By Max Granitz
(left to right) Lindsey Normington as “Sally Bowles”, Tyler DeGoode as “Victor”,
Parker Ykimoff as “Cliff Bradshaw”, and, in center, Jacob Jager as “The Emcee”.
“It’s only politics, what’s that got to do with us?” This quote is the slogan being used to market the upcoming production of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, running November 16-19 and November 29-December 3 at Grand Valley State University in the new Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre. The show, a cornerstone of the American musical theatre tradition, features a cast of current Grand Valley students, and is directed by visiting faculty member Dennis Henry.
From the event information page on the Grand Valley website: “In Berlin, Germany, in 1930, three years before Adolf Hitler came to power, Cliff, an American novelist, is searching for inspiration when he finds lodging at Frau Schneider’s boarding house above the notorious and racy Kit Kat Club. Led by a saucy Emcee and Sally Bowles, a sassy showgirl and British singer, the free-wheeling performers at the club turn Cliff’s world upside down while the power of the Nazi party lurks just beyond the club's doors.”
The show features well-known songs such as “Willkommen”, “Don’t Tell Mama”, “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” and the titular number (“(Life is a) Cabaret”) made famous by performers such as Liza Minelli and Ella Fitzgerald. Cast members have been in rehearsal since late September working to make the show a success. The production is one of five mainstage productions taking place this season, which began in September with Shakespeare’s Tempest. Talkbacks with cast and crew will be open to the public following the performance(s) on Friday, November 17 and Thursday, November 30.
Tickets are available at the Grand Valley box office, located in the Haas Center for the Performing Arts on the Allendale campus, and also be purchased by phone, by calling 616-331-2300. Seating is general admission, with a number of ‘cabaret tables’ open at each performance immediately next to the stage, allowing a more immersive experience.