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Released November 5, 2003

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SOUTHERN MISS THEATER PRESENTS HIT MUSICAL

HATTIESBURG - Composers John Kander and Fred Ebb have been one of the greatest and longest-running songwriting teams in Broadway musical history. The Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Southern Mississippi will present one of their more celebrated hits, "Cabaret," Nov. 13-15, 18-19 and 21-23 in the Martha R. Tatum Theatre.

Set in Berlin in the late 1920s, the musical follows the relationship between an American writer, Clifford Bradshaw, and a British cabaret performer, Sally Bowles. Their love affair in the heady, decadent world of pre-war Berlin collides with the dark political and social forces steadily taking over Germany with the rise of Nazism.

Like Kander and Ebb's "And the World Goes Round," produced at Southern Miss in 2002, "Cabaret" is full of unforgettable music that speaks eloquently of human pain and pleasure. Theatre faculty member Robin Aronson, who directed the 2002 musical production, also directs "Cabaret."

"This sexy, daring piece, both moving and challenging to its audience and full of difficult subject matter, is far different from more conventional musicals like 'Okalahoma,'" Aronson said. "Yet it still has the structural elements and memorable music that make musicals so powerful. This musical suggests that it might be easier to understand the tragedies of history in the midst of an extravagant party."

Emily Hindrichs, a graduate student in the School of Music at Southern Miss, will serve as the musical director for the production. Janet Prieur, professor of dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance, will choreograph the show, assisted by performance and choreography major Robert Rigsby. Scenery is being designed by senior design student Jonathan Hammel; lighting designed by assistant professor of theatre Brian Hapcic, who teaches lighting and sound design at Southern Miss; costumes designed by graduate costume student Brady McKellar; and sound designed by sophomore theatre major Brandon Belote.

Kander and Ebb began their partnership in 1963 after an introduction by legendary music publisher Tommy Volando. Their first success was the pop hit "A Coloring Book." Since that time, the duo has written eleven Broadway shows, including "Flora," "The Red Menace," "Cabaret," "Zorba," "The Happy Time," "Chicago," "Woman of the Year," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," and "Steel Pier." They also wrote the music for the films "New York, New York" and "Funny Lady."

Performances start at 7:30 p.m. each evening Nov. 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, and 22. The show closes with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 23. The Department of Theatre and Dance advises that the production contains adult content and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Individual show tickets are $10 general admission; $8 for Southern Miss faculty and staff and senior citizens; and $6 for students. Call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425 for tickets. Order online at www.usm.edu/tickets.

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April 20, 2004 4:48 PM

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