Batavia Players embrace scandal for 2018 season

Dec 6, 2017

BATAVIA — The Batavia Players will make a deliberate left turn for the 2018 season and drive straight into the realm of avant-garde.

The acting troupe announced next year’s slate of shows on Wednesday with the theme “It’s Scandalous.”

“Much of what we’re doing is in one way, shape or form involved with a scandal,” said Pat Burk, the troupe’s president and artistic and executive director. “Even ‘Annie’ is scandalous with Rooster trying to sell Annie to the highest bidder. And ‘Cabaret’ is a scandal.”

“Cabaret” is sure to turn heads given its raunchy delivery and subject matter. Set in Germany during the rise of the Nazi Party, the story follows the goings-on of the seedy Kit Kat Klub. Themes of racism, sexism and homophobia permeate the musical. The Batavia Players will present the 1998 Broadway version, which is closer to the original subject material than other incarnations.

“I really feel that the message of the musical really needs to be shown as it was originally intended,” Burk said. “Over the years, it has been sanitized; to be a popular movie, things had to be removed. There are some unsettling aspects of the story, but it’s very important story right now.

“The messages are that evil can sneak up on your without you even knowing about it and how awfully Jews, gays and women were treated during the Nazi regime. We say we never want that to happen again, but if you look around the world, you can see that happening right now in Africa and other places. Parts of the world haven’t learned that lesson yet.”

Here’s a breakdown of the season:

Gala (“Streets of New York”)Jan. 7

The Batavia Players will bid farewell to its 2017 season with the annual gala and awards ceremony. Actors will present select numbers from previous productions, and awards will be presented for the best performances of 2016.

On Broadway 9 (100 Years and More)Feb. 2-10

A collection of performances from various musicals that have appeared on Broadway.

Six Characters in Search of an AuthorMarch 9-11

An absurdist play that examines the relationships between authors and their characters.

Merry Wives of WindsorShakespeare in SpringtimeApril 13-21

The annual Shakespeare in Springtime production focuses on Falstaff, a fat and cowardly knight, trying to woo two married women after his arrival in Windsor. The uninterested wives respond positively to the advances in an attempt to make sport out of the man.

Cabaret 1998May 11-19

American writer Cliff Bradshaw has an affair with Sally Bowles, a performer at the Kit Kat Klub in 1931, just as the Nazis are rising to power in Germany. Given the raunchy subject matter, this is an adult-only production.

The WomenJune 8-10

An all-female show that focuses a critical eye on the lives of pampered socialites.

Disney’s Aristocats JuniorSummer Children’s Camp ShowJuly 20-21

A modified version of the beloved animated film.

ApplauseSummer Youth TheaterAug. 10-18

Aging actress Margo Channing mentors a young woman who covertly plans to steal the star’s career and man.

An Ideal HusbandSept. 14-16

Written by Oscar Wilde, the play focuses on blackmail and political corruption among the upper class over the course of 24 hours.

Stories, Songs & Just a Touch of SinFundraising ConcertOct. 20

A collection of songs and skits from various productions.

Blythe SpiritNov. 2-4

After inviting a clairvoyant into his house to conduct a séance, a novelist is haunted by the spirit of his first wife.

AnnieDec. 14-23

A young orphan, searching for her parents and living in a brutal orphanage, is taken in by the wealthy Daddy Warbucks.

By Matt Krueger, Batavia Daily News