Cabaret is coming to Pompton Lakes, NJ, to the Smiling Rhino Theatre starting March 18th through April 9th, 2011. Even better, the performance includes several Smoke Rise & Kinnelon neighbors. Don't miss it!
I had the chance to get the lowdown on Cabaret at the Smiling Rhino Theatre from neighbor and show performer, Liz Merritt Walberg.
C.B.: Liz, tell me about yourself. How long have you lived in Kinnelon?
LM: I grew up in Mountain Lakes. I moved to Norway 3 days after graduating chiropractic school in Chicago. I maintained a private practice just outside of Oslo Norway for over 13 years before moving to Kinnelon almost 4 years ago. My husband, Bjorn, is Norwegian and all three of our children are born in Norway.
CB: What do you like most about Smoke Rise and Kinnelon?
LM: Well we moved here because we love the schools and the nature, but we have to admit that the people are also growing on us.
CB: You’re involved in a performance of Cabaret. What is your role?
LM: I will be in the ensemble and - the role my kids like the best- the dancing gorilla.
CB: Is anyone else from Kinnelon involved?
LM: That is what is especially neat with this group of folks. I have met 4 others from Kinnelon in the cast. Lori Gabriele and her daughter Krista are in the ensemble with me and 2 of the lead roles are folks from Kinnelon. Sally Bowles is played by Kim Urba and the Emcee is played by Steve Savvides, a fellow Smoke Rise resident.
CB: How did you get involved in Cabaret?
LM: I was a member of a musical theater troupe in Norway for over 10 years and have been yearning for a community of musical theater ‘addicts’ like myself ever since I moved here. So when I saw that there were auditions at a theater as close as Pompton Lakes, I jumped at the chance to be part of it.
LM: I have to admit that I have not seen any live performances of Cabaret, only the film with Liza Minnelli.
This is a special musical in that it relays a painful, poignant, and chilling message with lively, toe-tapping, catchy music and dancing. This musical highlights the life-changing decisions that a group of individuals are faced with in Berlin 1939 as Hitler rises to power. The message that we need to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy and watchful that these freedoms are protected is just as imperative today as it was for folks in 1939 especially in light of the changes other countries are fighting for in our world currently.
CB: What about the director?
LM: Well, it is a real kick to work with my high school musical theater director again. Rich Lavallo is the musical director for this show. It was fun surprising him at the audition.
CB: Anything else you’d like to mention or highlight?
LM: This musical does include some fun and racy costuming. It also deals with some adult situations that may or may not go over the heads of some kids so I would say that this is a great ‘date night’ musical. I hope that folks come out to support our neighbors. But mostly I hope that they will come to thoroughly enjoy this high-quality (not to mention nearby) evening of live entertainment.
CB: Thanks, Liz!
For information about purchasing tickets, show times and directions, visit Smiling Rhino Theatre or call 973-248-9491.
And for a taste, check out Liza Minelli with Joel Gray performing Money, Cabaret, and Mein Herr.
Enjoy the show!