For Theatre of Dare, Life is a 'Cabaret' on New Stage
T.O.D. tackles classic musical in Festival Park Film Theatre
“There are no troubles here!” barks the androgynous emcee of the decadent Kit Kat Club in 1931 Berlin. But outside the club, storm clouds are on the horizon. The rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis will soon shatter the lives and loves of everyone involved in this Cabaret, which Theatre of Dare will open at Festival Park’s Indoor Theatre March 16.
The Broadway classic is certainly a departure from recent Theatre of Dare musical fare, which has swung toward the lighthearted in The Music Man, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and most notably Monty Python’s Spamalot. But the cast and crew of Cabaret feel it’s an important story to tell.
“The characters in this show don’t even notice the Nazis coming to power until they’re engulfed and trapped in it,” says director Gail Hutchison. “It reminds us that if we’re not always vigilant, we’re doomed to repeat history.”
The story centers on American writer Cliff Bradshaw (Evan Tillett), who comes to Berlin for inspiration on a new novel. During an evening out at the seedy Kit Kat Club, he meets and begins a tempestuous relationship with an effervescent English showgirl named Sally Bowles (Madeline VanMiddlesworth). At the same time, Bradshaw’s landlord Fraulein Schneider (Janet Bryant) embarks upon a doomed romance with Jewish fruit seller Herr Schultz (Steven Devaney). Meanwhile, the Kit Kat Club and its emcee (Jimmie Lee Brooks III) act as both a setting and a lewd Greek Chorus for events in the outside world.
Cabaret itself, of course, is a cornerstone of classic Broadway, winning eight Tony awards during its first run in 1967, and winning eight Oscars when it became the Bob Fosse film that made Liza Minnelli a star in 1972.
“It’s a wonderful show with memorable music,” says VanMiddlesworth, who takes Minnelli’s role in the Theatre of Dare production. “I think audiences will be both entertained and enlightened by the way it entwines a thought-provoking plot with great show tunes and impressive choreography.”
Audiences might also be impressed by the indoor theatre at Festival Park, which is hosting its first Theatre of Dare production since the group lost its permanent home at COA to mold last fall.
“It’s an incredibly beautiful theatre with state-of-the-art equipment,” says T.O.D. President Don Bridge, who plays a nefarious German smuggler in the show. “We are so grateful to Festival Park for opening its doors to us, and we’re hoping our audiences love it as much as we do. We can’t wait to show off this stage and this musical.”
Cabaret takes the stage March 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees March 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, and all performances will be at the Indoor Theatre at Roanoke Island Festival Park, 1 Festival Park, Manteo. The subject matter of this show is not appropriate for children.
(The cast of Theatre of Dare's production of the Broadway classic musical 'Cabaret', which opens March 16 in the Indoor Theatre at Roanoke Island Fesitval Park.