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Casting Announced For CABARET At San Francisco Playhouse

Casting Announced For CABARET At San Francisco Playhouse

San Francisco Playhouse announced casting for Cabaret, the Tony Award-winning musical that will close the company's 2018/19 Season. Susi Damilano will direct, with music direction by Dave Dobrusky and choreography by Nicole Helfer.

Cliff Bradshaw, an American author working on a novel in pre-WWII Berlin, falls in love with the vivacious Sally Bowles, a singer at the local Kit Kat Klub. Their dream-like romance is tested by the political upheaval that changes their lives dramatically. Even after fifty years, this classic Tony Award-winning musical remains painfully prophetic, reminding us through Sally and the Emcee's lost souls what horrors humans are capable of, lest we ever forget.

"Today, as the last of the Holocaust survivors are passing, it feels more important than ever to revisit this great story," said Bill English, Artistic Director. "We must never forget and always stand watch against the power of ultra-nationalist hatred to take away our human rights."

The cast includes Jennie Brick*, John Paul Gonzales, Carlos Guerrero, Abby Haug*, Cate Hayman*, Zachary Isen, Mary Kalita, Louis Parnell*, Atticus Shaindlin*, Will Springhorn Jr.*, Zoe Swenson-Graham, and Melissa WolfKlain*.

San Francisco Playhouse's production of Cabaret is made possible by executive producer Robert Hulteng; producers Samuel and Sharon Muir & Morgan and Michael Callahan; and associate producers Anne and Martin Roher, Wayne Bryan and Dick Bufania, Elizabeth Werter and Henry Trevor, Vicki and David Fleishacker, Carol and Duff Nusinow Kurland; and artistic underwriters Richard Andersen and Ursula Schorn, Fred Karren, Jackie and Richard Mayer, Larry Russo, Samuel Test, and Joan C. Zinner.
Joe Masteroff (Book): Born in 1919 in Philadelphia, he had only One Dream from infancy: to write for the theatre. After the essential lonely childhood and four-year stint in the Air Force, he came to New York to face his future: book writer or book seller? Fortunately, luck intervened. Before long he had three shows on Broadway bearing his name: The Warm Peninsula starring Julie Harris, and two musicals She Loves Me and Cabaret, for which he was the book writer. Thanks to indulgent parents, the New Dramatists, Hal Prince and many others, he is now retired and living in subdued luxury.

John Van Druten (Playwright) was born in 1901 in London to a Dutch father and an English mother. Before becoming a writer, Van Druten studied law at the University of London. He became an acclaimed playwright, and his plays have been produced in the UK and the U.S. His works include, among many others, Old Acquaintance (1940), Leave Her to Heaven (1940), The Voice of the Turtle (1943), I Remember Mama (1944), Bell, Book, and Candle (1951) and I Am a Camera (1951). Many of his plays have been made into successful films and major TV series, and the musical Cabaret is based on his play I Am a Camera. He also wrote two autobiographies: The Way to the Present (1938) and The Widening Circle (1957).

Christopher Isherwood (Novelist) was an English-American novelist. His best-known works include The Berlin Stories (1935-39), two semi-autobiographical novellas inspired by Isherwood's time in Weimar Republic Germany. These enhanced his postwar reputation when they were adapted first into the play I Am a Camera (1951), then the 1955 film of the same name, I am a Camera; much later (1966) into the bravura stage musical Cabaret which was acclaimed on Broadway, and Bob Fosse's inventive re-creation for the film Cabaret (1972). His novel A Single Man was published in 1964 and adapted into the film of the same name in 2009.

John Kander and Fred Ebb (Music and Lyrics): The Kander and Ebb collaboration of four decades has created what many would consider Broadway standards and contemporary classics: The Scottsboro Boys (Tony Award Nomination), Flora, The Red Menace, Cabaret (Tony Award for Best Musical), The Happy Time, Zorba, 70 Girls 70, Chicago, The Act, Woman of the Year (Tony Award for Best Score), The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award for Best Score) and Steel Pier. Their collaboration also transferred itself to movies and television as they wrote original material for the Academy Awards, "Liza with a Z" (Emmy Award for Music and Lyrics), Funny Lady (Oscar nominated for Best Song), Lucky Lady, New York, New York, Stepping Out and Chicago (Oscar nominated for Best Song). In the mid-1980's the song "New York New York" became the official anthem of New York City. At the time of the unfortunate death of Mr. Ebb, Kander and Ebb had several projects in different stages of completion waiting in the wings including The Visit, All About Us (a musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder play The Skin of our Teeth) and Curtains.

