StageQ's Cabaret marches onto the Bartell stage!
(Madison, WI) The Bartell Theatre announces the 3-week run of “Cabaret!” the
classic Kander and Ebb musical in an updated version that parallels modern
issues of gender fluidity and the reemergence of the fascist Nazi threat, running
March 1 – March 30, 2019 on the upstairs Drury stage of the Bartell Theatre, 113
E. Mifflin Street in Madison. The show is a co-production of StageQ, the local
LGBTQ+ theatre company and OUT!Cast Theatre, known for recent large
musicals at the Bartell.
Cabaret is set in Germany, just before the rise of the Nazi’s when Berlin was still
a liberal haven for all types of lifestyles. Several stories wind around the
decadent Kit Kat Club. Singer Sally Bowles has seen better days, but the arrival
of a young writer injects a new moment of happiness for her. A spinster landlady
is slowly falling in love with an elderly Jewish shopkeeper. The club dancers
openly celebrate their pansexual relationships. And a gender fluid EmCee
(portrayed by a woman in what’s usually a male role) surrounds them all.
Meanwhile, they all seem oblivious to the signs of racism and fascism that’s
slowly growing in power around them. The cast of 22 local actors will be backed
by a live 8-piece band.
The recent story of Baraboo high school boys allegedly giving Nazi salutes in a
photo was not lost in the rehearsal process. Director Steve Noll said “that image
was disturbing, and I wasn’t comfortable using the salute in the show. There are
other ways to get the point across.” However, co-Director Dana Pellebon had
other ideas. Noll recently was diagnosed with cancer and brought in Pellebon as
co-Director on the show. “She wanted to include it to show people just how
disturbing it is. When I saw her staging of the scenes, I realized it was the right
call. It’s emotional, but it’s real.”
To address this issue, the producers reached out to a Jewish group who have
been doing an educational presentation called “From the Holocaust to Civil
Rights” in response to the Baraboo photo controversy. They will be giving their
free 1-hour presentation of their family’s painful journey to learn about their
grandmother’s tragic fate at the hands of the Nazi’s on Sunday, March 24 th at
12:30pm. This event will be free and open to the public. A 2pm performance of
“Cabaret” will follow for those interested in seeing the show after.
The production is based on the 1999 revival of “Cabaret” on Broadway that was
an edgy, darker take on the story. This production goes even further with the
sexuality and gender fluidity of the characters in keeping with the mission of
StageQ. While there is no graphic nudity or sex, the production is still
recommended for those aged 16 and older.
Tickets may purchased online at www.BartellTheatre.org, in person at the Bartell
Theatre or by calling the Bartell Box Office at 608-661-9696.
Performance dates and times:
Fri, March 15, 7:30pm
Sat, March 16, 7:30pm
Thu, March 21, 7:30pm
Fri, March 22, 7:30pm
Sat, March 23, 7:30pm
Sun, March 24, 2pm. Preceded by free 1-hour “From the Holocaust to Civil
Wed, March 27, 7:30pm
Thu, March 28, 7:30pm
Fri, March 29, 7:30pm
Sat, march 30, 2pm
StageQ & OUT!Cast Theatre Present
Book by Joe Masteroff, Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Directed by Steve Noll & Dana Pellebon
Musical Director: Evan Lange Choreography by Lyn Pilch