Infamous Kit Kat Klub reborn in Cabaret

Alberta Bair closes Broadway Series with national tour of “Cabaret” April 17 in Billings

On Stage
Cabaret National Tour
Sally Bowles and her suitor are seduced by the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife.Photo ©

Tickets remain for Cabaret, the final performance of Alberta Bair Theater’s Broadway Series presented on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m.

This production is based on Roundabout Theatre Company’s Tony Award-winning production by Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) and Rob Marshall (Into the Woods and Chicago, the films). Cabaret welcomes the audience to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd so they can leave their troubles outside.

But as life in pre-WWII Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times?

Cabaret boasts some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony Award-winning musical about following your heart while the world loses its way is intended for mature audiences.

The musical turned 50 in 2016. “Harold Prince, who conceived and directed the original production, created a startlingly innovative piece of theater that also, inevitably, was a product of its time,” writes Margaret Gray in the the LA Times. “Successive interpretations of Cabaret followed suit, with each new iteration both reflecting and disrupting a distinct cultural moment. As a result, the musical’s evolution can be seen as a mirror of American society over the last half-century: what has changed and what hasn’t.”

The musical was inspired by “The Berlin Stories,” a semi-autobiographical collection by English writer Christopher Isherwood published in 1945. His narrator, an expatriate writer in Berlin in the late 1920s and early 1930s, writes about the last gasp of the decadent Weimar Republic; the Nazis are consolidating power, but nobody is paying attention. The offbeat characters are lost in hedonistic pursuits, oblivious to the horror massing on the horizon: “There was a cabaret and there was a master of ceremonies and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany,” the narrator writes. “It was the end of the world … and I was dancing with Sally Bowles and we were both fast asleep.”

Tickets, $52, $46, $39 and $30 for students with valid I.D., are available at the Alberta Bair Theater Box Office on the corner of 3rd Ave. N. and N. Broadway, by phone at 406-256-6052; box office hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Saturday Monday through Friday. Tickets may also be ordered online at  Group purchases of ten or more tickets made in a single transaction are $48 per ticket.