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Grads star in Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's 'Cabaret'

by Barbara Blum

In November 2013, two graduates of UC's College-Conservatory of Music were tearing up the stage in the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's production of "Cabaret."

Liz Pearce, a 2000 graduate of the musical theater program at CCM, starred as Sally Bowles in the Kander and Ebb musical about the cabaret singer and a novelist set against the backdrop of the rising Nazi influence in pre-war Berlin. Alum Carl Draper, CCM '10, is a member of the ensemble.

The original Broadway production of "Cabaret" opened on Nov. 20, 1966, and ran for 1,165 performances, making it one of the most successful musicals of the decade. It was also one of the most critically acclaimed. The show won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best musical of the season, as well as eight Tony Awards, including best musical.

Many are more familiar with the 1972 film by director and choreographer Bob Fosse which made a star of then 26-year-old Liza Minnelli, both of whom won Academy Awards for their work. Revivals were staged on Broadway in 1987 and 1998.

Alum Pearce was featured in the Broadway run of the Tony-winning musical "Billy Elliot" and has also appeared in shows in London's West End, national tours and in regional theaters. Grad Draper, who was the recipient of CCM's 2010 Laurie Beechman Award for Vocal Achievement in Musical Theatre, performed in the national tour of "Monty Python's Spamalot," in many regional theater productions and with the Cincinnati Pops.




Clifford Bradshaw (Hunter Ryan Herdlicka) asks Sally Bowles (UC alum Liz Pearce) to run away with him to America in the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s production of "Cabaret." Photo/Sandy Underwood

Alum Liz Pearce in a production of Cabaret



Sally (Liz Pearce) and Clifford (Hunter Ryan Herdlicka) contemplate their future in the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s production of "Cabaret." Photo/Sandy Underwood