Cabaret opens on Thursday
Laurinburg, N.C. – The St. Andrews Presbyterian College theater program has a long tradition of strong performances, but for the past ten years Professor Mark Mannette, the head of the theater department at St. Andrews, has desired to direct one particular musical, Cabaret.
Set in 1930’s Berlin just before, and during, the rise of Nazism, Cabaret is the story of a young writer by the name of Cliff (Chris Weedon) who is told by a fellow passenger on a train, Ernst Ludwig (Josh Pickett), that he should attend the Kit-Kat Club in Berlin. Cliff finds more than he bargained for upon his arrival when he meets Sally (Victoria Bickett). The two immediately fall in love and for the duration of the play Sally resides with Cliff in his Berlin boarding house.
This is no ordinary love story, however, but a tale of overcoming the trials of rising evil. Sally and Cliff must face the coming of the Nazi party in Berlin, and act as witnesses to the problems that ensue. Cliff and Sally’s relationship is not the only one under threat however, there is a subplot as well between Cliff’s land lady, Fräulein Schneider (Chelsea Ross), and her Jewish lover who must also face the upcoming trials of the Nazi domination of Germany.
“I have always enjoyed directing musicals and wanted to direct Cabaret for 10 years,” Mannette said. “This semester presented the opportunity to fulfill that desire. Although the play takes place in 1930’s Berlin, it is still very approachable for the modern audience, covering the full range of emotion.”
With multiple versions of Cabaret available, Mannette chose to direct the 1987 revised version first directed by Harold Prince.
For Pickett, it was the right choice.
“The songs throughout are memorable and fun while the play itself remains edgy,” said Pickett. “This is the best show I’ve been a part of over the past four years and I feel like everyone will enjoy it.”
Mannette agrees with that assessment, while also believing that the commitment of the actors to the play will create an impactful performance.
“A musical is more difficult than a normal play because the actors must learn to act, sing and dance in a limited amount of time,” he said. “This posed no problem for the cast this semester. All of the students involved have been doing an amazing job, but keep an eye out for The Emcee (Payden Reilly) Cliff (Chris Weedon) and Sally (Victoria Bickett), as all three have been showing very strong performances.”
The first performance will be on Thursday, March 31 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Morris Morgan Theatre of the James L. Morgan Liberal Arts Building. Additional performances are April 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. and April 3 at 7 p.m. Admission will be $4 for students, $7 for seniors, $8 for faculty and $10 for the general public.
About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.
On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.