School of the Arts

Cabaret: Timeless and Timely

 The Fall 2022 musical Cabaret

Chico State School of the Arts’ fall musical “Cabaret” is sure to excite and dare viewers to examine human nature and the culture surrounding them.   

“Cabaret” tells the story of Clifford Bradshaw, a young American writer searching for inspiration for his first novel, and Sally Bowles, a British nightclub singer performing in pre-WWII Weimar Germany. Yet, there are parallels to current times. 

Director and Music and Theatre Department faculty Matthew Teague Miller said that the show, which debuts Oct. 7, is a fresh take on the original production by John Van Druten with stories by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb, based on the book by Joe Masteroff.  

“‘Cabaret’ is one of the most iconic musicals ever written. … ‘Cabaret’ is timeless, but it is also timely,” Miller said. “There are fascinating parallels to the depressed time (in which) it is set, and the era in which we are currently living.” 

Miller’s production allows the audience to truly feel immersed, as guests will enter through the backstage door and be seated on the stage during the performance. The set design and costumes draw inspiration from Weimar German nightclubs, Burlesque, and Moulin Rouge, and include subtle parallels to our current time. 

Miller also emphasized the importance of a show like “Cabaret”, with its challenging storyline and intense thematic elements.  

“This show is about escapism and the dangers of what happens if when we as a culture do not proactively fight against evil,” he said. 

This production is not for everyone, as Miller warns it contains strong instances of sexuality, violence, and pregnancy loss. In addition, this production utilizes images of hate relevant to the time period in which the performance is set. 

“It really challenges its audience and, while it is entertaining, it is also at times, very uncomfortable,” Miller said. 

The cast includes Arianna Nelson, Ali Hoghoughi, Mundo Ballejos, Skylar Wondrusch, Zach Troutman, William Morse, Marlene Bruce, Jessie Grimaldo, Claire Vandeman, Oliva Moffat, Emily Bunje, Julie Ewert, Andrey Moore, Sunny Martinez, Kayla Roehrig, Charlie Cave, Gabrielle Planells, Kira Cory, Shirley Erna Brill, Rachel Aquilina, Elisabeth Nini, Haley Thomas, and Luka Scholz. 

The show opens Oct. 7 in the Harlen Adams Theatre at Chico State with performances through Oct. 16. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $8 for youth and Chico State students and available online and in person at the University Box Office. 

For those who need special seating accommodations, please call 530-898-6333. 

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Story by Lizzie Eickmeyer, School of the Arts Publicity