MU Summer Repertory Theatre opens 40th season at the Rhynsburger

Friday, June 6, 2008 | 7:31 p.m. CDT; updated 4:21 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — In celebration of its 40th summer season, the theme for this year’s MU Summer Repertory Theatre is “Fabulous @ 40.” Faculty, staff, cast and crew will continue theatrical performances at the Rhynsburger Theatre: “Cabaret,” directed by James M. Miller, will kick off the summer season starting July 2, followed by “Sanders Family Christmas,” directed by Clyde Ruffin, on July 10.

Miller described the theme of “Cabaret” as the “futility of intolerance.” “It is one of the best musicals ever written,” Miller said. “It’s a slam-bang musical to boot, with colorful costumes and vibrant dancing.”

“Sanders Family Christmas” is a prequel to the better-known “Smoke on the Mountain.” It was selected, Ruffin said, because “it is a wonderful story about a family and the relationships they have with each other.”

“It’s been a long time since we’ve tried to do two musicals in the summer,” Ruffin said, the main reason being the additional work of having an orchestra and choreographer. Live orchestras will accompany both “Cabaret” and “Sanders Family Christmas.”

Along with the two main shows, three, one-night-only “Comedies in Concert” will take place. Those comedies have already sold out. Auditions for the musicals were open to the public. Locals, as well as students, are involved in the productions, managing director Kerri S. Packard said.

The “Fabulous @ 40” celebrations will have an opening night reception on July 2 with the opening of “Cabaret,” Packard said.

Tickets can be purchased through the box office at 882-7529.

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