Coming home to the ‘Cabaret’

July 28, 2014 12:00 PM

Mary Cross

Katie Howe, Diane Lala, Summer Lyric Theatre, Cabaret, musical theatre

Diane Lala directs Katie Howe in her portrayal of Sally Bowles in Summer Lyric Theatre’s Cabaret. (Photo by Michael Palumbo)

“I love being in New Orleans and I’ll take any excuse to come back.” — actress Katie Howe

Dixon Hall on the Tulane University uptown campus soon will be transformed into the sordid Kit Kat Klub amidst the rise of the Nazi party in early 1930s Berlin for the Summer Lyric Theatre production of Cabaret

“I feel comfortable here. It’s like a retreat,” says Katie Howe, who will star as Sally Bowles, the Kit Kat Klub’s headlining singer who perpetuates the facade of a carefree life inside the cabaret while her world crashes down around her. 

Howe, a 2009 Tulane graduate who majored in musical theatre, has immersed herself in stage and film projects while living in New York City. Howe recently appeared in the Vital Theatre Company’s Off-Broadway children’s musical Fancy Nancy and has roles in upcoming independent feature films. 

“Originally, I didn’t see myself as Sally,” Howe says. “She’s the most intricate role I’ve ever played, as she’s a self-destructive character.” 

The actors have had less than three weeks of cast rehearsal. 

“We had to be ready with fully realized characters from day one,” says Ken Goode, who studied musical theatre at Tulane and also has returned to campus for the role of Nazi sympathizer Ernst Ludwig in Cabaret

Director-choreographer Diane Lala is working with the cast members to develop their chemistry as a group. 

“She is incredibly efficient; working with her comes second nature,” says Goode about Lala, a professor of musical theatre at the University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music. For Summer Lyric Theatre, Lala directed/choreographed shows such as A Chorus Line (earlier this season), South Pacific, Man of La Mancha (Big Easy Award, Best Director) and Anything Goes (Big Easy Award, Choreography).

Adds Howe, “I’m so impressed by her. She’s there before rehearsal and does not stop. I’ve never even seen her yawn.” 

Cabaret takes the Dixon Hall stage Thursday (July 31) through Sunday (Aug. 3). Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at 504-865-5269.

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000