CofC Stages to present hauntingly timely production of ‘Cabaret’

CofC Stages at the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance closes its season with multiple Tony Award-winning musical Cabaret by songwriting duo John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics), with Joe Masteroff (book).

The story begins in a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920s draw to a close, where a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, this well-known musical explores the dark, heady and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Replete with provocative, enticing songs and choreography, this production seductively draws us into the illusion of freedom, permissiveness, and self-expression that denizens of nightlife seek and desire.

Directed by theatre professor Todd McNerney with musical direction by fellow faculty member Laura Turner, the CofC Stages production is supported by the College’s Center for Sustainable Development (CSD), whose 2021-2022 theme “sustainable cities and communities” correlates to the story, themes and ultimate message of Cabaret. The CSD aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to solve future challenges of social justice, economic disparity and looming environmental concerns. CofC Stages is committed to exploring these critical challenges this season and every season. McNerney expounds, “This widely known musical focuses its attention on themes and ideas of intolerance, willful ignorance, and even a kind of self-induced political and social blindness. The frightening parallels between the start of this century with the start of the 20th serve to make this classic work resound more fully and highlight its inherent importance.”

The 1966 musical, which was risqué for Broadway at the time, earned the first Tony Award (Best Musical) for Kander and Ebb, as well as a Grammy for the original cast recording. Successive interpretations of Cabaret have followed over the years, with each iteration reflecting distinct cultural moments. The 1972 film adaptation, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, won eight Academy Awards, and the 1998 Broadway revival earned 10 Tony Award nominations, resulting in four wins.

CofC Stages’ Cabaret features student actors Maddy Smith (as Sally Bowles), Noah Anderson (as Cliff Bradshaw), Annie Morraye (as Fraulein Schneider), Max Marshall (as Herr Schultz) and AP Hart (as the EmCee). Theatre major Rebecca McLeod is the stage manager. The production’s design team includes theatre student Mira Turkewitz (costume design), alumnus Garrett Bell (lighting design), and faculty member Charlie Calvert (scenic design). Assistant Professor Nakeisha Daniel serves as choreographer.

DETAILS: Performances of Cabaret will take place April 14-16, 2022 at 7:30pm at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St.). Individual tickets are $20 adults; $15 seniors (60+), military, and youth under 18; $12 CofC students, faculty, and staff. Purchase tickets online or contact the George Street Box Office by emailing or calling (843) 953-4726.

The Saturday, April 16th performance will include live American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters.

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