Girls in their underwear aren't the only reason to watch Fort Hays State University's Fringe Theatre production of "Cabaret."
"There's sex, violence and Nazis, as well as a light-hearted feeling and love," said Alex Toepfer, Hays senior and member of the orchestra.
"It's a wonderful musical experience. Even though the subject matter is very serious, it is an incredibly entertaining show. It's a great story," said Andrea Crees, a recent FHSU graduate who returned to play the show's lead, Sally Bowles.
The story follows the love affair of night club performer Sally Bowles and American writer Cliff Bradshaw, played by Mario Lozoya, Pratt junior, as they deal with the changes in atmosphere and attitude in 1930s Berlin. The cast and crew bring the era and the Kit-Kat Club to life, allowing the audience to get a feel for what life was like in pre-war Germany.
"For the history buffs, there's WWII; for the college students, there's the Kit-Kat Girls; for the dance aficionados, there's the dancing; and for everybody else, well, we invite them to come find something," said Lazoya.
For those others, that "something" may simply be the opportunity to accept the invitation of the master of ceremonies, played by Jayson Taylor, assistant professor of art, to "leave your troubles outside. We have no troubles here. Here, life is beautiful!"
Despite the proclaimed lack of troubles, the characters find themselves facing such issues as drug use, abortion, increasing anti-Semitism and the rising Nazi party.
Stepping out of his own life and into the tumult of the era was part of the allure of playing Bobby, a Kit-Kat Boy, for Shane Pelzel, Larned transfer student.
"I made myself do it." Pelzel said. "I like giving the edge to people, especially when they aren't expecting it.
That edge, however, may cause some parents to leave their younger children at home.
Brenda Meder is the musical's director and creative force. Terry Crull, instructor of music, conducts the orchestra. Bruce Bardwell, assistant professor of communication studies, created the sets and Chris Wilhelm makes sure the show's technology runs smoothly. Jackie Creamer choreographed the dancing.
The musical will run two weekends: Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2 in conjunction with Homecoming activities and the following weekend, Oct. 7-9.
Shows begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. All performances are in Felten-Start Theatre in Malloy Hall on the FHSU campus.
Tickets for each show are $8 for FHSU students and $10 for non-students.
Season tickets are available until Oct. 9. The public can purchase tickets for $30 per set and FHSU students can purchase them for $15.
Special contributor packages are available. The Patron package provides two season tickets for a $75-$124 donation. Sponsors receive four season tickets for a $125-$224 donation. Angels receive eight season tickets for a $225-$324 donation. Benefactors receive 12 season tickets for a $325-$424 donation. Underwriters receive 16 season tickets for a donation of $425 or more.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Tara Neitzel, ticket booth manager, at (785) 628-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A list of cast members follows.
Sally Bowles Andrea Schumacher-Crees, Hays
Cliff Bradshaw Mario Lozoya, Pratt junior
Master of Ceremonies Jayson Taylor, Hays
Fräulein Schneider Laura Decker, Lindsborg sophomore
Herr Schultz William R. Brown, Hays
Fräulein Kost Callie Schlegel, Ogallah graduate student
Ernst Ludwig Jarrett Henson, Ulysses freshman
Max John Simmonds, McDonald sophomore
Victor Joseph Galante, Hays senior
Bobby, Sailor, Gorilla Shane Pelzel, Larned freshman
Kit-Kat Girls Alicia Giersch, Hays senior
Rachel Gottschalk, Hays freshman
Krystle Krug, Russell junior
Stefanie Stevens, Hays sophomore
Alexandra Walston, Wichita freshman
Samantha Wendell, Republican City, NE,
Jenn Wilson, Colby junior
Shelly Wolf, Hays
Stephanie Anglemyer, Winfield senior
Jordan Bollig, Schoenchen sophomore
Shawn Demuth, Hays sophomore
Nathan Frye, Hays sophomore
Ben Galloway, Pratt sophomore
Pam McGowne, Hays graduate student
Aaron Rockers, Hays senior
Mel Sauer, Jr., Hays
Katie Steinert, Lyons junior
Alex Toepfer, Hays senior
Brett Zamrzla, Hays sophomore