Theatre on the Bay’s Season 48 begins with the Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret. The show, last performed at TOB over 40 years ago, runs from July 17 to July 27, and features a talented cast from the Marinette/Menominee area. Cabaret takes us to 1930 Berlin, to a Germany recovering from the First World War and witnessing the rise of the Nazis prior to World War II.
Tony LaMalfa stars as the Master of Ceremonies of the Kit Kat Klub, a hot night spot in the heart of Berlin where “the girls are beautiful” and “even the orchestra is beautiful.” Ernst Ludwig (Tristan Schuh) meets the American writer Cliff Bradshaw (James Porras) on the train bound to Berlin from Paris, and directs him to both the Kit Kat and to Berlin’s seedier side. Sally Bowles, the Kit Kat’s new British star (Leah LaMalfa), seduces Cliff, and their short, intense relationship forces them to question everything they believe to be true about themselves.
The cast also includes Erin Elizabeth Doll, Molly Gerarden, Nate Koenig, Lori Patzke, Lori Payne-Csaki, Adam Schacht, Gary L. Scholtz, Sr. and Betsy Stuck. Featured are Lisa Atkinson-LeBoeuf and Paul Okray as Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, who strike up an unexpected romance with tragic consequences.
Cabaret is directed and designed by John Thornberry, with choral direction by Leah LaMalfa and orchestral direction by Susan Thornton. Choreography is by Heather Olsen, with assistance from Erin Elizabeth Doll. Justin Berres and Lee Bunting will design lighting for the production. Cassandra Ann will design costumes, with wardrobe supervision by Annalisa Mines. Rebecca Stone Thornberry, TOB’s artistic director, serves as Cabaret’s producer.
This summer’s production is sponsored by UW-Marinette (home to Theatre on the Bay), and by L. E. Jones Company. Tickets are on sale now for Cabaret at marinette.uwc.edu ($15 for adults, and $10 for students). Curtain is at 7:30 on July 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26, and at 2 pm on July 20 and 27. All seats are reserved through the theatre’s new ticketing system, and season ticket packages are also now available at a discounted price. Tickets may also be purchased at the theatre box office one hour before every curtain.
Cabaret was a personal favorite of Herb Williams, TOB’s founding artistic director, and he directed the show here in 1972. A memorial for Williams will be held at 3 pm on Saturday, July 26, prior to that evening’s performance. All patrons should note that Cabaret deals with adult themes and contains burlesque-type sexual innuendo, and is intended for mature audiences.
In addition to Cabaret, TOB Season 48 also includes J. B. Priestly’s British murder mystery An Inspector Calls, and the American romantic comedy Becky’s New Car by Stephen Dietz. UW-Marinette Children’s Theatre will offer Doctor Doolittle Jr. and The Secret Garden. Tickets for all five shows are available now, and may be purchased either individually or as part of the new season ticket packages.
Theatre on the Bay and UW-Marinette Children’s Theatre productions are performed year-round on the Nancy Gehrke stage at the Herbert L. Williams Theatre, located on the UW-Marinette campus at 750 West Bay Shore Street in Marinette. Information regarding all UW-Marinette theatrical and other fine arts activities can be found on the college’s website: marinette.uwc.edu.