41st Cabaret debuts in brand new location with many fresh cast members
Steamboat Creates’ Cabaret has a lot of new faces in recent years, but the 41st annual show is still capturing the “heart of Steamboat” with satirical and clever skits and musical numbers.
The cast, full of classic and rookie members, will string together 29 pieces for four nights at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, through Saturday, May 13, deeply appreciating and gently picking on everything that makes Steamboat Springs special.
The show is co-directed by Paula Salky and Katy Goodman, who have been directing the show together off and on for about a decade.
This year’s show is extra meaningful, as it’ll be the first on the new stage at Julie Harris Theater at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.
“I wouldn’t say it’s finished,” Salky told the cast ahead of Saturday’s practice. “But it’s nearly done.”
“Kind of like Cabaret,” a cast member quipped.
On Saturday, May 6, the cast ran lines for skits and rehearsed musical numbers, just four days out from the show’s opening night.
Skits include the price of eggs, Steamboat moms talking about beauty standards, cars driving where they shouldn’t be, and Steamboat’s aging but active community.
The mailman, Kris Hammond, will return, too, to talk about delivering in Steamboat Springs, a skit that is recurring in Cabaret, but more topical than ever in the Yampa Valley.
“I think it’s relevant without being snarky,” Goodman said of the 2023 show.
The amount of newcomers in the cast has freshened Cabaret, offering new perspectives and voices to the show, while giving the newbies a sense of community.
“When I moved here, not gonna lie, I fell into a bit of a depression because of all the snow,” said Lex Panico, who moved to Steamboat Springs from California in January. “Finding this community, I was all in as soon as I heard about it.”
Panico had been involved in arts for about 25 years and was in the Screen Actors Guild. She has since found her people at Cabaret.
Anna Dean, another first-time Cabaret participant, grew up in Steamboat watching Cabaret, but Dean was always in school and couldn’t take part. She’s happy to get back on stage for the first time since high school in this year’s 41st edition.
Riley Johnston is in her fourth year, and it’s the sense of community that keeps her coming back.
“It’s really, really the people and the cast,” she said. “As an adult, most of my friends came from being in Cabaret. It’s just an experience to come together with these people and put on something together.”
In her second year, Alexa Taylor contributed skit and musical number ideas that were selected to be in the show.
While she strives to be involved at the writing and acting levels and had the confidence to put her ideas out there, she said not everyone needs to be as committed or experienced. Anyone and everyone is able to come out to Cabaret and be involved.
“Everyone is an equal and everyone treats each other with respect,” she said. “You can have big parts if that’s what you’re confident doing and you can have a song in the show even if no one really knows you yet. Everyone gets the opportunity to shine and show their passion.”
Johnston said it best that Cabaret is for locals, by locals.
“I think it’s important for people to know that you don’t have to be an athlete or a rancher to survive in Steamboat,” Salky said. “There is a place for all artists.”
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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