‘Whatever Floats Your Boat’ is theme of this weekend’s Cabaret in Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

‘Whatever Floats Your Boat’ is theme of this weekend’s Cabaret in Steamboat Springs

The Steamboat Springs Arts Council's biggest annual fundraiser, Cabaret, will take center stage Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Chief Theater with the theme "Whatever Floats Your Boat."
Audrey Dwyer
If you go… What: Cabaret 2018: “Whatever Floats Your Boat” When: 6 and 9 p.m. Thursday, May 10, Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave. Tickets: $35 for general admission and $50 for VIP

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – When Kalynn Smith faced the decision to pursue a summer raft-guiding gig or stay in Steamboat Springs, she found the deciding factor in the most unlikely of places — at Cabaret with its unsparing critiques and satirical comedy that locals know so well.

“I couldn’t decide if I wanted to stay or leave Steamboat,” Smith said. “When I saw my first Cabaret show in 2015, that was it. Decision made. I thought, ‘Well, if there’s this many fabulous weirdos in this town, I knew I could absolutely stay here awhile.’”

The 36th annual Cabaret, “Whatever Floats Your Boat,” with its usual catchy ballads, short quips and skits portraying local characters and raucous happenings, features a cast and crew of 40 with seasoned actors and a few new faces on the stage. Shows will be performed twice nightly at 6 and 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Chief Theater.

“I’ve never been involved in anything like this anywhere I’ve lived where we have a group of people who are so diverse coming together to create something like this show,” Smith said. “It’s relatable. It’s hilarious. It’s Cabaret.”

“There’s this feeling of we’re all in it together. Whether seasoned veterans or newbies, the production’s grown through collaboration and experimentation,” said Chris Tisch, who saw his first Cabaret show 10 years ago and is in the show for the first time this year. “We’re never really slaves to the script, so to speak. Even though it’s a lot of work with only one week of rehearsals prior to opening night, it’s the people are who make it such a fun experience.”

Cabaret has stayed true to its “formula,” according to Chief Theater Executive Director Scott Parker. This is his 12th Cabaret and his eighth as a co-director and producer.

“I personally love the tradition,” Parker said. “Ryan (Fleming) and I are as much facilitators as we are directors. We trust people’s creative processes and like to empower them with their scripts, sets and costumes.”

“We truly wanted not to direct as much as fan the flames of these passionate performers and see what happened,” said Fleming in his first year directing Cabaret. “And this show is on fire.”

Fleming said audiences should listen for local name drops and expect to see a myriad of mediums with songs, skits and a video.

“It is all comedy, just in different situations,” Fleming said.

Cabaret is one of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council’s biggest fundraisers of the year with proceeds supporting advocacy, education and community programs in the Yampa Valley. Tickets are $35 for general admission or $50 for VIP and can be purchased at chieftheater.com or at the Depot Art Center or All That.

“It’s important to laugh at ourselves and not take life too seriously,” Smith said.

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

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