Susi Damilano (Director, Producing Director) is co-founder and Producing Director of San Francisco Playhouse. Directing credits include Playhouse productions of Mary Poppins, Born Yesterday, A Christmas Story: The Musical, Noises Off, She Loves Me, Stage Kiss, Company, Stupid F-ing Bird, Into the Woods, A Behanding in Spokane, Den of Thieves and Wirehead (San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nomination), the West Coast premieres of Honey Brown Eyes (SFBATCC nomination), Dead Man's Cell Phone, Coronado, The Mystery Plays and Roulette, and the world premieres of On Clover Road by Steven Dietz, From Red to Black by Rhett Rossi, and Seven Days by Daniel Heath in the Sandbox Series. She is a five-time recipient of the Excellence in Theatre Award for Principal Actress - Play from the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle for Abigail's Party, Harper Regan, Bug, Six Degrees of Separation and Reckless. At the Playhouse, Susi has performed leading roles in Yoga Play, Barbecue, The Roommate, Red Velvet, Tree, Bauer, Abigail's Party, Harper Regan, Coraline, Slasher, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Landscape of the Body, First Person Shoot, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, The Crucible, Kimberly Akimbo, Our Town, and The Smell of the Kill.

Dave Dobrusky (Music Director) is proud to have been associated with San Francisco Playhouse for twelve years: La Cage aux Folles, City of Angels; Company; Into the Woods; Camelot; My Fair Lady; Man of LaMancha**; Putting It Together. Dave is also the resident music director at 42nd Street Moon Theatre where he has played, conducted, arranged & orchestrated dozens of "uncommon" musicals since 1996. Favorites include: No No Nanette; New Girl in Town; Scrooge in Love! (world premiere); Most Happy Fella; Boys from Syracuse; Nick and Nora; Do I Hear a Waltz?; ...It's Superman!; Call Me Madam; Out of This World; Can-Can; Paint Your Wagon*; with cast recordings of Cole Porter's Leave It to Me and Jerome Kern's The Cabaret Girl. Other Bay Area credits include Theatre Rhinoceros: Road Show; Marry Me a Little; Tick, Tick... Boom!; TheatreWorks: Violet; Side Show; Playhouse West: The Boy Friend; In This House**; USF: The Wedding Singer; Rent; and numerous cabaret appearances. Dave is from Albuquerque and was educated at Oberlin Conservatory. **BATCC award

Nicole Helfer (Choreography) is a Bay Area native and a graduate of San Francisco State University. Choreography credits include: Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan and West Side Story for Mountain Play, In the Heights for Broadway By The Bay (Theatre Bay Area Award-winner), Dogfight for OMG Productions, Tarzan for Contra Costa Musical Theater (Shellie Award nominee), Rent for Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre Company, Measure for Measurefor San Francisco State University, 8 Track: The Sounds of the 70s, Six Women With Brain Death, and You're A Good Man Charlie Brown (Shellie Award nominee) for Willows Theatre Company. She has also choreographed Click Clack Moo and the very successful Pinkalicious for Bay Area Children's Theater. In addition to performing regularly in regional musical theatre productions, she has taught dance and theatre classes for Young REP, Kid Stock, Inc., Dance Mission Theatre, Marilyn Izdebski Productions, YMCA and Spindrift School of Performing Arts. Currently, Nicole is happily teaching a variety of dance classes at the Ballet School in Walnut Creek and is theatre faculty at Oakland School for the Arts. She is so honored to be working with such an amazing creative team.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.

For tickets ($35 - $125) or more information, the public may contact the San Francisco Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or online at

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