Reprise Theatre Company's 2011-2012 season features two classic American musicals at UCLA's Freud Playhouse - "Cabaret" (September 13 to September 25, 2011), based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, Broadway production directed by Harold Prince; "The Baker's Wife" (February 14 to 26, 2012), with book by Joseph Stein and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, based on the film "La Femme de Boulanger" by Marcel Pagnol and Jean Giono; and a third production to be announced, which will play April 17 to 29, 2012. Jason Alexander is the artistic director of Reprise Theatre Company.
Musical theatre historians often note that 'Cabaret' was groundbreaking in its subject matter: it was one of the first musicals to tackle a very dark period of history - the eve of Hitler's rise to power in Weimar Germany - and also groundbreaking in using the songs in the Kit Kat Club as commentary on the story. "Above all else however, 'Cabaret' is engrossing and entertaining. A fascinating set of characters - Sally Bowles, the cabaret singer, Cliff Bradshaw, the American writer, and the very singular Emcee, a type never seen before on the Broadway stage, are thrown into a time of history - 1931 Berlin - that rivets our attention," says Gilles Chiasson, Producing Director.
'The Baker's Wife' is a gem of a musical from the composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the scores of 'Godspell,' 'Pippin,' and 'The Magic Show,' and would later write the score of 'Wicked,' and his collaborator librettist Joseph Stein, who wrote the book for 'Fiddler on the Roof,' 'Zorba,' and 'Take Me Along.' 'The Baker's Wife,' like 'Gigi,' had its World Premiere in the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera series at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion - starring Topol - commencing on a six-month tour including San Francisco and Washington, D.C. While it did not travel to Broadway after that, Schwartz did produce a cast album of its glorious score - with Paul Sorvino and a very young Patti LuPone who joined the cast in San Francisco - prompting a New York off-Broadway staging in 1985, and a West End production in 1989, directed by Trevor Nunn. "We are thrilled to bring this rarely-seen show, with a Los Angeles history, to a new audience," says Chiasson.
Christine Bernardi Weil is Managing Director and Gilles Chiasson is Producing Director of Reprise Theatre Company.
"Cabaret" is based on John Van Druten <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Van_Druten> 's 1951 play "I Am a Camera <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_a_Camera> ," which in turn was adapted from the novel "Goodbye to Berlin <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye_to_Berlin> " by Christopher Isherwood <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Isherwood> . Set in 1931 Berlin <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin> as the Nazis <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism> are rising to power, it is, as Fred Ebb said, "about people dancing on The Edge of a cliff and not quite falling over." "Cabaret" revolves around Sally Bowles, a cabaret performer in the seedy Kit Kat Club, Cliff Bradshaw, the young American writer she becomes involved with, and the characters of the edgy, threatening world they inhabit, including landlady Fräulein Schneider, caught in a doomed romance with Herr Schultz, a Jewish <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish> fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub, a decadent and ominous symbol of the era.