Carte Blanche's CABARET
March was a busy month. With some 16 shows opening in April, next month isnât looking any less busy. Working my way through the schedule, I realize that Iâm going to be excessively busy this month. Suffice it to say, the people actually putting on these shows are far more busy than I am. Possibly one of the busiest guys in town with respect to that is Jimmy DragolovichâProducing Artistic Director of the newly-formed Carte Blanche Studios.
For a tiny theatre without much funding, Carte Blanche has been exceedingly busy, staging a number of productions in the past several months. This coming month, Dragolovich and company will be staging a large cast performance of the acclaimed Frank Ebb/John Kander musical Cabaret. Hearing Dragolovich mention the size of the cast shortly after seeing his production of Noises Off! this past month, the image of an epic scale opera in a walk-in closet came to mind. Carte Blancheâs theatre isnât as small as say . . . Off The Wallâs space is, but the size of the cast for this one is at least as big (if not substantially bigger) than Off The Wallâs Dale Gutzman has tried on his stage.
Michael Traynor plays the emcee of the Kit Kat Klub--a cabaret in Germany just before the Third Reich assumes complete control of the country. The impending sense of doom and futility is forcing certain groups into one last celebration before the inevitable darkness of an ultra-conservative regime. Clayton Hamburg, who showed a great deal of promise in Carte Blancheâs Noises Off!, plays an American novelist who has arrived looking for inspiration. He finds his inspiration in a British chanteuse named Sally Bowles. Bowles is played by Samantha Paige. Paige, who also had a hand in the showâs choreography, made quite a impression in Sunset Playhouseâs recent production of Damn Yankees, and itâs nice to see her taking a much more central role in a stylish musical like this. Jackie Moscicle will also be working on the choereographty. The musical director is Jaimie Shlecht.Â
With a cast as large as the one Dragolovich described to me, there are going to be a number of people in the production who have appeared in previous Carte Blanche shows. Somewhere amidst the rest of the action, Carte Blanche will have a live orchestra of female musicians providing the musical structure that the rest of the show will fit into.
If past productions are any indication, the prodution design for the show should be interesting, providing just enough set and costume to develop an atmosphere for the show. It should be interesting to see Dragolovich and company work out the challenges of putting this show on in such a small space.
Carte Blanche's production of Cabaret runs April 24 - May 10th ath Carte Blanche Studios on 1024 South 5th St.