Lottery numbers, Polar Bears, and Smoke Monsters–oh my! Time for Murder Ballad.

Since my last couple of blogs have been BOOMING in stats, I’ve officially reached Cabaret Blog celebrity status (no photographs please) (actually please take some I need new headshots).

I can hardly walk around the Rutgers University campus without having my fellow peers stare at me in a star-struck manner. I can sense their jealousy and awe. I receive so many compliments per day, like:

  • Is that smell coming from her?
  • Does she know that she’s talking to a wall?
  • Why is she making frog noises?

I’m swimming in compliments here folks, it’s almost unbearable. I don’t know how NSync did it (#RIP #forevernostringsattached)

nysnc

That being said, I know you all are DYING to hear about my personal life. I am pleased to inform you that I am currently on season 6 of Lost, and every episode makes me cry. Jack is my number #1 again, as Sawyer started to annoy me, and Desmond apparently isn’t in this season. Also, Richard Albert has the best backstory (Izz-ah-bellaaaa). They’re my characters and you can’t have them.

getonwithit

Alright, alright. What other show did I binge watch this summer? Dexter! And what is Dexter about? Murder!

Presenting…

Murder Ballad

Cabaret’s newest main stage and my worst segue.

murderballad

Currently, I am sitting in Cabaret Theatre as the cast, crew, and band prepare for their first tech rehearsal. This set is by far one of my favorites at Cabaret to date. First off, there’s a pool table which also serves as a bed (*wink). Second, there’s a bar (*double wink). Third, you can walk, jump, and do *naughty* things ON the bar (*no more winking). Fourth, the band is center stage on the platform. It is perfect and I love it so.

I personally had never heard of Murder Ballad before Cabaret announced it as one of the mainstages for the 2014-2015 season. Going into this rehearsal, I had no idea what to expect. But, as I walked in to the band warming up to RHCP, I knew the show would not disappoint.

Get it? Get it? *gags*

Get it? Get it? *gags*

Murder Ballad is a steamy exploration of the complications of love, the compromises we make and the betrayals that undo us. This is the dramatic story of a love triangle gone wrong centering on Sara, an uptown girl who seems to have it all, but whose downtown past lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. Sex, love, lies, and a murder fill this show with pure entertainment that should not be missed.

Words I like in this description: Steamy. Betrayal. Lingers enticingly. And love triangle (Jack, Kate, and Sawyer anyone?).

"We have to go back"

“We have to go back”

Since this show is a “ballad”, the pit and the actors’ musical abilities are given prime time to shine. Even I was impressed, and I’m usually a tough cookie to please when it comes to musicals. The Narrator has a sexy and electrifying belt; Sara’s sweet looks deceive her fiery persona; Michael’s ever-lovable and huggable character had me awing and gasping in every scene; and Tom exemplifies rock n’ roll with a hot Kansas twist, ever tempting us all to the dark side.

While waiting for the run to begin, I decided to “interview” a few key members of the staff, crew, and performers. Here’s what they had to say:

(Here I take on my Nshady persona. Imagine it. It’s awesome)

A brief interview with Justin Brown (director)

  • Nshady: Hi Justin Brown
  • JB: Hi.
  • Nshady: Describe the show in five words. Go.
  • JB: Wait, does it have to be…five…adjectives?
  • Nshady: Sure, why not. Go!
  • JB: Sexy, malicious, electrifying….rock…and roll.

A surprise interview with Justin Luckenbaugh (actor)

  • Nshady: Hi Justin!
  • JL: Hi Natasha!
  • Nshady: What is the most annoying thing about director Justin?
  • JL: What?! I don’t know…he listens to Beyonce a lot. And he enjoys the sexual parts of this show.

Lauren Burcheri (pianist) tells me about things

  • Nshady: Hi Lauren!
  • LB: ….Hi…
  • Nshady: Five favorite moments of the show…go!
  • LB: Practicing with the pit and creating a dynamic together, the music and the story of the show is very catchy, the fact that I was still able to do this show even though the dates were moved, and I like that there’s not a formal conductor with the music, which allows us to just jam and go with it, and Justin as the director.

Jared Gallegos (tech crew), a.k.a. the only person who asks me how I’m doing

  • Nshady: Hi Jared!
  • JG: Hello! How are you?
  • Nshady: I’m great, how are you?
  • JG: Doing fine.
  • Nshady: How has your experience been doing tech with the show so far?
  • JG: Somewhat rushed, but I’m actually on the same time-frame as I usually am. Yeah…that’s it.

A brief interview of no importance with Steph van Oppen (Managing Director)

  • Nshady: What do you like best about your pink hair, and why is it pink?
  • SvO: Pink matches all of my…blue clothes.

