Arts council to stage Cabaret
An American writer visiting Nazi-era Germany for inspiration to write a novel is the story line of the Hilliard Arts Council's summer musical production, Cabaret.
Performances are scheduled this weekend, July 13-15.
"It was kind of a whim," director Robin Brenneman said of selecting the musical. "I thought it would be fun to bring it back."
The Hilliard Arts Council last presented Cabaret in 1991.
The story explores the lives of the lead characters as well as delving a little into the politics of Nazi Germany, Brenneman said.
"It has its touching moments but also funny moments," said Brenneman, adding that while more recent adaptations of Cabaret are darker, the arts council is presenting it closer to its original form.
The cast of about 35 is smaller than average for a Hilliard Arts Council production.
Set in the early 1930s, at a time when Adolf Hitler is rising to power, Cabaret is the story of an American writer, Cliff Bradshaw, who is traveling Europe to find inspiration for a novel. Bradshaw arrives in Berlin where he becomes smitten by the town and a woman, Sally Bowles, a singer at the Kit Kat Klub.
While in Berlin, Bradshaw lives in a boarding house owned by Fraulein Schneider, a spinster who is being courted by Herr Schultz, a Jewish man who owns a fruit store.
The happiness and tribulations of both relationships are reflected in the musical numbers in Cabaret, which include Cabaret, Don't Tell Mama, Two Ladies and Why Should I Wake Up?
Hilliard Darby High School graduate Alexa Rybinski, 23, is cast as Sally Bowles. David Hammond, 29, a native of Mansfield and resident of Hilliard, plays the role of Cliff Bradshaw.
Both are veteran performers of the Hilliard Arts Council.
Rybinski first appeared in Hilliard Arts Council's presentation of The Music Man at the age of 8. She had wanted to try out for a larger role but at the time feared performing a solo. She was cast of one of the children in River City, but soon overcame her mild stage fright and has since appeared in about a dozen productions by the arts council.
A graduate of Capital University, Rybinski said she was introduced to performing, particularly music, at an early age because her aunt, Jayne Wenner, is a music teacher at Norwich Elementary School.
Like Rybinski, Hammond's family members opened the door to the world of theater.
"My grandparents took me to see The Music Man when it was playing in Charleston (W.Va.) with the Charleston Light Orchestra," said Hammond, who did not begin performing until attending the Mansfield branch of the Ohio State University.
Cabaret is the fifth Hilliard Arts Council production for Hammond, who recently filled the lead role in the arts council's production of Jekyll and Hyde.
Other cast members of Cabaret include Paul Lee as Herr Schultz, Jodi Leis as Fraulein Schneider, Brian Horne as the emcee, Greg Kembitsky as Herr Ludwig and Krista Morelli as Fraulein Kost.
Scheduled shows are at 8 p.m. Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at the Darby High School Performing Arts Center, 4200 Leppert Road in Hilliard.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and senior citizens. Call 614-527-4407 or visit www.hilliardartscouncil.org for information.