While everybody probably enjoyed the homecoming festivities over the past few days, the football game was not the only part of the weekend worth celebrating.
This past Friday night at the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, West Chester’s theatre department presented its first musical of the 2011-2012 school year, “Cabaret.”
The Broadway musical, adapted from a novel of the same title, which was written by Joe Masteroff, centers around a cabaret named The Kit Kat Klub in 1930’s Berlin, just before the Nazis take over the city.
The two main characters are one of The Kit Kats Klub’s performers, Sally Bowles and her roommate, an American novelist who is visiting the city, Cliff Bradshaw. The show culminates with the Nazis coming to power, and one of the characters joining their reign.
Having spent the last six weeks since the start of the semester rehearsing and planning for the musical, the cast premiered the result of all their hard work this past weekend to a packed audience of 500 that has been selling out over the past couple of weeks through advanced ticket sales.
According to the musical’s director, Emily Rogge, roughly 100 people have spent the semester working on making Cabaret a success, and each one of them have put in over 400 hours of rehearsal and preparation to make the show what they wanted it to be.
Helping Rogge to direct the play was assistant director, Josh Yoder, a fourth-year English major and Theatre minor who said that the entire musical consists of 19 musical numbers such as “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”
After talking to Rogge and Yoder about the show last week, I was able to see the cast run a dress rehearsal of the musical, as well as perform a number of the show’s musical acts. Each member of the cast seemed entirely dedicated to performing the show to their best ability. Rogge and Yoder sat in the audience, watching and critiquing where needed. Every scene advanced the story line, and each song was performed beautifully, leaving the audience unable to take their eyes off the stage. Even during the ten-minute intermission, members of the cast were still performing, walking off the stage and talking to members of the audience: an unscripted addition to the show which surely has an even greater effect during the actual performance in front of a full audience than it did for me during rehearsal.
While I was only able to stay for the first act, it was definitely a show I would love to see performed all the way through.
While the shows sold out this weekend, potential audience members should have no worries. The musical plays again this coming Thursday through Saturday nights at 8 p.m. in the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre.
Tickets are available for $12 at the box office, and there are discount coupons floating around campus. So do not miss a chance to see the final showing of the University’s Theatre Department performing Cabaret this weekend.
Kiersten McMonagle is a second-year pre-communication studies major with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at KM745613@wcupa.edu.