“Cabaret” actors give inside look at annual production | SteamboatToday.com

“Cabaret” actors give inside look at annual production

Paula Salky, co-director of “Cabaret” runs through the opening number with the 2016 cast. The Steamboat-inspired sketch comedy show tradition, "Cabaret" is back again this spring with a brand new theme. Auditions are this Sunday, March 5.
John F. Russell

— The farce is strong with the cast and crew of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s 34th annual Cabaret.

The skits and parody songs included in this year's Cabaret, titled "The Farce Awakens,” will embody inside jokes and quirks Steamboat locals know all too well.

If You Go…

What: Steamboat Springs Arts Council's "Cabaret: The Farce Awakens"

When: 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave

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"This isn't a glorified talent show anymore," said Katy Kriz, co-director, who is in her 21st year as part of the production. "There are so many good actors in the show this year who have written some really funny songs and skits."

"We have a lot of songs this year, and everyone has come ready and prepared with some great ideas and enthusiasm," added Paula Salky, co-director, who has also been involved with the show for several years. "There are some people who have never performed on stage before, which poses a different dynamic, however, they've just jumped right in."

The show, which opened Thursday, will again take the stage at the Chief Theater at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

While actors and actresses were enduring the chaos of rehearsal, weaving in and out of costume and set changes, Explore Steamboat caught up with a few of them to get their take on a show that's become a staple of mud season in Steamboat Springs.

Nina Rogers

20th year in Cabaret

Explore Steamboat: What initially inspired you to be in Cabaret?

NR: The first year I did it, I remember it was at what used to be called the Last Dog Saloon. I had just started to be involved with the Steamboat Community Players, and we did our first play. They mentioned Cabaret was coming up, so I went to auditions. It was mainly the idea of, number one, doing it as a benefit, and two, getting together with crazy people and pulling it all together in that short of a time span. The craziness appeals to me, mainly.

ES: What do you love about Cabaret?

NR: The energy of it all. There's nothing else like it. No matter what kind of show you do, there's nothing else that has this short of a production period and everyone coming together with their own brilliant ideas. Everyone has a chance to shine in an area where their passion lies, and I just love sitting back to see what people come up with every year and how clever they can be.

ES: What will people be surprised by compared to past Cabaret shows?

NR: I think just the creativity — the mad creativity of so many different people Yes, there is material taken out of the paper, local and national events and politics, but there's always something else, too. Cabaret will really give people a kick in the pants this year.

Lizzie LaRock

First year "newbie"

Explore Steamboat: What initially inspired you to be in Cabaret?

LL: I've lived here for 20 years and have always wanted to do Cabaret. We have kids and owned Old Town Pub for 14 years, so I was a little busy for awhile. Now that we don't own it anymore, and the kids are a little older, I'm really excited to finally have time to do this. I actually decided to write a skit, and my character is known as the "Pour Mom."

ES: After your first year in "Cabaret," what do you think it takes to be in this kind of production?

LL: A great sense of humor and stamina, because this is intense. You have to memorize stuff very fast, and there are a lot of dance moves. You also have to be able to wing it and be very flexible. You can't get too caught up in everything, and you need to have a really good sense of humor.

ES: How do you prepare for your characters?

LL: I was actually rehearsing my obnoxious mom role in the carpool line, with the windows up, of course. I also play a sarcastic waitress, which, after 14 years of owning a restaurant, I think I've got that one down.

Andy Pratt

12th year in Cabaret

Explore Steamboat: What initially inspired you to be in Cabaret?

AP: I'm part of the We're Not Clowns juggling troupe, and when we were first starting out, some people in Cabaret came to see our show and said we needed to audition. That first year we did Cabaret, we did a skit as We're Not Clowns.

ES: What do you love about Cabaret?

AP: It's just a blast. It's sort of scary, because there's not enough time to really feel safe and secure in your lines or skits, but that actually creates an atmosphere where you have to improvise and wing it, which is a fun environment to be in.

ES: What will people be surprised by, compared to past Cabaret shows?

