|Theatre West to present Cabaret|
|July 19, 2012 Elizabeth Gross|
Photo by Elizabeth Gross/Gering Citizen
Sally Bowles, played by Marikita Payne plants an unexpected kiss on Clifford (played by Jordan Peterson) in a scene from Theatre West’s production of Cabaret, opening this week.
The curtains will soon come to a close for Theatre West this season but not before one final, sizzling offering to delight theatre-goers. The season finale is sure to memorable with the classic 1966 musical, Cabaret.
With Cabaret, the audience will be shuttled back in time to the 1920s Berlin night club scene and the Kit Kat Klub. An ideological shift is taking place in Germany with the Nazi rise to power. The plot centers on two lovers, Sally Bowles, an English cabaret performer, and American writer Clifford Bradshaw. While the musical focuses mainly on the two lovers, a sub-plot consists of the doomed romance of German boarding house owner Fraulein Schneider and her suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. In addition to a popular 1972 film starring Liza Minelli, the stage musical has earned several Tony Awards and has survived the test of time with many revivals since its release in 1966.
Two seasoned veterans to the Theatre West stage play the lead roles, Marikita Payne as Sally, and Jordan Peterson as Clifford. Both actors appeared in last season’s Rent. Payne is working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre at Nebraska Wesleyan University. “I didn’t really know a lot about the show previously, but when I got the script I thought, this was going to be really cool,” said Payne.
Jordan Peterson is a senior at University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he is majoring in Musical Theatre. “It seemed like a challenging role when I began to research it,” said Peterson, “I thought that this would be something really good for me that concentrated on acting rather than the huge singing shows.”
“It’s not a musical where they sing a song and everything is wonderful,” said director Jim Kimbourgh. In order to achieve the dramatic tone needed with the show, the actors have worked with assistant director William Groth, who was last seen as Big Daddy in Cat on Hot Tin Roof. Kimbrough has seen multiple productions of the show and understands that the success of the show depends on the portrayal of the relationship between Sally and Clifford.
While the musical is more dramatic than previously presented by Theatre West; it contains many universal themes that the audience can take away. Much of the play examines the relationship between Sally and Clifford and how their perspectives differ on what is happening around them. “All the outside forces that pull on you and test your ability about whether you hope and stay with someone or split and let them go. I think people can really relate to that,” said Payne.
Sally believes that the rising Nazi problem is something to be ignored while Clifford sees it as a growing problem. “The show teaches us that there are things going on in our world we shouldn’t ignore,” said Peterson. Though the musical takes place during Nazi Germany it is a piece that continues to reflect the growing conflicts in our ever changing world. “It really reflects what’s going on now in the United States and Europe, it’s a cyclical piece,” said Kimbrough, “It’s timeless in that it’s who we are, that we are always in this struggle.”
Cabaret is recommended for mature audiences. The show opened on Wednesday but will be presented July 19- 21 and July 25-28. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be ordered by visiting the Theatre West box office or by calling (308) 635-6193.
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