Forget your cares and troubles and head for the Kit Kat Klub, open for business April 10-21 at the University Theatre as Sacramento State presents the Tony Award-winning Cabaret.
Directed by Professor Ed Brazo, Cabaret was written by Joe Masteroff with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb. It is based on John Van Druten’s play I Am a Camera and stories by Christopher Isherwood. Performances are at 8 p.m. April 10-13 and 19-20, 2 p.m. April 14 and 21, and 6:30 p.m. April 17 and 18.
Matt Surges, left, Ure Egbuho and Gavin Sellers lead the cast in Sacramento State’s production of Cabaret.
Popular songs from the musical include the title tune, “Maybe This Time,” and “Money.” “I think Cabaret is one of the better musicals written in American musical theater history, and its message is still valid today,” Brazo says.
Set in 1920s Berlin amidst the Nazis’ rise to power, Cabaret focuses on two couples. Herr Schultz, an elderly Jew, is in love with boarding house operator Fraulein Schneider. Meanwhile, the talented free spirit Sally Bowles has her eye set on the reserved American writer Cliff Bradshaw.
Bowles is also a dancer at the Kit Kat Klub, where the emcee and other entertainers perform numbers that eerily mirror the situation outside the nightclub’s door.
The Sac State production features an African-American actress, senior Ure Egbuho, as Bowles. Brazo says the University proudly promotes multiracial casting in all its plays, and points out that Cabaret is not about just a specific time and place, but has a broader message about how people throughout history react when caught up in political and social upheaval. “And when it comes down to it,” he says, “we cast the best person who auditions for the role.”
Egbuho notes that some African-American entertainers of that time, such as Josephine Baker, found success in Europe. And Egbuho is thrilled to be playing Bowles. “She’s a character everyone wishes they knew,” Egbuho says, “someone who is just thrilling all the time. Even though she really doesn’t have the lifestyle that she pretends she has, she creates it.”
Sophomore Gavin Sellers plays the emcee, a character who is more of an embodiment of something intangible than an actual human character. “I sort of see the emcee as the spirit of showbiz in a negative way,” Sellers says. “He’s more like a feeling or a spirit. There’s no humanity about him.”
Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. performances are $10 general admission and $7 for children 12 years old or younger. All other performances are $15 general, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 for children. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or www.csus.edu/sfsc/ticketoffice/.
For more information, call the Theatre and Dance Department at (916) 278-6368 or visit www.csus.edu/dram. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.
– Craig Koscho