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Cabaret opens at RU's Pridemore Playhouse


Lauren Martin as Sally Bowles and Justine Kline as the Emcee. Photo by Elizabeth Dreher RU'14.

Inside the Kit Kat Club life is beautiful but outside an evil is emerging that threatens to engulf the world. It is the dizzying party of 1930s Berlin that forms the backdrop for “Cabaret.” A sizzling new production of the Tony Award-winning musical is about to hit the boards at Radford University’s School of Dance and Theatre and the Department of Music.

The story centers a on young American would-be writer Cliff Bradshaw (played by Brandon Leatherland) who on a quest for romance and adventure has his head turned by a free-spirited English cabaret performer named Sally Bowles (Lauren Martin). Sally quickly talks her way into Cliff’s room, which he rents from the German Fräulein Schneider (Hilary Matkovich). Schneider herself is wooed by a kindly a Jewish fruit vendor (Steve Brown). But the gathering storm clouds of the Nazi rise to power threatens the couples’ venture at love.

The glittering and tawdry Kit Kat Club, Sally’s place of employment, is presided over by the mysterious Master of Ceremonies. RU theatre major Justin Kline of Wytheville who plays the leering host did research about some previous takes on the part.

“But I thought it was important to bring something different to the role. As an artist that’s what you do—put your own slant on things. So, I’m approaching him from the point of view that he’s an inspiration to the other club employees. I want him to have a comic flair, for sure, but sort of like he’s saying ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry,’” he says.

“Cabaret,” written by Joe Masteroff with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb debuted on Broadway in 1966. It was based on John Van Druten’s play “I Am a Camera,” which was inspired by “Goodbye to Berlin” the Christopher Isherwood novella about his life in Berlin during the Weimar Era.

The RU production is directed by theatre Associate Professor Jennifer Juul. Theatre Assistant Professor Tommy Iafrate is musical director. Dance Assistant Professor Amy VanKirk is the choreographer.

The rest of the cast includes: Shelley Anderson, James Bristow, Maddie Cindrich, Ashley Dobrogosz, Lauren Faulkner, Bryan Glaize, George Hairston, JoBeth Hardin, Sarah Hayes, Zach Helms, Landon Kime, Paul Krs, Jessie Lowman, Taylor Moore, Erin O’Neil, Reed Patterson, Caleb Waybright and Jessica Wheeler.

The show opens at RU’s Pridemore Playhouse in Porterfield Hall March 25. This performance along with those one March 27-29 start at 7:30 p.m. On March 30 there is a matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets go on sale at the Porterfield Box Office two weeks prior to opening. General public admission is $8; RU faculty and staff, seniors, and groups are $5. RU Students are free with their ID. For tickets or more information, call (540) 831-5289.

Please note that this play is intended for mature audiences.

Mar 24, 2014

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