2019 Spring Musical "Cabaret"

PTHS Spring Musical "Cabaret"
Posted on 04/29/2019
PTHS Spring Musical "Cabaret"

2019 PTHS Spring Musical

PTHS Auditorium

May 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th @ 7 pm

Sunday, May 12th @ 2:30 pm

On Friday, May 3rd, Port Townsend residents will have the opportunity to “come to the cabaret” as Port Townsend High School proudly presents this classic musical.  With over 30 student actors, technicians and musicians, CARARET is the most ambitious production for PTHS in recent years.

While several adaptations of the original script exist, the basic story is the same.  In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920’s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the cabaret.  With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, CABARET explores the dark, heady and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich.  Cliff, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken by English singer Sally Bowles.  Meanwhile, Fraulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally’s boarding house, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish.  Audiences will recognize some favorite songs like “Money”, “Mein Herr” and “Maybe This Time” and be delighted by other less familiar ones like “So What?”, “It Couldn’t Please Me More” and “I Don’t Care Much.” 

While director Jennifer Nielsen had intended to retire from directing at PTHS last year, she couldn’t resist the students’ requests for one more show.  She explains that, “this group of talented, motivated students made it almost impossible to say no.”  Cabaret is a show that is near and dear to Nielsen’s heart and she was surprised when the students were initially unfamiliar with the story and songs, but “once they heard the music, they were hooked.” 

Starring as the garish, outrageous M.C. is PTHS junior, Orion Pendley, who uses his considerable vocal talent to sell the character.  The iconic role of Sally Bowles will be played by Sorina Johnston and her love interest Cliff by PTHS senior Bodie LaBrie.  Two other leads who may be less familiar to audiences are Frau Schnieder and Herr Schultz, played respectively by Nylah Garling and Pierre Ballou.  Schneider runs the boardinghouse where Cliff and Sally are living and has several impactful songs like, “So What?” and “What Would You Do?” 

The show features an extensive chorus played by Moe Gardner, Grace Wentzel, Violet Moell, Cyan Adams, Rosalyn Salmon, Jenessa Siebergross, Rachel Doen, Shawnie Wanosik and Finn O’Donnell.

The crew features Harmony Erickson as stage manager, Cece Nielsen as both assistant choreographer and costume designer, Susan Latham and Stella Anderson on the costume crew and Angela Agnew as make-up and hair designer. 

The impressive two-story set representing the cabaret is designed by Nielsen and built by Jim Guthrie with help from the PTHS drama class and the cast and crew.  With quick changes between six different locations in and around the Berlin cabaret, Guthrie’s creative talents were put the test.  The finished product is truly stunning.  Lighting designed by Steve Arbuckle will help transport viewers to this fabulous but scary time in Germany. 

This year the band is being led by a student for the first time.  Kincaid Gould, a PTHS junior, took on the challenge of leading the band while playing the clarinet and tenor sax for the group.  Other students in the band include Maya Dow on trumpet, RuthAnn Patterson on flute and sax, Nikki Massie on bass, Louis Babik on drums and Lochlan Krupe on violin.  Community member Liz Hopkins provides a strong foundation for the band on piano. 

The most recent Broadway production of this show with Alan Cumming as the M.C. is incredibly dark and bawdy.  For the PTHS production, Nielsen took a different approach. “It was a fine balance between authenticity and appropriateness for a high school cast.  We tried to tell the truth of the story without over-sexualizing it.”   Germany during the Weimar Republic, which lasted from 1919 and 1933, was basically a sexual free-for-all. In terms of sexual liberation and divine decadence, there was nothing more in-your-face than Berlin in the '20s. “With our production,” says Nielsen, “we wanted to keep the sense of sexual freedom and acceptance, which is then destroyed by the Nazi’s.”  The mature subject matter makes a parental guidance rating of PG13 appropriate.

Admission prices range from $10.00 – $3.00 with extra donations happily accepted.  All proceeds will help fund the drama students’ trip to The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in June and future productions at PTHS.  Tickets will be available at the door.  Please contact the PTHS office at 360-379-4520 with any questions.

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