Cabaret returns with the same humor, different venue
Cabaret will return to Steamboat Springs this June but, this time, in a new venue at Howelsen Hill. This year’s theme is “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been,” a lyric from the Grateful Dead song “Truckin’,” and one that director Scott Parker felt was appropriate after the past year and a half of dealing with a global pandemic.
The two dozen acts of Cabaret will be performed June 23 and 24 with two shows at 6 and 8 p.m. each night.
According to Parker, the 2021 show features a lot of music — more than in past years — and many funny skits.
“Everyone in this year’s Cabaret has been in multiple Cabarets before,” Parker said. “It’s a smaller cast and crew this year, only about 20 people, when we usually have upwards of 50. But that’s nice given the fact that we’re in a new situation and venue this year.”
Since 2013, Cabaret has been performed at the Chief Theater downtown, but with the theater undergoing renovations, Parker had to look elsewhere for the event.
After speaking with Steamboat Creates, which hosts Cabaret as a fundraiser for their organization, it was decided this year’s show would be a kickoff for the summer season, especially because the performances are right around the summer solstice.
What: Steamboat Cabaret: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been
When: 6 and 8:30 p.m. June 23 and 24
Where: Howelsen Hill (plan to walk, bike or park downtown)
Tickets: Visit SteamboatCreates.org
Cost: General admission is $40 and VIP is $75, which includes early admission, one drink and appetizers
Steamboat Creates Development Director Dagny McKinley said Howelsen was chosen with the goal of allowing people to feel comfortable attending an event, again.
“In this location, we are able to space people out and provide hilarious entertainment in an environment we hope everyone will feel safe in,” McKinley said. “We have had such positive feedback about the location that if all goes well, we may consider more outdoor events in the future.”
Performed on the same stage the summer concert series usually uses, it’s the biggest Cabaret stage to date. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on, and it is Parker’s hope that the turnout is large.
“It’s been one and a half years since people were able to see live theater,” he said. “My hope is that they come out and support it, because the arts have suffered greatly. Next to restaurants and bars, it’s the one industry that was hit hardest in the pandemic.”
Co-director Katy Goodman said she hasn’t looked forward to a Cabaret this much in years, and she’s been involved with the annual show for 25 years.
“When I first started doing Cabaret, it was more of a local talent show, and it wasn’t very organized,” Goodman said. “Since then, it’s gotten more structured every year, and of course this year, we’re just so excited to get back out there.”
Goodman said one of the goals was to make the show upbeat, with not a lot of COVID talk.
“I think it’s just going to be a really fun and lively show this year,” she said. “I laughed the whole way through rehearsals, and it was wonderful.”
Parker said this year’s show came together quicker than it ever has, but the cast and crew didn’t mind.
“We only had a month to prepare, but everyone involved was great. I can’t tell you what a good feeling it was to see everyone again; there was a buzz in the air that you could cut with a knife,” he said. “Everyone was just so glad to see each other and be performing, again. I hope the audience feels that energy and comes out in huge numbers.”
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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