Thursday, April 29, 2010

In the Wings: Cabaret. Meet Jeff Spanke.

Jeff Spanke plays Cliff Bradshaw in Cabaret, the final production of the 2009-2010 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The book is by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.

Jeff worked with director Kate Walker on Children of Eden, which was one incentive to audition for Cabaret. He also is a fan of the show.

"Cabaret was the first Broadway touring show I saw as a kid. I was 10 or 11 years old," he said. "I remember thinking then, 'I get it.' I understood the historical context. It resonated with me because it reminded me of all the people who ignore the world around them. The show is a reminder to pay attention and be involved."

Jeff said Cliff Bradshaw is a salt of the earth American who wants to be a writer, perhaps using it as a means of escape - literally - to Berlin. He also said Cliff faces internal and external conflicts in the show.

"One of the them is his romance with Sally Bowles, a singer at the Kit Kat Club," he said. "Another is the struggle he has in terms of figuring out who he is and what he wants to do with his life. And he's trying to reconcile these while the city he lives in is going to hell and burning in front of him."

Jeff said this production of Cabaret is well directed, well conceptualized and well rehearsed, which the audience will take away from a performance. He also spoke about the show's importance.

"Cabaret is incredibly relevant in 2010 in American culture. It behooves a lot of people to see it and examine our own society in terms of what we value and what we consider entertainment," he said.

Cabaret runs three consecutive weekends from Friday, May 7 through Sunday, May 23 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday afternon matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. There also will be a performance Thursday, May 20 beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tickets for adults are $15; tickets for youth age 18 and under are $10.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette at 765-423-7529 or visit its Web site,

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