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Cabaret to be Performed at UB Nov. 17-20

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: October 21, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance will present Cabaret Nov. 17-21 in the Center for the Arts' Drama Theatre, UB North Campus. Performance times are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. The musical, with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb, will be presented in a full production with orchestra and newly designed and executed sets, lights and costumes.

Cabaret is loosely based on Christopher Isherwood's Berlin stories. The musical won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Composer and Lyricist. The subsequent film starred Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey and won eight Oscars.

Set in pre-World War II Berlin, Cabaret tells the story of an American writer who has come to Germany for inspiration to write a novel. He stumbles into a British expatriate and nightclub singer of questionable morals, Sally Bowles. Events predicting Hitler's rise unfold around them as they interact with the inhabitants in the rooming house where Cliff rents and as they frequent the cabaret where Sally works. Classic Broadway songs such as "Cabaret," "The Money Song" and "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" fill the show's well-known score.

The production will be directed and choreographed by guest artist Gary John LaRosa. LaRosa has directed and choreographed nationwide, including the national tour of Footloose. He has directed Fiddler on the Roof and Peter Pan at The Muny in St. Louis, the nation's oldest and largest outdoor theatre, and numerous productions at the Sacramento Music Circus, including Hairspray and West Side Story. In New York City he has directed at the Jewish Repertory Theatre, Zipper Theatre, Primary Stages, and at New York University. LaRosa has also worked in Hollywood, Las Vegas and South Africa.

Nathan R. Matthews, UB director of music theater, will music direct and conduct the production. The founding producing artistic director of the Riverside Opera Ensemble in New York City and a former member of the music staff of the Santa Fe Opera, Matthews has collaborated on Broadway and across North America with artists such as Dixie Carter, Malcolm Gets, Mark Hamill and Anne Hathaway. In Western New York, he has also music directed at the Irish Classical Theatre Company (A Man of No Importance), Musicalfare (Sweeney Todd), Kavinoky Theatre (Glorious!) and at Artpark (Smokey Joe's Café).

Students in the Music Theatre BFA and other theatre and dance degree programs comprise the cast for Cabaret. The cast includes Western New York natives Shawn Smith, Eva Tashjian (Shakespeare in Delaware Park) and Taylor Frisina, as well as Tracey Mellon (Artpark).

The musical is produced by UB's Department of Theatre and Dance

Tickets for Cabaret are $18 for the general public and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts Box Office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and all Ticketmaster locations, including ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets call 1-800-745-3000; in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For more information, call 716-645-2787. For group sales, call 716-645-6771. Students (of any school) must present valid student ID at the Center for the Arts Box Office to receive a discount.