Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome ... sex, politics and the freewheeling days of Berlin between the world wars come to the Vernon stage in an adaptation of the much-loved musical Cabaret.
Big Apple Productions presents the play June 7-17 at Powerhouse Theatre.
Producer and musical director Melina Schein is joined by director Neal Facey and choreographer Olivia Grayce and a cast of familiar local faces.
An eight-piece live band will accompany the story, placed at the tail end of the 1920s as Berlin's Kit Kat Klub is a place for patrons to forget their troubles at the door, where American writer Clifford Bradshaw falls for lost soul Sally Bowles.
It's all set against a backdrop of rising angst and the beginnings of Hitler’s totalitarian regime.
"The time may come when Cabaret will seem like an artifact of a distant and unremembered past. But, sadly, we are nowhere near that point, and we are not likely to get there any time soon. It's a scary world out there, and after the show, we leave one scary world and enter another," says Schein, whose own grandparents were Holocaust survivors.
Cabaret is a cautionary tale about the dangers of apathy in the face of hatred.
"Given the increasing surge in antisemitism and homophobia, we can all learn a lesson from this show," says Schein, adding recent events have "eerily echoed much of the anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda that existed during the time our show is set."
She says the musical's "dazzling theatricality" is in contrast to the chilling history and reminds the audience "not only never to forget, but that we must be on watch lest it repeat itself."
Cabaret is one of the most popular stage productions of the 20th century, and its message is all too sadly, applicable to right now, says Schein.
The show contains violence, mature subject matter, nudity, explicit sexuality and coarse language. Viewer discretion is advised.
Tickets are available at www.ticketseller.ca.