Backstage with Cabaret

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By Lauren Jurgemeyer
Blog Content Contributor

Amidst auditions and callbacks for the spring season, the cast of Cabaret works around missing cast members to move forward in the rehearsal process.

In the small confines of a rehearsal room–spiked with colored tape, littered with rehearsal furniture and surrounded by wall-to-floor mirrors– the Kit-Kat Klub is beginning to take form. Just under a month out from opening night and the cast is working tirelessly learning choreographed fights, dances, songs and different aspects of the show.

Hard at work in the rehearsal room, the actors worked on stage combat with the fight choreographer, Tobie Minor, making sure that everyone was at a safe distance, and more importantly, making sure that everything looked and sounded real.

Minor instructed the actors on sight lines so that the audience would be kept in the illusion that the combat is real. The cast worked to sync the movements to the music; hitting certain punches on certain beats. After a few runs, Minor stopped them because he didn’t want the cast to rehearse tired; he explained that if they rehearse tired they get sloppy and then they would perform sloppily.

Jacob Burns cradles Logan Rae's face in rehearsal.
Sally Bowles (Logan Rae) and Max (Jacob Burns) in a rehearsal for Texas State’s upcoming production of Cabaret. Photo by Lauren Jurgemeyer.

First produced in 1966, Cabaret, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Joe Masteroff, took home the 1967 Tony Award for Best Musical. Set in 1930s Berlin during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. An American writer, Cliff Bradshaw (played by John Fredrickson) arrives in Berlin looking for inspiration for his novel. Upon his visit to the Kit Kat Klub, Cliff meets Sally Bowles (played by Logan Rae) an English cabaret performer. Between the two, an unlikely romance develops. Cabaret holds a mirror up to the face of society dealing with controversial issues like anti-Semitism, hate crimes and intolerance of sexualities.

Grayson Samuels, who plays Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit seller, describes the show as a dark and bitter show with a hint of sweetness. Samuels said the show is, “…like biting into an orange.”

In light of recent events, this show blindingly reflects today’s social climate.

“No matter if it’s 1930 or 2018, we must fight for what we believe in and open our eyes to what is happening around us and to the people around us,” Rae said.

Lily Kren (who plays Texas) said. “We are all humans. We all deserve love. And we must look back on our history, reflect upon it and learn. We can not repeat our past.”

Cabaret opens Nov. 13 and runs through Nov. 18 in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre. Tickets are available online or by phone at (512) 245-6500.

Featured image by Lauren Jurgemeyer.

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