By Ryen Veldhuis
It’s been 11 years since Thorneloe last filled their theatre with grand song and dance with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but the Cabaret is here to entertain those who have longed for another musical production at the university.
Cabaret, set in Berlin between the first and second world wars, follows a young writer from America named Clifford Bradshaw seeking inspiration for his novel, and a star Cabaret girl from London named Sally Bowles as they live for the next year.
However, at this time the Nazi party in Germany is slowly growing, but it doesn’t seem to stop the people in Berlin from partying all their troubles away at the Cabaret.
Karen Jackson, who plays Sally Bowles, is very excited about the production. “I am elated to be part of it. Musicals are my gateway into theatre so the fact that I could be part of this experience and one of the leading roles is a dream come true.”
The director, Patricia Tedford said one of the main reasons she decided to put on a musical this year was because of the enthusiasm and skill many performers of last year’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot demonstrated. While the show played in North Bay, Tedford said, the performers would be in their rooms at night singing and dancing together.
However exciting musical productions at Thorneloe may be, ultimately, due to the academic offerings at Thorneloe and budgetary constraints, they will be less common.
“We don’t have a musical theatre program here, but it does help the students get experience for them. They will inevitably be in musicals later on,” Tedford said. “And the cost is about quadruple of a standard production.”
With all of the singing and dancing, the show has been extensively choreographed in conjunction with a live band playing the jazzy tunes. “We had a lot of rehearsals outside of rehearsals…I’ve been in gymnastics for years, but I’ve never really done things like that on stage before,” said Ali Weslake, one of the Kit Kat girls. The girls, during their dances in the musical numbers, engage the audience in ways that enhance the already interesting staging.
This production, a thrust stage is used with unconventional seating. Small tables are scattered about the house of the theatre with small lights and a few chairs, making the audience feel like they’re in a cabaret. Also, during the show, various drinks from pop to alcoholic beverages are available and consumable during the performance.
With half of the shows through, many are recommending people to take the time to see this rare production for Thorneloe.
Cabaret plays from March 6-8 at 8 p.m. and March 8 at 2 p.m. at the Ernie Checkeris Theatre at Thorneloe, while tickets are $25 and advanced tickets are $20. Tickets can be obtained by calling Thorneloe at 705-6731730.