Behind the scenes at the Kit Kat Klub

Whether it’s “Oklahoma” or “The Lion King,” staging a musical requires a full cast of experts: designers, musical and stage directors, choreographers, costumers, stagehands and, let’s not forget, actors ready to stretch.  

It took talent galore—and then some—to raise the curtain on DU’s production of “Cabaret,” a 1966 musical staged by the Department of Theatre in early March. The story, much of which takes place at Berlin’s celebrated, if naughty, Kit Kat Klub, features a love triangle playing out against the rise of the Nazi Party.  

Work on the production began in fall 2021 with auditions, and the first rehearsal occurred after winter break, on Jan. 3. By February, the student crew was busy assembling sets and fitting actors for costumes. 

The production was guaranteed extra polish when choreographer Candy Brown brought her Broadway-level expertise to the show. As an artist in residence with the department, she drew on decades of TV, film and stage experience to ensure a cohesive marriage of music, movement and the show’s themes. “[Candy] designed all of the dances for the Kit Kat Klub, taught all of the dances, and collaborated with the students on how to construct storytelling through movement,” says Greg Ungar, associate professor and director of the show. What’s more, she did much of the early work over Zoom.  

For her part, Brown relished the opportunity to work closely with students. “It isn’t just some steps and songs and costumes and ‘ya got a show!’” she says. “Hopefully, I can dispel the myth of how easy it is and that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, training and discipline.”

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