Cabaret will open the 89th season of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre Sept. 7-23.
George Quick is director and musical director and Lindsay Fussell is choreographer of this gritty musical, set in the manic, licentious world of pre-WWII Berlin as the Nazi Party begins its rise to power. In the riotous gaiety of the seedy, omnisexual Kit Kat Klub, hard-partying Berliners are oblivious to the coming storm – refusing to believe that the worst is yet to come.
"This is not a ‘Cabaret’ for the faint of heart," says Mr. Quick. "It's an adult show with adult situations."
Cabaret is based on Christopher Isherwood’s "Berlin Stories." Book is by Joe Masteroff; music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The show was a hit when it debuted on Broadway in 1966, and the show was made into a movie directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey in 1972. The on-stage excitement was re-ignited when Sam Mendes’ grittier, more overtly sexual version premiered in London in 1993 and transferred to Broadway in 1998.
The Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s cast for Cabaret includes: Cody Keown is the impish and androgynous Emcee. Janelle Gilreath is the live-in-the moment English chanteuse, Sally Bowles, R. Clay Johnson is Clifford Bradshaw, a fledgling American novelist who comes to Berlin to write. Denise Hardee-Gossett as Fraulein Schneider, the landlady of the boarding house, and Craig McNamara as Herr Schultz, a fruit vendor and a Jew, provide a poignant story line as a pair of older lovers in a relationship doomed under the new regime. Kendra Gross plays prostitute Fraulein Kost, Alex White is Nazi businessman Ernst Ludwig. Bobbi Burks, Tinamari Coleman, Bonnie Marilyn Jean, Mariah Rinkel and Jessica Wilson are the Kit Kat Girls. Timothy Kelley, Brett Kolbas, Damon Thomas, Keith Walker and Tommy White are the Kit Kat Boys. Pianist Marcia Smith is at the keyboard and Deanna Marie Prather is stage manager. The production will feature a six-piece band on stage during the entire production.
"In this production we take the phrase ‘life is a cabaret’ seriously," says Mr. Quick, "The denizens of Berlin's Nollendorfplatz – think of Greenwich Village in NYC, only more decadent – are struggling with the deep economic depression gripping all of Germany. It’s the end of the Weimar ‘golden era’ and the rise of Hitler's Nazi party. How do Sally, Cliff, Schneider, Schultz, Kost and Ludwig deal with this new era? Their choices are difficult. From our perspective, we can see where they go horribly wrong, but then, as Fraulein Schneider pointedly asks Cliff and Sally: ‘What would you do?’ "
Cabaret contains mild sexual situations and references and adult themes. The show is approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission. Barnett & Company is co-producer of the show.
Friday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. Opening Night Gala begins at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. With real-time captioning provided for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons by Barnett & Company and the Chattanooga Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America
Friday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. Talk back with the cast and director of Cabaret after the performance
Saturday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 16, at 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. Frauleins’ Night Out sponsored by Brewer Media begins at 7 p.m
Saturday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 23, at 2:30 Final performance
Season series tickets and anytime admission tickets are now available at a discount of 15 percent and more. Individual tickets go on sale Aug. 28 and are $30 opening night and $10 - $25 for other performances. For more information, call the box office at 267-8534 or check out the website: TheatreCentre.com.