AP: There are a lot of new, younger people in the cast, but there's still a decent amount of veterans, too. But that mix adds to the excitement of the show. It happens so quickly the first time you do your first Cabaret, there is real nervous excitement about it, and it's more intense that first time. That comes out in the show, as well.

Ann Ross

4th year in Cabaret

Explore Steamboat: What initially inspired you to be in Cabaret?

AR: It was a serendipitous thing, really. I just saw something about it in the paper and thought I would try it out. I went to auditions, and they said to do a number or something, and they had a video camera set up in there, for whatever reason. When I used to live in Minneapolis, I had done a TV program called, "Talks with Ann," so I just went up and started talking into the camera and said, "Hello, this is Talks with Ann again, and today's guest is going to be …" And then, I just went, “Ahh, just being silly.” I'll be darned, they picked up a few mariuana pictures and put those on the screen behind me without me knowing they were going to do it. It was so funny, and of course, that hooked me.

ES: What do you love about Cabaret?

AR: I think it's because it's an outlet to just have fun. The other thing is knowing there are locals who are doing it. That's probably the number one reason. A lot of these people have talent, and they share that with the community. For me, I would much rather see someone who lives in town doing something fun like this than going to the movie theater. You get to see people you know, and you can let loose to just enjoy yourself.

ES: What's the last thing you do before you step on stage and get into character?

AR: I try to just sit for 30 minutes and just think of nothing. That's what I did before I came here tonight and how I get into character best.

Kris Hammond

22nd year in Cabaret

Explore Steamboat: What initially inspired you to be in Cabaret?

KH: I went to the show when it was still at the Clock Tower Theater, and I watched Kay Wagner sing a song about Catamount — it wasn't developed yet at the time. I just thought it sounded like a lot of fun.

ES: What do you love about Cabaret?

KH: It's evolved over the years. Early on, it was more an amateur talent show. Now, it's evolved into an actual show. There are a lot more people in the community participating. A lot of the writing material reflects what's going on in the community, and inside jokes are always the best.

ES: What will people be surprised by, compared to past "Cabaret" shows?

KH: I think they will be surprised at the size of the cast. It's one of our bigger casts. But I think everyone will be surprised by something different.

Paulie Anderson 

14th year in Cabaret

Explore Steamboat: What initially inspired you to be in Cabaret?

PA: I was working (with) the arts council and always loved being involved with the theater dorks. I was drawn in by loving the arts and being part of it from a production angle, helping out with the posters and programs for the first four years I was part of it.

ES: What do you love about Cabaret?

PA: The local humor, for sure. But also, the fact that everybody knows somebody on stage. It really is a family affair, from the audience to the actors. It feels like a family every year, and when there's new people, they, too, become part of the family.

ES: What will people be surprised by, compared to past "Cabaret" shows?

PA: I think the fact that there are more songs than skits this year. But, this will all come together at the tail end of rehearsals, and people can expect to laugh. Nobody is safe from being poked fun at.

Cesare Rosatti

15th year in Cabaret

Explore Steamboat: What initially inspired you to be in Cabaret?

CR: I’ve always done theater growing up in high school when I was younger. When I found out about Cabaret, it was all about having fun with it. I like the idea of making fun of everyone, but not to the point where people take it too seriously. It's just a great show where everyone goes out with that attitude, and people know what to expect.

ES: What do you love about Cabaret?

CR: It's that connection to the local community and the fact that you can make fun of almost everything if you do it in a lighthearted way. What really draws a lot of people is that it's only a commitment for a week. But it's a heavy one, because you only have a few days to get ready, then go into the dress rehearsal. Even if you screw up your lines, though, it's still fun.

ES: What will people be surprised by, compared to past "Cabaret" shows?

CR: The theme itself — Star Wars. Aside from that, I think we've got some really good songs this year, and people will enjoy and be surprised by the music. It's just a great way to spend an evening, and if you're a local, it's a show for you.

Tickets are $30, and VIP tables are available for $250, which includes four premier seats, a bottle of wine, Cabaret schwag and "lite bites." Tickets can be purchased at The Depot Art Center and All That or online at steamboatarts.org/cabaret.

  1. To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1