A hot and steamy with Mary Berko (choreographer)

  • Nshady: Hi Mary!
  • MB: Hi!
  • Nshady: What did you do for the show?
  • MB: This show?
  • Nshady: Yes this show.
  • MB: I helped choreograph some great scenes…slash modern dance…but not really.
  • Nshady: I hear there may be a sex scene. Can you confirm the rumors?
  • MB: Yes, I can confirm that. It’s very abstract.
  • Nshady: Is it hot and steamy?
  • MB: It’s pretty hot and steamy.
  • Nshady: You heard it, folks.

I confuse Dalton Zogleman (actor)…a lot…

  • Nshady: Hi Dalton!
  • DZ: Hi Natasha!
  • Nshady: How has being from Kansas inspired your role in this show?
  • DZ: ……..Um……that’s a great question…how has being from Kansas inspired my role in this show………………………………………………….I have no clue……………………..I really don’t know………………(laughter)…………………………….(awkward laughter)………………………………. ……………………..(silence)……………………………..
  • Nshady: Alright, I’ll give you a take two. Hey Dalton.
  • DZ: Hey Natasha…
  • Nshady: What are your thoughts about American Foreign Policy? Go.
  • DZ: I think that there’s much room for improvement and I am a proud citizen of this United States of America.
  • Nshady: Very political of you.
  • DZ: Thank you.

Courtney King (Artistic Director) loves me more than you do!

  • Nshady: Hi hi!
  • CK: Hi! Wassup?
  • Nshady: What is the best thing about my super awesome fun-time blog?
  • CK: Um…Natasha…you write your blog…so that’s the best thing…that you write it. And Natasha is my favorite. She often incorporates poop and that’s exciting for us all…and her…because she loves poop. And she is a beautiful actress. We’ll miss her so much when she leaves us for France.
  • Nshady: Yes I’m wonderful. Let’s segue into Murder Ballad now. What is your favorite thing about the show?
  • CK: My favorite thing about Murder Ballad is that we’re incorporating a new set up; we have a bar and we’re using the band onstage. It’s a whole new environment for Cabaret.

FOR THE RECORD COURTNEY MENTIONED POOP IN THIS BLOG, NOT ME.

Just had to get that out there.

Yeah and I'm proud of it.

Yeah and I’m proud of it.

Here is all the info you need for the show:

Cabaret Theatre presents,

Murder Ballad

*****This production contains adult language and content. We recommend this show for mature audiences only.*****

Dates::

– Thursday, November 20th @ 8pm

– Friday, November 21st @ 8pm

– Saturday, November 22nd @ 8pm and 11:59pm

– Sunday, November 23rd @ 7pm

Performances will be held at Cabaret Theatre. The theatre is located at the corner of Suydam Street and Nichol Avenue on the Douglass Campus.

Tickets::

– $7 Students/Faculty/Staff/Seniors

– $12 General Admission

Please email ticket reservations complete with your name, date of performance, number of tickets needed to cabtheatre@gmail.com***

***Please arrive more than 20 minutes before show time. If later you risk losing your reservation to those on the waiting list.

Meet the Cast:

– Narrator: Erica Nader

– Sara: Stephanie Turci

– Michael: Justin Luckenbaugh

– Tom: Dalton Zogleman

 

Meet the Production Staff:

– Director: Justin Brown

– Assistant Director: Claudia Nunez

– Stage Manager: Nicola Keegan

– Assistant Stage Manager: Sabrina Pellunat

– Musical Director: Steph Mangioglu

– Assistant Musical Director: Jessica Sipe

– Choreographer: Mary Berko

 

Meet the Pit::

– Piano: Lauren Burcheri

– Drums: Evan Tsioni

– Bass Guitar: James Nascimento

– Guitar: Justin DeUmberto


Come see all of these beautiful people and their hard work this weekend! Be prepared for a raucous time. Did I mention Dalton is from Kansas? He’s from Kansas. Apparently there’s a lot of corn there. And tornadoes. And lots of women named Dorothy.

Side note–this is my last theatre review for the blog (insert sad face here), as I am graduating in a little over three weeks. How weird is that? I’ll have a “sign-off” post after the holiday, and introduce you to our new Social Media Chair! (her name may or may not be Kristen and she may or may not be equally as cool as I am)

Until then, I’ll be flying planes from LAX to Australia trying to get back to the Island. See ya in another life, brotha.

Nshady, out.

***ALSO Rutgers Night Live Auditions are this Monday from 8-Midnight, with Callbacks on Tuesday TBD, both at Cabaret. Come out and audition! You’ll get to meet me! Bring your funny bones, and make sure to leave all of the non-funny ones at home.***

Smells like teen spirit…I mean, Dog Sees God

Welcome to Palindrome Land! Population, tire.

