Skip to content

Albany High School presents “Cabaret”

April 6, 2011

by Kelly Pfeister

The student cast of “ Cabaret,” sat stretching on the stage as choreographer and assistant director Gregory Marsh gave them notes.

The Albany High School Theatre Ensemble was preparing to present the musical “Cabaret,” written by Joe Masteroff, with lyrics by Fred Ebb and John Kander.

The show, set to open Thursday, runs through Sunday, and features a set designed by Peter Leue, with costume design by

Emily Thornton singing the title song from “Cabaret” (Kelly Pfeister)

Fiona Thompson. The play is directed and produced by Ward Dales.

The cast of 23 strong tells the story of the Nazi Germany uprising, taking place within the Kit Kat Klub, a cabaret located in Berlin, overseen by the evasive and unsettling Master of Ceremonies, played by Nikolai Mishler. Student Emily Thornton plays the role of Sally Bowls, an ambitious young woman, and Preston Williams plays writer Clifford Bradshaw.

The group of students in the ensemble is quite diverse, said Dales. It’s made up of kids ages 14 to 19, from grades nine to 12. They’re extremely dedicated students, and behave quite professionally, he said.

Alejandro Torres, a member of the chorus, said that he likes working with the cast, and also said it was a privilege to work with people like Dales and Marsh.

Freshman Jeanne Ringwald will perform in her first show at the high school. She joined the cast because she loves singing and dancing, and had seen previous shows at the school.

The entrance to Albany High School’s Theatre ready for “Cabaret” (Kelly Pfeister)

The rehearsal schedule has been particularly demanding. It started in early Decemberand was held every day Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Not every performer was scheduled to attend each rehearsal. Tech week ran Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Rehearsals were held from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., but normally ended by 7 p.m. During tech week, lights, sound and costumes are used as if it were a real show; in order to ensure that on the performance dates everything runs smoothly.

In order to prepare for this challenging musical, with its political undertones and mature themes, Dales had script analysis discussions with the cast, which he calls project-based learning. This helped the students clearly understand what they must do to communicate the story of “Cabaret” to an audience, by the way they act on stage. As a director, Dales puts a lot of emphasis on this, due to the heavy subject material the show contains.

Dales used his own creative approach in the musical and hopes that the cast will learn that their imagination is a “tool that is limitless.” Dales takes artistic liberties that enhance the musical’s creativity, and originality.

He requested an addition onto the front of the stage, to expand the performing area for the students.  In some scenes, the

The entire cast of “Cabaret” acknowledges the orchestra during a tech rehearsal curtain call (Kelly Pfeister)

perspectives are switched around, which poses a unique challenge to the performers in relation to how they must act on stage. A disco ball is also incorporated into the show, reminiscent of the 1998 revival on Broadway. Dales also drew from Cabaret’s most recent run on Broadway for the characters of Master of Ceremonies and Fraulein Kost.

“Cabaret” takes the stage at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. and closes witha  2 p.m. matinee Sunday at the Albany High School Theatre.

After a recent three-hour practice filled with singing, dancing, and acting, 23 tired student performers lined up for their third rehearsal of bows. From the audience, Dales encouraged the cast with his arms open wide in expression: “Smile,” he said. “This is your moment!” -30-


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: