Kander and Ebb’s musical Cabaret opens May 25 and runs through June 16 at Pentacle Theatre.

“This contemporary update of the show is not your grandmother’s Cabaret,” said Ed Schoaps, who co-directs with his wife, Susan.

Cabaret’s revised script and musical numbers wowed audiences and won numerous awards in a recent Broadway revival. It more closely reflects the permissive life and entertainment in Berlin as the carefree Weimar Republic began giving way to the emerging Nazi Party and Third Reich than the original 1966 show and the 1972 film.

The musical opens with New Year’s Eve, 1929, as a strange and garish master of ceremonies welcomes the audience to the Kit Kat Klub — a seedy Berlin nightspot where “Life is beautiful” — and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. Through the emcee’s wry commentary, and bawdy songs and dances featuring a scantily clad chorus of Kit Kat Girls and Kit Kat Boys, Cabaret explores the dark and tumultuous life of Berliners and expats alike as the heady days of Weimar Republic Germany yield to the repressive Nazi Party. Cliff Bradshaw, a young, newly arrived American writer, is immediately taken by the Kit Kat Klub’s English singer, free-wheeling Sally Bowles. Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider, Cliff’s boardinghouse landlady, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered Jewish fruit seller. Musical numbers in this revised 1998 version of Cabaret include the popular “Willkommen,” “Cabaret,” “Don’t Tell Mama” and “Mein Herr.”

“We have a cast of 16 actors, singers and dancers who tell an energetic, entertaining yet cautionary tale that still resonates today,” co-director Susan Schoaps said. “Their world changed in what seemed an instant, as free expression gave way to growing German nationalism and intolerance that led up to World War II. Cabaret captures the early days of that tumultuous time,” she added.

The Pentacle show also includes a 10-piece onstage orchestra.

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What: Cabaret, with book by Joe Masteroff based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood. Music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.

Ed and Susan Schoaps direct Cabaret, with musical direction by Jon Stuber, vocal direction by Jeff Witt and choreography by Geri Sanders. Brandon Gitchel is stage manager.

The cast of Cabaret includes Jackson Bailey, Clyde Berry, Kendall Buckmaster, Rio Cunningham, Chris Fletcher, Rachel Hedges, Nicholas D.G. Hikes, Ellie Knoll, Tom Mayhall Rastrelli, Natalie Pate, Jeff Presler,  Brian J. Schneider, Cameron Shackelton, Heather Dunkin Toller, Erik Vigeland and Kalila Webster.

When: May 25-June 16.

Where: Pentacle Theatre, 324 52nd Ave. NW, off Highway 22, about 6 miles west of downtown Salem, Oregon.

Sponsored by: Cabaret is made possible by the generous support of Pentacle patrons Duchess & Munchkin, who wish to remain anonymous.

Tickets: Tickets range in price from $29-$34.

  • $34 for opening night includes a catered post-show party.
  • $30 for Friday and Saturday evening performances.
  • $32 for Sunday matinee performances.
  • $29 for Wednesday and Thursday evening performances.
  • Seniors, students and military are eligible for a $1.50 discount per ticket.

Where to buy: Advance tickets are available at Pentacle’s downtown Salem ticket office at 145 Liberty St. NE or by calling 503-485-4300 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, or online anytime at pentacletheatre.org. Tickets are also available at the theater box office 45 minutes before each performance.

Tickets for low-income persons: In partnership with Salem for All, Pentacle Theatre offers half-price tickets to Oregon Trail Card holders. For information, go to salemforall.org.

CONTEXT: In 1919, the German parliamentary body moved from Berlin to the town of Weimar to escape the political and revolutionary turmoil following the dissolution of the army and forced abdication of the Kaiser in the state’s official capital, Berlin, following WWI. This new government abolished the strict censorship laws and sexual restrictions of the former regime, making the German Republic, and in particular its largest city, Berlin, a place of pilgrimage for artists and sexual minorities. These individuals are represented in the Pentacle Theatre production of Cabaret.

CONTENT ADVISORY: Pentacle Theatre seeks to inform our patrons about content that they may find objectionable. Because tastes vary — and what is offensive is subjective — we encourage you to read the script before purchasing a ticket if you’re concerned. While there is no rating system for plays, this revised version of Cabaret is recommended for mature high school and adult patrons.

The script for Cabaret includes:

  • References to abortion.
  • Sexual content: Suggestive language, suggestive singing and dancing, scanty costumes, kissing, prostitution.
  • Substance use: Alcohol and drug use.
  • Language: Profanity.
  • Violence: Stage fighting, Nazi symbols.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  PentacleTheatre.org or call 503-485-4300.