University of Lynchburg’s next musical explores the rise of the Third Reich through the lives of everyday Germans who were unwilling to recognize the evil evident in Hitler’s power.
LC will present the Broadway musical “Cabaret” in four performances Feb. 25-28 in Dillad Theatre. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday – Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.etix.com/ticket/v/11549/lynchburg-college-theatre
The musical centers on the Kit Kat Klub, a seedy cabaret in Berlin, and the romance between a nightclub performer and an American writer in the early 1930s. That was a time when the city swelled with avant-garde artistry, said Jeff Wittman, director and LC theatre professor. “It’s amazing to think of the color and life that are involved,” he said.
The set of the LC production brings Berlin to life with bright, vibrant color that grows dimmer and grayer as Hitler gains power and the main characters’ lives unravel. The play explores people’s unwillingness to identify or oppose the evil evident in Hitler’s actions. The events bear resemblance to the rise of modern terrorism, Wittman said. “There’s a parallel that we find intriguing,” he said, adding that it demonstrates the danger of being passive and not reacting to political evils. “When we don’t put a “name” to evil, it can exist and flourish.”
But the play stays away from messages about the current state of world politics so it can stay true to the story of 1930s Germany. Wittman chose the play because it complements the talents of current theatre students while also giving them an opportunity to stretch their skills to take on new roles.
The set uses imagery of camera lenses and apertures, paying tribute to “I am a Camera,” the play upon which Cabaret was based, and a motif in Christopher Isherwood’s book “Goodbye to Berlin,” which was the source material for “I am a Camera.”
“Cabaret” features music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and a book by Joe Masteroff. The show premiered on Broadway in 1966.