Featuring…

  • He won snow, eh?
  • Racecar
  • DOG SEES GOD (SHOW TITLE SHOW TITLE ALERT ALERT)
  • No lemons, no melon.
  • Was it a bar or a bat I saw?
  • Egad! No bondage?

And my favorite:

  • Ah, Satan sees Natasha.

Hey look my name is in a palindrome! Hey look it’s pretty creepy! Hey look now Annabelle is going to attack me!

Disregard the creepiness of my own name in a palindrome, and focus on the show DOG SEES GOD.

INTENSE.

INTENSE.

This show has teenage angst written all over it…and sex, death, love, gossip, confusion and anger. DSG encompasses every emotion a young person can experience in finding himself. In an intricate journey of exploration, provoked by the death of a beloved pooch (RIP), the characters question and challenge their relationships with one another, and ultimately embody what it means to be human.

Dog Sees God provoked a lot of emotions and memories within my own self. First of all, my high school experience was in NO way like this show. I enjoyed my nap time and study time. These teenagers party, set people on fire, challenge social norms, and have threesomes. Yeah. Not my high school experience.

Look how cool I was.

Look how cool I was.

One aspect that really struck me was the dog’s death (this is not a spoiler alert, because the first scene opens with the funeral. Don’t be hatin’). This is an event that not only affects the main character of CB, but it forces the other characters to come to terms with their own limited existence. CB’s dog’s surprising passing somehow makes the teenagers lives more real. It propels all of their actions, and makes them face the fact that “we handle grief in different ways”. All of these characters experience a different aspect and meaning of grief. I’ll leave it up to you to discover what it means to each one.

Dog owners can certainly relate to CB’s grief. I know I can…it completely depressed me. Thinking about what would happen if my puppy-wup somehow wasn’t here anymore. ..CB’s friends just don’t understand what it is like to have a life-long companion taken from you! Here’s a picture of my pup. Think of her as CB’s dog, and then you too will cry.

Aw she's got little angel wings on....this is making everything worse.

Aw she’s got little angel wings on….this is making everything worse.

And now the explanation of the title, given by the character of Beethoven:

A dog sees god in his master

(I’m trying to hold back the tears right now)

 

Let’s get to some details of the production:

LOVE THIS

LOVE THIS

Cabaret’s first Main Stage Production of the year:

DOG SEES GOD

(information graciously stolen taken from the Facebook event)

Simultaneously hysterical and haunting, DOG SEES GOD by Bert V. Royal tells the twisted tale of a group of reckless teenagers who come face-to-face with some of life’s darkest and most daunting challenges. With a brilliant combination of humor, cruelty, and endearing honesty, the characters are forced to confront their demons head-on in this story of truth and transformation.

 

This production will run for TWO weekends:

– Friday, October 17th at 8pm

– Saturday, October 18th at 8pm

– Sunday, October 19th at 7pm

– Friday, October 24th at 8pm

– Saturday, October 25th at 8pm

– Sunday, October 26th at 7pm

 

Where? You should know by now…

Cabaret Theatre, located at the corner of Suydam Street and Nichol Avenue on the Douglass Campus.

 

Tickets*

$7 — students/faculty/staff

$12– general admission

*Please reserve tickets by emailing cabtheatre@gmail.com

You know you want to

You know you want to.

Who’s who in the Cast:

Andy Martinez

Dan English

Julia Barnett

Sam Vargas

Shachar May

Alex Albanese

Tyler Conroy

Kelly McCarthy

 

And the Production Staff:

– Director: Alyssa Krompier

– Assistant Director: Kat Beliavski

– Stage Manager: Eddie Norgard

– Assistant Stage Manager: Ja’mie King

Preach it boys!

Preach it boys!

****This production of DOG SEES GOD contains Trigger Language and adult content. We recommend this show for mature audiences only.****

 

Moments I love in the production:

  • Alex’s rendition of one of Chopin’s etudes (beautiful and haunting, I love you Alex)
  • The party scene
  • Andy Martinez. Always Andy Martinez.
  • Julia’s platypus/butterfly interpretive dance.
  • Sam’s hot bod.
  • All of the Romance scenes wink wink
Sassy Sam Yum Yum

Sassy Sam Yum Yum

Alright, I’m going to stop myself there before I give up any key moments in the production. You’ll have to see it for yourself! Dog Sees God is the essence of a Cabaret Theatre production, and it works perfectly in the black box theatre environment.

That’s all for now, folks. I’ll leave you with another picture of Izzy. Look at her cuteness!

We're in love

We’re in love.

N-Shady, out.