Center Rep’s Cabaret revisits Berlin as Nazi threat looms

Center Rep’s Cabaret revisits Berlin as Nazi threat looms
Sally Bowles (Monique Hafen Adams) and the Kit Kat Dancers perform in Center Rep’s “Cabaret,” through June 23 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center. (Photo by Kevin Berne)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (June 18, 2024) — Center Rep’s “Cabaret” is a look back at a decadent time in Berlin. The party, however, is about to end, as Hitler rises to power.

Kander and Ebb’s award-winning musical continues through June 23 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center, 1601 Civic Dr.

While many parts of Center Rep’s production are praiseworthy, The Emcee (Rotimi Agbabiaka) and the Kit Kat Klub dancers highlight the show. Between Agbabiaka’s expressive vocals and choreographer Jessica Chen’s in-your-face choreography, the progression of a complacent people slowly overtaken by a powerful regime becomes evident. Graceful kicks turn into harsh Gestapo marches and tender caresses into anything but.

Costumer Becky Bodurtha created elaborate outfits for the denizens of the Kit Kat Klub, including a skirt made of money for The Emcee during the “Money” number and a show-stopping outfit, also for The Emcee, that unfurls into a gigantic German flag engulfing the ensemble.

For tickets, call 925-943-7460 or go to

Center Rep is also busy promoting the new season. The company has added new incentives: additional Pay-What-You-Can tickets and new single-price subscription tickets for all seats and dates. Each subscriber ticket is priced at $49 per show regardless of the day of the week or the seat in the house.

Subscriptions are currently on sale, with single tickets going on sale July 24. For tickets, go to


Shawnette Sulker will perform at Concord’s Juneteenth event. (Photo courtesy Solo Opera)

Concord’s Juneteenth celebration features Solo Opera soprano Shawnette Sulker. The annual event takes place noon-4 p.m. June 23 at Todos Santos Plaza. Sulker will be singing between noon and 12:30 p.m. The afternoon includes a variety of performers, spoken word artists, kids activities and lots of food trucks. For more information, go to

Solo Opera is promoting its 2025 opera “Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena” by doing free community outreach at such events as Juneteenth, Creative Concord (Oct. 6) and the Concord Library (Dec. 9). The intimate 45-minute show by Evan Mack and Joshua McGuire will be sung in English and Spanish and follows the Mexican folklore tale about the first poinsettia. For more information, go to

Spider’s Web

Orinda Starlight Village Players continues Agatha Christie’s “Spider’s Web” through June 29 at Orinda Community Center Park. In Christie’s mysterious tale, a diplomat’s wife, who loves spinning tales of adventure, finds fantasy is much more fun than reality when a murder takes place in her own drawing room. Desperate to dispose of the body before her husband arrives with an important politician, she enlists the help of her guests.

For tickets to “Spider’s Web,” call 925-528-9225 or email

Tom Westlake, left, William Spongberg and Shiv Harris appear in Agatha Christie’s “Spider’s Web” at the Orinda Community Center Park through June 29. (Photo by David Dierks)

Sunshine and shadows

Despite a June 9 fire that destroyed its warehouse and 40 years of theatrical history, Pittsburg Theatre Company managed to open “The Sunshine Boys” June 14. The Neil Simon comedy continues through June 23 at the California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg.

For tickets, go to

“Phantom of the Opera” star Franc D’Ambrosio joins the Pacific Chamber Orchestra for its summer pops concert at 7:30 p.m. June 29 at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, 49 Knox Dr., Lafayette.

In addition to the orchestra, the company’s 50-voice chorus will accompany D’Ambrosio for a selection of Broadway and pop hits. He will also sing the duet “All I Ask of You” with coloratura soprano and local star Elizabeth Hunter Ashley.

For more information, go to

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Sally Hogarty
Sally Hogarty

Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to