Art imitates life and life is a cabaret.
The musical “Cabaret” opens this week in Lake Tahoe Community College’s Duke Theatre. The play is set in Germany in 1930 in a seedy club that serves as a metaphor for the development of the Nazi party.
“It ties in to what’s happening today,” said Susan Boulanger, who has been LTCC’s director of theater for seven years. “We’ve had many discussions. When I chose the play, I had no idea that this show would be so current and immediate right now. I am hoping it might people give something to think about whatever side of the fence you’re on.”
“Cabaret” is based on a 1951 play, “I am a Camera,” and it was made into a 1972 movie starring Liza Minnelli, who plays the part of Sally Bowles. Berlin’s Vimar Period was one of hedonism and decadence where nightclubs were hideaways from the troubles in the world.
“The challenge is the depth of emotion and character development that is required for a musical like this,” Boulanger said. “Sally Bowles has a romance with an American writer and they are not paying attention to what’s going on outside of their bubble and all the while the Nazi party is starting to pull full steam ahead.
“The music is great and what’s interesting is that songs help forward the plot and reveal the characters. The fascinating part is that the production numbers in the Kit Kat Klub are all comments about what’s happening on the outside of the club.”
Scott Homolka portrays the challenging role of the Cabaret’s emcee.
“He’s just rocking this role,” Boulanger said. “He has to be charming, likable, edgy, a little scary and go through this emotional journey in the play the whole time. He’s perfect for the part.”
Sally Bowles is played by Rhonda Keen, a regular in LTCC’s spring musicals.
“She also is a tremendously versatile performer,” Boulanger said. “She’s a triple threat, a singer, dancer and actor, and this gives her the opportunity to strut her stuff.”
LTCC presents three productions each school year and auditions are open to everyone.
“You don’t have to be a student,” Boulanger said. “Because were such a small department there is a lot of opportunity here. We have a cast member who has wanted to go onstage for 30 years. Trina Brown plays Fräulein Schneider. The last time she did something was in high school. She’s over the moon she has an opportunity like this. I would love to encourage people to come out. It is not as scary as you might think.”
Starting Friday, June 10, this spring’s show in the Duke will be presented seven times.
So come to the Cabaret.
A book by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb
Where: Duke Theatre, Lake Tahoe Community College, South Lake Tahoe
Performances: June 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 @ 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees June 12 and 19 @ 2 p.m.
Advisement: Purchase tickets in advance, the shows are likely to sell out. Due to mature content, the play is not recommended for children.
Tickets: $15 general admission and $12 for seniors, groups of eight or more, and students with a valid student I.D. Tickets may be purchased in advance at LTCC’s Bookstore Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Fridays 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. LTCC’s Box Office will be open for ticket sales one hour prior to all performances. Call the Box Office at (530) 541-4660 ext. 207. If you live outside of South Lake Tahoe and have questions about ticket purchases, please call (530) 541-4660 ext. 240, or email Boulanger@ltcc.edu.