Arts and Entertainment


"What good is sitting alone in your room; come hear the music play ...."

So starts the song "Cabaret," and it expresses the feeling that Olympic Theatre Arts wants audiences to feel for the namesake show, the first to play on OTA's new main stage.

The story revolves around Sally Bowles, a singer and dancer in the seedy Kit Kat Klub in Germany in 1931. The Nazi movement is taking over the nation, but Sally tries to ignore it, insisting that politics has nothing to do with her.

Veteran cast

Sally is played by Sara Shea, who has been part of OTA for years because her mother, Olivia Shea, is a founding member. When she is not performing in an OTA production, Shea sings with her band Chez Jazz or the Stardust Band. Shea and Chez Jazz will release a CD, "Quiet Night," this spring.

Clifford Bradshaw, played by Brian Doig, comes to Germany to find a setting for a novel he wants to write. He is intrigued by Sally and soon becomes her protector, allowing her to move into his rented room when she is fired from the club.

This is Doig's second production with OTA. He also has lent his tenor voice in Port Angeles Light Opera Association productions. He is retired from the Clallam County Roads Department.

The master of ceremonies narrates the play and he comments on the action. He is a metaphor for what is happening in Germany. He is played by Colby Thomas, who would like to earn a degree in theater arts and act professionally.

Thomas has been in various productions on the peninsula. This is his fourth role with OTA. A dancer in the show says Colby holds the show together.

Dark subplot

A side story involves the landlady of Bradshaw's boarding house, Fräulein Schneider, and her suitor, Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit seller. They plan to marry until Fräulein Schneider is warned not to consort with Jews.

Fräulein Schneider is played by Jayna Orchard, a former associate professor at the University of Alaska - Anchorage. She has been acting since she was 13 when she played Christopher Robin.

Herr Schultz is played by Lee Harwell, previously general manager of OTA, now an actor and director. He has been acting since he was 15. Harwell runs a commercial cleaning and personal chef business.

Larry Harwood and Dewey Ehling direct the longtime Tony Award winner with choreography by Marianne Trowbridge. The book is by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Fred Ebb and music by John Kander.

Harwood has acted and directed at OTA for 25 years, directing "Steel Magnolias," "The Sunshine Boys," "Tuna Christmas" and "Nunsense," which drew the largest total audience in Clallam County.

Ehling is musical director and conductor for the Port Townsend Community Orchestra and conducts the Peninsula Singers. He has conducted the Port Angeles Light Opera Association and played in the symphony.

The opening performance is Friday, Feb. 5, an invitation-only event for OTA patrons and donors. "Cabaret" opens for the public at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6.

At a glance

What: "Cabaret"

Who: Olympic Theatre Arts

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6, 10, 12-13, 17, 19-20

and at 2 p.m. Feb. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21

Where: OTA, 414 N. Sequim Ave., Sequim

How much: $25 general admission,

$23 for OTA members, at Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St., Sequim; Odyssey Books, 114 W. Front St., Port Angeles, OTA's box office, 414 N. Sequim Ave., 683-7326; and online at

Reach Dana Casey at

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