Arts & Events

THEATER PREVIEW: Shakespeare at Stimson come-back with CABARET at Fort Mason

By John A. McMullen II
Sunday February 05, 2012 - 05:13:00 PM
Corinne Proctor as Sally Bowles
Clint Graves
Corinne Proctor as Sally Bowles

Three years ago, Shakespeare at Stimson closed. They sent a letter to their audience asking if they wanted more, and there was a resounding, “Yes!” 

They have come back as Independent Cabaret Productions with Jeffrey Trotter as artistic director, and, appropriately, have opened Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret at Fort Mason in SF

Directed by Hector Correa with choreography by Cera Byer, it stars Corinne Proctor who was a Critics’ Circle nominee for Den of Thieves at SF Playhouse and Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at East Bay’s Pinole Community Players. 

Diego Emir Garcia provides musical direction; this is his third collaboration with Director Correa, and Rose Ann Raphael designed the set. Don Cate designed the lighting, and Tammy Berlin the costuming.  

Cabaret is about life in “decadent” Berlin just as Hitler was coming to power. It’s centered in a lurid cabaret/prostitution nightspot called the Kit Kat Club. Well known songs are “Maybe This Time,” “Life is a Cabaret,” “Mein Herr,” and “Don’t Tell Mama.”  

With music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Joe Masteroff, it swept the Tony Awards for a musical for 1966 with Best musical, original score, featured actor (Joel Grey), actress, direction (Hal Prince), choreography, scenic design, and costume design. 

It was based on a book “Berlin Diaries” and the story “Sally Bowles” written by Christopher Isherwood . From this came John Van Druten's 1951 play “I Am a Camera.” Its success green-lighted a 1972 film starring Liza Minelli with choreography by Bob Fosse; it was nominated for best film but lost to “The Godfather.” 

This production is an adult one, with Jeremy Vik as a Mephistophelian Emcee.  

The production features many actors familiar to East Bay audiences: Brieanne Martin has just been seen with Verismo Opera in Carmen and Rigoletto as well as Hunyak in Chicago (CCCT). Lisa Tateosian has appeared with Actors Ensemble of Berkeley and Douglas Morrison Theatre. Tina Rutsch was featured in the Full Monty at Pinole Community Players and in Gypsy at CCCT. 

Max Thorne as last seen at Altarena Playhouse’s stage production of The Rocky HorrorPicture Show in Alameda 

Others in the cast are: Ellen Brooks as boarding house owner Fraulein Schneider; Malcolm Rodgers as Schultz, the Jewish greengrocer; Eric O’Kelly as Ernst, the glad-handing smuggler turned Nazi; Ivan Hardin as Cliff, the bisexual author (the Michael York role in the movie); Tina Rutsch as Fraulein Kost, the nasty boarding house hooker, and Kit Kat Girls and Boys Brie Martin, Bryn Laux, Lisa Tateosian, Valerie Casparian, and Max Thorne. Wayne Roadie stage manages, and the Kit Kat Club Orchestra is comprised of Diego Emir Garcia. Amy Katrina Bryan, Alex Garcia, Noah Riccardi  

CABARET plays in Building B third floor at Fort Mason in the Marina District of San Francisco through February 19 on Thu, Fri, Sat at 8pm, and Sun at 7 pm, with a 2pm matinee on Sun Feb 10.  

Click on or call 415-381-1638