The Sonora-based Sierra Repertory Theatre is staging Cabaret, running from Sept. 20 through Oct. 27 at the East Sonora Theatre.
For tickets, call the box office at (209) 532-3120, or purchase them online at www.SierraRep.org, or visit the East Sonora Theatre Box Office (Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), at 13891 Mono Way in Sonora. Performance times are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $32 to $47. Discounts for seniors, veterans (w/ID), children, and students (18 and over with student ID) are available for all performances.
Cabaret opened on Broadway in 1966 and ran for 1,165 performances (in three different houses: The Broadhurst, The Imperial, and The Broadway). The show is a musical adaptation of I Am a Camera, John Van Druten’s 1951 play based on Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories. The production was originally produced and directed by Hal Prince, whose long list of credits includes the musical blockbusters West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera, as well as groundbreaking works with lyricist/composer Stephen Sondheim. Prince (who passed away July 31, 2019) is one of the towering figures in the American theater of the second half of the 20th century.
Prince wanted Cabaret to reflect both its original era and the world of 1966.
“I brought in a photograph from Life magazine,” he said. “A two-page spread of a bunch of blond Aryan Nazi boys snarling at the camera, some wearing religious icons, and all stripped to the waist, and I said, ‘Who are these people, and where is this?’ No one guessed.” They were actually Americans demonstrating against the integration of a Chicago housing development in 1966. Prince used the photo to support the contention that wherever human beings are terrible things potentially can happen.
The film adaptation of Cabaret, which opened 1972, starred Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey. It was a huge box-office hit, taking in over $42 million. The film earned a total of eight Academy Awards including Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Liza Minnelli), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Joel Grey). Despite these wins, Cabaret did not win Best Picture or Best Screenplay; those honors went to The Godfather.