michaels and stage manager Beau Lettieri.

Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1966 Broadway production became a hit, inspiring and spawned numerous subsequent productions in London and New York, as well as the Oscar-winning 1972 film starring Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey and Michael York. Cabaret was subsequently revised in 1987, and revived on Broadway in 1998 with Alan Cummings where it won multiple Tony Awards.

The musical is based on John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera, which was adapted from the short novel Goodbye to Berlin (1939) by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it is based in nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub. It 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. The club serves as a metaphor for the threatening state of late Weimar Germany.

Cabaret plays at 7 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the SBHS Theatre, 700 E. Anapamu St. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. For ticket information, call 866.979.DONS (3667). For more information, click here.

— John Douglas is the musical director for Santa Barbara High School Theatre.

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