Bleaker, Darker And Daring CABARET Will Seduce Audiences This October
This October forget about your troubles and the uncomfortable political reality right outside your door and join Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre Company for a drink or 12 at the Kit Kat Klub.
The veteran Chicago theater company will stage the groundbreaking Sam Mendes version of Cabaret October 5-25, 2019, at Chief O'Neill's Pub in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood. The pub's Attic Bar will be transformed into the Kit Kat Klub and audience members will be beckoned into its red, black and silver interior by an alluring Emcee intent on seducing them to the end of the world.
"Our version will be true to the script and score of the 1998 Sam Mendes Tony-winning version, but we feel it's time in America today to tell the story again as a parable to modern events," said co-director Marc Lewallen. "We intend on this being even bleaker and more terrifying to watch, while having a stellar cast of incredible singers and dancers acting this classic for a new audience."
Set in 1931 at the seedy Kit Kat Klub in Berlin, Cabaret tells the story of the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw and his relationship with English cabaret performer Sally Bowles. Featuring an award winning score by John Kander and Fred Ebb including such songs as "Willkommen", "Mein Herr", "Maybe This Time" and "I Don't Care Much".
With the Nazis rise to power as a backdrop to this love story, Cabaret has always drawn comparison to the issues of the day and that remains true in the Cowardly Scarecrow production.
Audience members will see parallels between the actions taking place in Cabaret during Hitler's rise to power and some of what is happening in the political landscape of America today, Lewallen said.
The 1998 revival emphasized the brash sexuality and hedonism in Cabaret and introduced the world to the pansexual Alan Cumming version of the Emcee, bringing that character's looming presence front and center. It freely and vividly explored homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality in the debauched world on display inside the seedy and seductive Kit Kat Klub.
The Chicago production will take those aspects even further, highlighting the sensuality of the Kit Kat Klub ensemble and playing with gender and non-conformity in an intimate 50-seat cabaret-style house.
Cowardly Scarecrow is the first storefront company in Chicago to stage this version of Cabaret in more than a decade. Audiences will be part of the action with the show taking place, not just on stage, but all around them.
Lewallen and Brad Younts direct the production, with musical direction by Tommy Ross and choreography by Christopher Young.
The cast includes Kevin Webb (Emcee), Caitlin Jackson (Sally), Scott Sawa (Cliff), Mandy Whitenack (Schneider), Shane Roberie (Schultz), Aaron Sarka (Ludwig), Sydney Genco (Kost) and Kirk Jackson (Max) with Brittny Congleton, Maiko Terazawa, Britain Gebhardt, Josh Kemper and Christopher Young making up the characters of the Kit Kat Klub. Please note at select performances the role of Schultz will be performed by Michael Hampton
Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre Company is a Chicago storefront theater, which was founded in 2010 by Lewallen and Younts to produce the campy gore-laden original show Musical of the Living Dead. In addition the company curated and produced The Chicago Horror Theatre Festival as well as the crafting and producing Musical Horror Story: Exorcism, Haunted Life and You've Got Red on You - The Unauthorized Shaun of the Dead Parody Musical.
Lewallen and Younts plan to bring a little bit of that blood, sweat and camp to their Cabaret, giving it a unique Cowardly Scarecrow twist, while keeping with the original spirit of the Mendes version.
"Most of our productions have been campy, bloody, pastiches of the horror genre. We both got our start in traditional musical theatre and have a very deep love of the genre," Lewallen said. "But we wanted to do something more stark and disturbing.
"We intend to amplify the horror of Cabaret while injecting a bit of our unique flair for the unconventional into this version of the show."
Join Cowardly Scarecrow this October at Chief ONeill's Pub (3471 N Elston, Chicago, IL 60618) for this edgy and daring look into our past and our present.
Your table's waiting.
More information at cowardlyscarecrow.com