I first saw Cabaret when I was in high school. It was a high school production. I loved it. I loved it enough that I immediately went out and rented the movie. I was sorely disappointed by the movie, it was SO much better live.
Well, this month we in Toronto have an opportunity to see it live again. Hart House Theatre is presenting Cabaret from Friday January 13, 2012 to January 28, 2012. I can also guarantee that as much as I loved it the first time I saw it live, this one will be even better than that production of long ago.
For those who don’t know the show, it is lots of fun, full of laughs, and has a serious undertone. You’ll recognize a few of the songs I’m sure, specifically “Willkommen” and “The Money Song”. The music is by John Kander, who also did the music for Chicago, another show with lots of fun stuff, and a serious undertone. It’s a nice combination.
Like I said, I far preferred the live version to the film version. So, if you’ve seen the movie with Liza Minnelli but didn’t like it, don’t let that be your guide of whether or not you’ll like the live show. Give the live version a try, I suspect you’ll be surprised.
Tickets are $25 (with special prices for Seniors and Students) and shows run Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm. More detailed information is in the press release below. Go here to buy tickets. Actually, check out this special bonus online ticket pricing place where you can get a ticket for $20 instead.
From Press Release
Beginning on January 13th, 2012, Hart House Theatre is proud to present this iconic musical. In the midst of the rise of Nazi Germany, the cabaret is an oasis where people go to escape reality and share in some scrap of happiness. In the cabaret anything goes: loose women, looser men and a cocktail of drugs, booze and music that keeps the fantasy alive. Cabaret features famous songs such as “Willkommen”, “Don’t Tell Mama”, “The Money Song” and of course, “Cabaret”.
Hart House Theatre is thrilled to have award-winning actor and director Adam Brazier at the helm of this production. Adam’s years as a musical performer make him a natural mentor for our youthful cast and his keen eye as a director has built a cast with the vigour and vocal talents to take a fresh look at this classic.
Adam’s approach to the show is from the perspective of someone new to the story – basing his decisions purely on what’s provided by the text and music and not on Liza or anyone else’s influential portrayals. For Adam, the story comes to us through the eyes of the character Clifford Bradshaw – Cliff’s retreat into the cabaret and the price he pays for living in that oasis: “It’s easy to get lost in Sally’s narrative and see the events through her eyes, but truthfully, it’s Cliff’s story. A story about denial and escape to a place where you can be yourself. A place without boundaries or rules. My ideal audience is a group of soldiers on leave – a group who understands what it is to go to extremes to get away from a dangerous, terrifying place and seek comfort.”
Lending their talents to building the music and staging of the show are Music Director Scott Christian and Choreographer Amanda Nagy. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, Scott has worked with various companies in and around Toronto and is slated to lend his talents to the upcoming Shaw Festival Season as their intern musical director. Amanda Nagy recently completed her training with the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and has competed for Team Canada at the International Dance Organisation’s World Championships in Germany.
The design team members tasked with bringing Adam’s vision of the show to the stage are Set and Costume Designer Brandon Kleiman and Lighting Designer Siobhán Sleath. This is Brandon’s fourth design for Hart House Theatre, but his talents have also been used by Talk is Free Theatre, Rebecca Northan and the World Stage at the Harbourfront Centre (Dora-nominated production) and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Brandon’s design talents will be combined with the lighting expertise of fellow Stratford designer, Siobhán Sleath who joins Hart House Theatre for her third production.
Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Directed by Adam Brazier
Musical Direction by Scott Christian
Choreography by Amanda Nagy
Set and Costume Design by Brandon Kleiman
Lighting Design by Siobhán Sleath
Stage Managed by Laura Cournoyea
Michael-David Blostein as the Emcee
Michael-David Blostein returns to Hart House Theatre after appearing in Jerry Springer – The Opera and several productions with UC Follies. He has received training as a bass vocalist in both classical and jazz vocal styles at the Royal Ontario Conservatory and by Toronto jazz vocalist Adi Braun. Michael-David is currently studying at U of T and has just the right sense of humour to bring to the cocky and acerbic Emcee!
Courtney Lamanna as Sally Bowles
Hart House Theatre prides itself on showcasing the best of the city’s emergent talent. One of the shining examples of this is newcomer Courtney Lamanna who plays the coveted role of Sally Bowles. Courtney recently completed her training with the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and has been cast as leading ladies ever since. With her incredible voice and command of the stage, Courtney is a talent to watch as she grows in her career.
Keenan Viau as Clifford Bradshaw
Taking on the role of the American poet Clifford Bradshaw is another newcomer to Hart House Theatre, Keenan Viau. Keenan received his training with Algonquin College and Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre – Performance Program and has appeared in stage in Ottawa before he made Toronto his home. While starring in Cabaret, Keenan is also pursuing a career in film and television and works as a producer with Theatre20.
Renée Stein as Fraulein Schneider
Don Berns as Herr Schultz
Lending their years of experience to the production and acting as mentors to the youthful cast are stage veterans Renée Stein and Don Berns. As well as starring in a host of musicals and stage productions, both Renée and Don have built careers as vocal talents: from appearing on CFNY’s The Spirit of Radio show to singing national anthems at the Rogers Centre.
Runs from January 13 – 28, 2012
Week 1: Fri & Sat @ 8pm
Week 2: Wed to Sat @ 8pm
Week 3: Wed to Sat @ 8pm + Sat @ 2pm
Adults $25, Students & Seniors $15
$10 Student tickets every Wednesday!
UofTtix Box Office 416.978.8849 www.uofttix.ca
About Hart House Theatre
Hart House Theatre, established in 1919, is the University of Toronto’s performing arts leader. Since its inception, the theatre’s unique mix of young professionals, alumni and students has garnered the theatre a reputation as not only a cultural destination for the U of T community, but one for all of Toronto.
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