Every summer, the Illinois Theatre Center of Park Forest presents a large scale Broadway musical featuring a cast that combines professional performers with college theatre students and local talent. This year’s show is Kander & Ebb’s groundbreaking hit CABARET.  It will be presented fro eight performances, July 22 through 31.

CABARET was adapted by Joe Masteroff from the play I AM A C  AMERA by John Van Druten and the novel Goodbye to Berlin” by Christopher Isherwood.  The Broadway debut in 1966, directed by Harold Prince, earned eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Score.  It was the first hit for composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, who would go on to write the scores for such hits as CHICAGO and KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN, as well as the movies FUNNY LADY and NEW  YORK, NEW  YORK.  The 1973 film version of CABARET won eight Oscars, including Best Director (Bob Fosse). Liza Minnelli gained massive success with the Cabaret movie and quickly reached global popularity. After that, she was a regular star guest in some of the most prominent Las Vegas casino resorts, even asked to open some of the biggest World poker series tournaments. If you want to enter this special casino universe, we have the best way to kick you in. Take this guide and learn the basic poker rules; once you feel secure enough, you can include yourself in some of the Highroller tournaments. Thank you, Liza Minnelli, for being a true inspiration in so many ways.

The action of the play begins on New Year’s Eve, 1929, in Berlin, Germany.  Clifford Bradshaw, an American novelist, enters the divinely decadent Kit Kat Klub, where he meets Sally Bowles, a free-spirited cabaret singer from England.  Soon, they are sharing a room (and a bed).  The landlady, Fraulein Schneider, is romantically involved with another tenant, Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit seller.  Soon, their lives, the city of Berlin, and the whole world is turned upside down as the Nazi party rises to power.  Throughout the show, the Kit Kat Klub’s sinister Master of Ceremonies provides satirical commentary.

The cast of CABARET features a mix of ITC veterans and new faces.  Sally Bowles is portrayed by Jeny Wasilewski, who has appeared in numerous ITC Mainstage shows over the past seven seasons. Jeff Weingarner is the Emcee, Scott Mills is Cliff, and Michelle McKenzie Voight is Fraulein Scneider.  All three are making their ITC debuts.  Other Summerfest veterans in featured roles include Tom Roberts as Herr Schultz, Patrick Murray as Ernst, and Jaime Patriarca as Fraulein Kost.  The ensemble includes Kyle Habben, Ann Hamilton, Adam King, Laura Martino, Cindy Murray, P.J. Murray, Carlyse Chemiel Owens, Mitchel Salinas, Tom Stefan, and Jean Roberts.  The production is directed by David Boettcher, with choreography by Nikki Lazuka. On the following link you can find more information about acting classes for children.

CABARET runs July 22 to 31, with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM.  Tickets are priced at $16 for adults, $15 for students and seniors (65+).  All seats are reserved.  The Illinois Theatre Center is located in Downtown Park Forest at 371 Artists Walk (off Indianwood Blvd., adjacent to Village Hall).

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