The decadence and political upheaval of Weimar Berlin will take the big center stage April 20-21, when UW-Green Bay Theatre and Music present their first Weidner Center mainstage production in more than a decade.
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A UW-Green Bay team of more than 100 people is working day and night to prepare for two highly anticipated performances of the groundbreaking musical Cabaret, a dark tale of indulgent night life, the rise of the Nazi party and the relationships and realities that were part of it all.
“It is a dark musical that has the veneer of the flashy cabaret,” said Director and UW-Green Bay Theatre Prof. Laura Riddle, “but the closer you get, and the more you see what’s underneath that veneer, I think the more frightening it is for the characters in the play.”
It’s the complexity of those characters, and indeed of the story itself, that appeals to the production’s actors.
“I love the characters in it, specifically,” said UW-Green Bay senior Matthew Harris, who plays Cliff Bradshaw. “It seems like every character has their own story to tell and every single character is going in a direction, and you might think you know where it’s going to end, and it doesn’t. And there are so many little complexities in every character that it makes, as an actor, a dream performance to be a part of.”
The bulk of the Cabaret actors are UW-Green Bay students, seasoned Theatre and Music performers who relish this chance to collaborate. UW-Green Bay alumnus and pro actor Eric Lindahl will return in the role of the emcee, one of numerous grads working to make Cabaret a success.
“The spirit of, and the energy that all of the students and the faculty, staff, professionals that we’ve hired in,” said Music Director and Assistant Prof. Courtney Sherman “ — everyone has brought such a spirit of commitment and dedication to the project so far. And it’s been really rewarding to watch that and see that and work in that kind of environment.”
Cabaret rehearsals have been held in UW-Green Bay’s University Theatre and along with an elaborate set — will make their big move to the Weidner the week of the show. For many of the Cabaret actors, performing there truly is a dream come true.
“I would just (think), what would it be like to just be on the stage, and belting your heart out for all these people,” said senior Molly LeCaptain, who plays Sally Bowles. “… So to be actually, you know, being in a musical where I get to be a character and sing songs by myself on that stage – it’s just, I can’t wait. It’s so exciting.”
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