INA, Ill. – The cast is set for “Cabaret,” March 4-7, on the Rend Lake College stage.
RLC Theatre Director Tracey Webb and Music Director Sara Alstat are busy getting their performers ready for the big show. RLC’s Mark Mikulay is directing the orchestra.
“Cabaret” is the Tony Award winning musical, written by Joe Masteroff and featuring music by John Kander and Fred Ebb. This bold, funny, and sometimes sad musical masterpiece is one local theatre enthusiasts won’t want to miss!
Set inside the Kit Kat Club in 1930s Berlin, “Cabaret” is the story of young American writer Cliff Bradshaw and the club’s hottest dancer, Sally Bowles. After the emcee and the Kit Kat Girls welcome the audience with a rousing opening number, Bradshaw arrives and meets the incorrigible Bowles. As their romance grows, so does one between Fraulein Schneider, the landlady of Cliff’s rooming house, and her elderly boarder, a Jewish fruit vendor named Herr Schultz.
Cliff is determined Sally won’t return to work at the Kit Kat Club and so he earns money by teaching English to German pupils. One of his students and eventual friend, Ernst Ludwig, is a Nazi sympathizer – something that drives a wedge between the two. Despite the Kit Kat Club’s determination to tell its customers to have fun, Berlin is becoming a hotbed of political tension as the Nazis begin to take control. Will Cliff and Sally keep from burning up in the political heat, or will the American be driven out of country and out of love.
Filled with Broadway classics such as “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Life is a Cabaret,” and “Willkommen,” this musical will keep a lively pace. “Cabaret” is filled with much dancing, joking and comical antics.
The lead roles of Cliff and Sally are being played by Mt. Vernon’s Levi Overturf and Jordan McCoy. McCoy is an 18-year-old guitarist and singer from the King City who became an “American Juniors” finalist on Fox television. Songs from her debut EP “Rockstar,” through Bad Boy Entertainment, have been featured on MTV’s “The Hills” and “American Idol.”
What most of the 10 million-plus visitors to McCoy’s MySpace page probably don’t know is that she started out as one of Webb’s cast members in children’s musicals at RLC.
“It’s fun working with her and she has the chops to belt out the tunes,” Webb said. “I am very happy with my talented cast. This big dance show is a fun challenge. Of course, a lot of actors are already commenting on sore muscles from all the kicklines and fancy steps!”
Webb said she is working with RLC Theatre grad Jessa Poninski on the choreography. Poninski is a student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
“I couldn’t do it without her. She’s ... a tremendous asset to the theatre. She drives up almost every night to teach the dancers their routines.”
Cast members in this demanding musical include Overturf and McCoy, Quinton Sledge (Mt. Vernon) as the emcee; Kit Kat Girls Audrey Blake (Benton) as “Maria,” Christa Conner (Pinckneyville) as “Lulu,” Chrystal Paige Brown (Ashley) as “Rosie,” Emily Dixon (Pinckneyville) as “Fritzie,” Jayne Ballantyne (Pinckneyville) as “Texas” and Elizabeth Palmer (Mt. Vernon) as “Frenchie”; waiters Alexx Brewer (Mt. Vernon), Edward Code (Benton), Hobie Graham (Mt. Vernon) and Koady Smith (Benton); Tyler Eaton (Logan) as “Ernst Ludwig,” Travis Bond (Mt. Vernon) as the customs officer, Stacey Jones (DuQuoin) as “Fraulein Schneider,” Kyndel Shreve (McLeansboro) as “Fraulein Kost,” Matt Howard (Benton) as “Herr Schultz,” Emily Ryterski (Carbondale) as the telephone girl, Chuck Lawrence (Benton) as “Max,” Chris Eskew (Mt. Vernon), Jenny McCollom (Mulkeytown), Jason Chapman (Christopher), Hannah Johnson (Tamaroa), Robbie Edwards (McLeansboro), Julie Mabry (Sesser), Derek Wintermann (Ashley) as the taxi driver, and Molly Wilson (Mt. Vernon), Elizabeth Harrison (Mulkeytown), Julie Bumpus (Mt. Vernon) and Dena Kime (Mt. Vernon) as players in the Kit Kat Club orchestra. Caitlin Luckett of Ewing is the accompanist for the musical.
Tickets will sell fast! Reserve a seat for “Cabaret” in RLC’s newly remodeled theater by calling the RLC Box Office at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1467. Tickets are $12 each. Showtimes are 7 p.m., March 4-6 and 2 p.m., March 7. Box office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Friday. Visa, Mastercard and Discover are accepted.