Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CHATHAM PLAYERS’ CONCLUDES 90TH SEASON WITH “CABARET” MAY 4-19

JohnandKatherine2CABARET
Book by Joe Masteroff
Music/lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Directed by Jeffrey Fiorello
Musical Director Jill Finnerty
Choreographed by Megan Ferentinos

WHEN: May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8 PM and May 13 at 3 PM.
WHERE: Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, Chatham
TICKETS: $25 for adults and $23 for youth/senior.
Suitable for mature audiences only.
To access the theater’s online ticketing service, simply go to http://www.chathamplayers.org/tickets.htm and click on the “TicketLeap” logo. The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance. The box office will begin accepting phone reservations on April 24 at 973.635.7363. For information regarding box office hours, please call the box office number listed above.

The Chatham Community Players concludes their 90th Season of producing local theater with an audience favorite and Tony Award-winning musical, CABARET. The musical was turned into an eight-time Oscar-winning 1972 movie starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. Prior to the movie, Cabaret premiered on Broadway 1966. The musical returned to New York 30 years later with Sam Mendes' famous Tony-winning production, which premiered at London's Donmar, and starred Alan Cumming (London and Broadway) and Natasha Richardson (Broadway only).

Joe Masteroff's book for Cabaret was based on John van Druten's play I Am a Camera, itself inspired by Christopher Isherwood's Berlin stories. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and revolves around the 19 year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with young American writer Cliff Bradshaw. A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fraulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Shultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub which serves as a constant metaphor for the tenuous and threatening state of late Weimar Germany throughout the show.

"The original Broadway production utilized a massive mirror, which was turned to face the audience, as part of the set. The mirror forced the audience to face themselves. We saw. We heard. Could it happen again? In our production, we have gone a step further and placed the audience directly in the Klub. We are no longer bystanders; we are active participants in the production. We are not only the audience of the show, Cabaret, we are also the audience of the Kit Kat Klub and the audience of Berlin in early 1930’s,” explained Director Jeffrey Fiorello.

The large and talented cast includes actors from all around New Jersey. Katherine LeFevre from Dover and John Sechrist from New York City star as Sally Bowles and the Emcee. Also featured are Pat Wry from Bernardsville as Schneider, Steven Nitka from Hackettstown as Schultz, Chris Abbott from South Plainfield as Bobby, Raven Dunbar from South Brunswick as Fritzie, Michal Efron from Summit as Frenchie, Brian Hall from Cedar Grove as Hans/Rudy, Pam Mueller from Princeton as Helga, Stacey Petricha from Chatham as Kost and Sean McManus from Chatham as Young Boy, Natalee Phemsint from Secaucus as Rosie, Chip Prestera from Stirling as Ernst, Shawna Schopper from Andover as Texas, Steve Sharkey from Washington Twp. as Cliff, Sky Spiegel from Morristown as Lulu, Chaz Turner from Hackettstown as Max, Andrew Velez from Matawan as Victor and Craig Zimmerman from Rockaway as Herman.

Bob Lukasik produced this musical for Chatham Players 33 years ago, this time he’s producing a Cabaret that has been revised and updated to be even more intense, more timely, more relevant and truthful to its time. “We are mounting a production that is honest, engaging and far from trite. I invite you to come to the Chatham Playhouse which, for a few short weeks, is being transformed into Berlin's Kit Kat Klub,” said Lukasik.

About the Chatham Playhouse
The Chatham Community Players has been entertaining residents of Morris County and the surrounding area since 1922. The organization’s mission is to produce high-quality theater for a diverse audience, while elevating its standard of excellence and providing a creative outlet with educational opportunities and outreach programs. For more information, please visit www.chathamplayers.org.

Photo taken by Howard Fischer