Otterbein Theatre Season Opens in Sizzling Style with “Cabaret” 

Posted Sep 20, 2023

The Otterbein University Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Music will take to the stage to open this season in sizzling style with Cabaret, a long-running, award-winning Broadway musical — revived in a fashion that only Otterbein’s talented students, faculty, and staff could pull off.  

Willkommen to the tantalizing Kit Kat Club where troubles of the outside world are willfully forgotten, and artists and outcasts are free to gather for experiences of pleasure and debauchery!  

Set in 1929, “Cabaret” explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous lives of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Winning Tony Awards for Best Musical for the 1966 Broadway premiere and for Best Revival of a Musical in 1998, this provocative tale is a warning about the dangers of mass indifference in the face of injustice and violence against humanity. 

While “Cabaret” was last produced by Otterbein Theatre and Dance in 1997 and there have been two Broadway revivals of the musical since then, Associate Professor Lenny Leibowitz director of the production, believes that it remains an important piece today.   

“I love how ‘Cabaret’ still pushes the envelope of what a musical can do. I think it remains as fascinating, jolting, groundbreaking, and unbelievably innovative as when it premiered in 1966,” said Leibowitz. 

“It dazzles, haunts, and sizzles — and presents a devastating wake-up call, a scalding critique of political apathy.” 

The artistic team made up of Leibowitz, Dennis Davenport (musical director), and Stella Hiatt Kane (choreographer) have been working hard to honor the spirit and essential core of the material while making it feel not retro, but urgent. 

“Perhaps most notably, our ‘revival’ version brings in some of the best songs that were written for the 1972 movie, including ‘Mein Herr,’ ‘Money,’ and ‘Maybe This Time,’ all Kander and Ebb knockouts,” Leibowitz explained. 

Audience Advisory: This production contains sexually explicit themes/content, violence, and critical depictions of Nazi-ism and anti-Semitism; viewer discretion is advised. 

Showtimes and Tickets

Come out and see “Cabaret” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21; 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24; and 8 p.m. on Sept. 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30 in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall 30 S. Grove St., Westerville. Tickets cost $30. Call 614-823-1109 or visit

The box office is open 12-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and one hour prior to performances. It is located in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St. Student Rush discounts are available one hour prior to curtain, pending ticket availability.   

Otterbein Theatre Scene From Cabaret
Scene From “Cabaret”

Production Team

Directed by Lenny Leibowitz 

Music Direction by Dennis Davenport 

Choreography by Stella Hiatt Kane 

Scenic Design by Isaac Ramsey 

Costume Design by Thomas Martin  

Lighting Design by Jonathan Spencer 

Sound Design by Kitty Mader 

Stage Managed by Libby Carroll

Cast List  

Emcee: Ben Sanford (Sept. 21-24), Jackson Gifford (Sept. 28-30) 

Sally Bowles: Shelby Zimmerman 

Clifford Bradshaw: Daniel Keener 

Ernst Ludwig: Evan Blust 

Fraulein Schneider: Julia Murphy 

Fraulein Kost: Caroline Bowers 

Herr Schultz: Ben Hoover 

Bobby: LaBron Foy 

Kit Kat Dancers
Tres Allison, Halle Audette, Sam Bryant, Kinsey Calderone, LaBron Foy, Simone Gelety, Jackson Gifford, Elise Karlstad, Jessica Noal, Clarie Stancy, Roberto Silva-Neto 

Understudy Ernst: Tres Allison 

Understudy Cliff/Schultz: Roberto Silva-Neto 

Understudy Bobby: Sam Bryant 

Understudy Sally/Kost/Schneider: Phoebe Mock 

Kit Kat Dancer Swing: Jane Cook, Sam Bryant, Ben Sanford 

Photos by Mark Mineart.