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Beginning March 21, Bristol Riverside Theatre (BRT) presents the Tony Award-winning classic musical Cabaret by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The show is performed at BRT’s mainstage theater (120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA 19007), combining the excitement of a large stage production with the intimacy of a 300-seat theater. Forced to cancel the production’s original 2020 presentation due to COVID, BRT’s former Artistic Director Keith Baker returns to direct Cabaret. The 2023 production has 31-performances from March 21 through April 16.
“Cabaret is one of the most exhilarating and groundbreaking musicals ever written,” said Baker. “It captures an era with a story that prompted the most melodic and unforgettable songs of its time. Great works always revise themselves as time puts new lenses in front of them, and Cabaret has more to say to us than ever before. BRT’s production reflects those changes with an energy and invention and quality of cast that truly honors the spirit of the original.”
In Cabaret, characters must adapt quickly as the world around them falls into chaos. John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical features one of Broadway’s most memorable scores, dazzling audiences since its debut in 1966. The story follows Cliff Bradshaw, an American writer who arrives in 1931 Berlin during the chaotic Weimar-era looking for inspiration for his novel. Instead, he falls in love with a star burlesque performer, Sally Bowles, at the sleazy Kit Kat Klub. The decadent nightlife quickly comes under threat, however, as the nascent rise of the Nazi Party continues to grow in strength by the day.
“Audiences should be prepared for a very moving and powerful evening of theater fueled by some of the greatest music ever written for the stage,” said Ken Kaissar, BRT’s Co-Producing Artistic Director. “This musical reminds us of the destruction that is caused by hatred and bigotry. With the rise of hate crimes in America, Cabaret has a timely and urgent message to share with our audience.”
The cast of BRT’s mainstage includes notable stage and screen actors from the tri-state region, highlighted by Bucks County native and Broadway veteran Jenny Lee Stern as Sally Bowles and touring theater actor Chris French as Cliff Bradshaw. BRT audiences will recognize several familiar faces, including Danny Rutigliano as Herr Schultz, Jo Twiss as Fraulein Schneider, and Bob Stineman as Ernst Ludwig. Rounding out the Cabaret cast is K. O’Rourke as Frauliein Kost, Christian Elán Ortiz as the Kit Kat Klub’s Emcee, with Meredith Beck, Hannah Catanoso, Amy Chen, Adam Hoyak, Gabrielle Impriano, Whitley Locks, Kristina Lodestro, Christopher McHugh, Damien Deshaun Smith, and Shan Williams II appearing as Kit Kat Performers.
Each of BRT’s productions offer special pre- and post-show engagements, included with the price of the ticket, for guests to create a special night out. The March 23 opening performance is followed by a catered reception where patrons can revel over the night’s show. At the Friday Festival (March 24), BRT patrons can enjoy complimentary beer and appetizers. Looking for a midweek wind down? On the second Wednesday of Cabaret (March 29), the evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with Wine Down Wednesday, where audiences are served crudité, desserts, and wine. The third Thursday (April 6), known as Thirsty Thursday, includes an hour of complimentary snacks and beer before the show.
Tickets for Cabaret are available online or by calling 215-785-0100.