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Director hopes to impart understanding with 'Cabaret'

| Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Broadway musical with a story close to the heart of its director concludes Greensburg Civic Theatre's 58th season.

Katya Ramsey of Jeannette, who was born and raised in Berlin, says she always wanted to direct "Cabaret," which takes place in her birth city just before World War II. The story focuses on the relationship between British cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Monica Filippone) and American writer Cliff Bradshaw (Rob MacIntyre).

The 1966 Broadway production won 10 Tony Awards, including best musical. A popular 1972 film version, starring Liza Minnelli, and subsequent productions followed.

Ramsey is approaching this work as a teaching experience and hopes her audience will come away from the production with "an understanding of the German people during that time period that most people don't have. They were all survivors in one form or another, and, as horrible as the Holocaust was, unfortunately we still face a lot of the same biases today."

Bryan Matechen is cast as the Emcee of the cabaret, the Kit Kat Club, a role that Ramsey says is important in moving the story along.

Filippone says Sally is a complex character, and the audience must get a glimpse of her sensitivity in order to empathize with her.

"In order to get the things she thinks will make her happy, she appeals to others with her carefree sex appeal and charm; however, she may be feeling empty inside," Filippone says. "She seems to revel in the drama of each new day, but also avoids anything that would truly shake her to the core. For instance, when she first meets Cliff, she hopes she won't fall desperately in love with him, but she also hopes she will."

The cast also include Bev Price as Fraulein Schneider, who runs the boarding house where Cliff and Sally live; Ron Ferrara as Herr Schultz, an elderly Jewish shop owner who falls in love with Schneider; Leyna McCarthy (Fraulein Kost), Mike Crosby (Ernst Ludwig) and Dan Shaffer (Max).

Additional Information:

'Cabaret'

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $16, $12 for students

Where: Greensburg Civic Theatre, 951 Old Salem Road, Greensburg

Details: 724-836-8000 or website

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