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Welcome to Cabaret’s Kit Kat Klub! SMCM Play Runs March 4-11

Directing Team from the Play “Hair” Reunites
February 15, 2010
Press Release #10-013


"Willkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome!" Just three words, yet everyone immediately knows what Broadway tune you're singing.  The opening number of Cabaret is a signature tune made famous on stage and in the movie adaptation by actor Joel Grey. Teasing, playful, campy, it invites us into the seedy 1930s Berlin nightclub, the Kit Kat Klub, where our evening's entertainment - both innocent and ribald, saucy and fun - largely takes place.  You are invited to the Kit Kat Klub for a limited run of Cabaret, Thursday, March 4, through Thursday, March 11, in the renovated Bruce Davis Theater at St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM). Performances are 8 p.m. March 4-6 and 9-11 and 2 p.m. March 7. Ticket prices are $5 or $7. To make reservations, call the Theater Box Office at 240-895-4243 or e-mail

An ensemble of 20 theater and music students from St. Mary's are putting on the play that reunites guest artist Bill Gillett, musical director Jeffrey Silberschlag, and choreographer Merideth Taylor-a re-teaming from the hugely successful Hair produced four years ago. "It's a joy to return to St. Mary's to direct another musical," Gillett says. "Coming to St. Mary's always feel like coming home." Gillett, a 1995 theater graduate from SMCM, now heads the theater program at Carroll Community College.

Since audiences of a certain generation are probably most familiar with the 1972 Joel Grey-Liza Minnelli movie version of the stage play, they'll recognize that Cabaret has a dark underside as well. The musical is based on the dramatic stage play I am a Camera by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood. The scene is 1931 in a Berlin, Germany, still reeling from World War I and with the Nazis rising to power.

The Berlin that Isherwood lived in and wrote about included poverty, drugs and alcohol, criminals, sleazebags, fighting in the streets, venereal disease, prostitution of both sexes, and the temporary escape from the harshness of life by visiting ‘naughty' nightclubs like the Kit Kat Klub, whose decadence encapsulates it all.

At Cabaret's heart, however, beats a love story, charged with a life-embracing zeal. The ship might be sinking in a Germany coursing towards Hitler's Third Reich, but in Berlin, at the Kit Kat Klub, the party is still going strong! As Sally Bowles sings at the end of the show, "What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play! Life is a cabaret!"

Wishful thinking, perhaps?

 St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities, and an SAT average for student admissions of 1848. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.