“What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play.” Inspiring lines from an inspiring show…
A Middletown High School senior has a major task ahead this weekend. Like most seniors in RI, Aleksandr Kobrynich was tasked with designing a unique project for his graduation requirement. That project will be shared with the public this weekend at the Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant, where Kobrynich is staging a full theatrical production of the 1966 musical “Cabaret.”
How did it all come together? “There aren’t too many opportunities for acting in a deep, strong messaged play in our School Drama Club,” explains Kobrynich. “I’m far too busy to commit to acting with NCT (Newport Children’s Theatre), so I decided to do it myself. I joked about doing Cabaret and then it just snowballed from a joke to reality.”
Kobrynich’s decision to go with the Broadway classic was an easy one. “For one, the show doesn’t require a large set, it can be (and really is) campy. The cast isn’t obnoxiously large and I had a few talented people in mind for the leads,” he notes. “On a deeper note, it’s because of the message of the play. This strong message makes us peer back in time and watch how people let the Nazis come to power. That is a message that needs to be heard.”
“We cannot forget that the people who allowed that to happen were people, same as you and me. The subtle rise of tension between neo-nazi parties in the US (even locally in RI) is startling enough, but this isn’t just about Nazis. It’s about the population allowing this to happen, the dangerous idea that politics doesn’t involve us, and the reminder that it can still happen today,” he adds.
Staging a production like this isn’t easy. There are lots of moving parts, and Kobrynich didn’t exactly have investors lined up to support the endeavor. “We’ve had to fundraise with local businesses helping us by doing events, donations, many even contributing to a GoFundMe.” Other challenges included finding rehearsal space and a couple of health scares, with two cast members suffering concussions just weeks before opening night.
Kobrynich is proud of his “amazing cast. Seeing them bring this show to life and helping them do it has been the absolute highlight of it all,” he says. The show is open to the public. “We’d love, of course, to invite everyone to see the show on February 24th, 25th, or 26th from 7pm-10pm at the Newport Playhouse,” says Kobrynich. “I’d like to thank absolutely everyone for all their help. My parents. The cast. All of the individual donors. The businesses who’ve supported this project. The teachers who’ve shown their support. This is truly a community project, and I believe that’s shown in how much the community was willing to get out and support something so important to me.”