Celebrating its Golden Anniversary, Peace Pipe Players teams with OFAC to present Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, a classic musical also marking its ﬁftieth successful year in 2016. The organization originally performed the show in the mid-seventies to inaugurate its former home at Kirchhoff Theater. Now a new version takes the stage at the Ohnward Fine Arts Center over the last weekend in February 2016 — February 26, 27, 28.
To prepare for the glitzy production, directors John and Janet Burrow with music director Shawn Vasquez will hold auditions early in December at the Peace Pipe Players’ building, 400 N. Eliza St., Maquoketa. Auditions will be Sunday evening, December 6, at 6:30 PM, and Tuesday evening, December 8, at 7:00 PM.
Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Actors, singers and dancers of all ages, both women and men, are needed for the production, which requires 22 roles plus extras. Those trying out can be expected to read lines for various characters in small scenes, sing a song of your own choice, and probably join in a small-group dance routine. The primary parts include:
The Emcee – The Emcee of the Kit Kat Klub, a leering, ghoulish, ﬂamboyant ﬁgure (any age)
Sally Bowles – The headlining British singer at the Kit Kat Klub (late teens or twenties)
Clifford "Cliff" Bradshaw – An American writer traveling through Berlin (twenties)
Fräulein Schneider – An older woman who runs the boarding house that Cliff and Sally live in (forties through sixties)
Herr Schultz – An elderly Jewish fruit shop owner who falls in love with Fraulein Schneider (forties through sixties)
Ernst Ludwig – A German man who befriends Cliff when he arrives in Berlin, later revealed to be a Nazi (twenties or thirties)
Fräulein Kost – A prostitute who rents in Fraulein Schneider's boarding house (twenties)
Rosie, LuLu, Frenchie, Texas, Fritzie, and Helga – Girls who perform alongside Sally at the Kit Kat Klub (probably twenties or thirties or… )
Bobby, Victor, Hans, and Herman – The Cabaret boys of the Kit Kat Klub (Bobby and Victor are supposedly twins) (twenties or thirties or… )
Nazi Youth – A young boy involved in the Nazi Party (middle school; sings a lovely soprano song)
Sailors #1 and #2 – Fraulein Kost's sailors (any age, probably twenties)
Nazi Guard – Ernst's bodyguard at the Kit Kat Klub (any age)
Max – Owner of the Kit Kat Klub (forties)
Assorted Guests at the Kit Kat Club
Cabaret takes place from 1929-1930, a time when Berlin, enduring the post-World War I economic depression, is straining in transition from a center of underground, avant-garde culture to the beginnings of Hitler’s totalitarian regime and the rise of the Nazi Party. Into this world arrives Clifford Bradshaw, a struggling American writer seeking inspiration for his next novel. On his ﬁrst night in Berlin, Cliff wanders into the Kit Kat Klub, a seedy cabaret overseen by the strange, omniscient and gender-bending Master of Ceremonies, "the Emcee." Here, Cliff meets Sally Bowles, a vivacious, talented nightclub performer, and an utterly lost soul. Sally and Cliff begin a relationship, which blossoms unexpectedly into a dream-like romance. As time passes, however, the situation in Berlin changes from exciting and vital to ominous and violent; Ernst, Cliff’s ﬁrst German friend, turns out to be an up-and-coming member of the Nazi Party, and Herr Schultz, a fellow boarder at Fraulein Schneider’s guest house (and Schneider’s ﬁancee), becomes the victim of an anti-Semitic hate crime. When he ﬁnds out that Sally is pregnant, Cliff decides that they must leave for America at once, before things get any worse. Sally, afraid, confused, and unsure that she’ll ever really be able to trade the sexy, illicit cabaret lifestyle for motherhood, makes a shattering decision, and tells Cliff that he must leave without her. With a distinctly Brechtian dose of provocation and a score featuring songs that have become classics of the American Musical Theater, Cabaret is a ﬁerce,
meaty musical that pushes the boundaries of the form and literally holds "the mirror up to nature."
More information is available by searching "Cabaret" online (the Wikipedia article is very good). Interested persons can contact the directors (firstname.lastname@example.org, phone number on poster), the Peace Pipe Players website (www.peacepipeplayers.net) and Facebook page, the OFAC website, and the PPP 50th Anniversary Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/peacepipeplayers.net/).