Atlanta’s nightlife scene gets even steamier this weekend with the premier of “Cabaret” at Jungle, featuring a cast bedazzled with local drag personalities.
Jungle Entertainment and City of the South Theatre have joined forces to produce a unique version of the classic musical set in and around Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub during the rise of Nazi Germany.
The Kit Kat Klub dancers are comprised of the Flaming Sugarbaker Sisters (Atlanta’s house of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) and the Armorettes, the long-standing fundraising camp drag troupe. The lead Kit Kat girl is played by Dragnique host and creator Eve Michaels.
Tommy Frese, the general manager and marketing director of Jungle, said the idea to incorporate non-traditional performers came from the Tony Smithey, who’ll play the Emcee in the Jungle production.
“The interesting thing about what we’re doing is that it’s with a twist,” Frese says. “It’s not just a funny show, it’s a very passionate, sultry, erotic and sometimes a sad show, so it’s interesting because of all the people who’ve come on board. It’s been a natural progression.”
Frese says “Cabaret” is a particularly good fit for their first stage production.
“It’s an immersive experience,” he says. “You’re really immersed in the Kit Kat Club, and because we’re at Jungle, we’re able to provide that experience.”
Michaels says rehearsals have been challenging, but the experience is rounding out nicely.
“It’s been fabulous,” Michaels says. “It’s might be a little more intense than some of the girls were ready for, but it’s a great mix of theater professionals and drag professionals and there’s always tons of laughter.”
Michael and Frese agree that the production of “Cabaret” marks a welcomed twist in programming for the club long known for its successful Saturday night dance events.
“We’re really branching out to provide a different sort of event, to really make Jungle a multi-format venue,” Frese says. “We’re providing different sorts of entertainment for the gay community and the community of Atlanta in general.”
“I’m thrilled that once again Jungle has taken an opportunity to open their doors to something new,” Michaels adds. “Live theater really opens to the doors and invites everyone in. There needs to be a place in time for all of us to come together besides Pride.”
The show opens Thursday, March 17 at 8 p.m. It runs through March 26, with performances every Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., and Saturdays at 2 p.m.