Sunday, April 25, 2010

In the Wings: Cabaret. Meet Kate Walker, the director.

Kate Walker directs 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.

Kate was drawn to directing the show because of the book.

"It's meatier than some American musical theater because it deals with complex issues. The characters are very layered, very flawed individuals. And the tone is not always 'happily ever after,'" she said.

The Monon Depot Theatre is transformed into the Kit Kat Club in Berlin in 1929 thanks to the set design by John David Collier.

"Setting a show this large into the intimate space of the Monon Depot Theatre works because the club is an intimate setting, but it still has to be bigger than life," Kate said. "The audience enters the club and is greeted by the emcee. Then throughout the first act, they meet an American writer, a fruit shop owner and the residents of a boarding house above the club."

Kate expects that placing the audience in the midst of the action of the Kit Kat Club will make the events of the musical that much more powerful.

"The audience will see the characters on stage make their choice as the Third Reich comes to power," she said. "As the dancers and singers in the club make their decision which direction they're going to follow, it made me understand how difficult a choice it would have been. If you were a business owner like Fräulein Schneider and it was the only thing you knew, how difficult that choice is not to be complicit with the Nazis."

Kate concluded with what she believes an audience will most remember about this production of Cabaret.

"I hope the audience is entertained, that they'll laugh and they'll probably blush a couple of times," she said. "And we hope that they will think about the difficult choices that had to be made at the time in 1930s Berlin."

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 afternoon matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. There also will be a performance on Thursday, May 20 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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