Zoetic Invites Audiences to Come To The 'Cabaret'

Elijah Word, Nate Promkul, Lauren Daniell Horgan, Lindsey Corey in Zoetic Stage's


Elijah Word, Nate Promkul, Lauren Daniell Horgan, Lindsey Corey in Zoetic Stage's "Cabaret." (Photos by Morgan Sophia Photography)

Aaron Krause, Theater Writer

“If you think you’ve seen ‘Cabaret’ before, you’ve never seen it like this,” says veteran South Florida performer Lindsey Corey.

She is referring to the multi-award-winning Zoetic Stage Company’s upcoming production of the classic Joe Masteroff, John Kander, and Fred Ebb musical, “Cabaret.” It runs from March 14 through April 7 in the company’s intimate Carnival Studio Theatre at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami.

Elijah Word as the Emcee. (Photos by Morgan Sophia Photography)


Elijah Word as the Emcee. (Photos by Morgan Sophia Photography)

A preview performance will take place on Thursday night, March 14, ahead of the official Friday, March 15 opening. Tickets are $65, while a limited number of VIP tickets are available for $85. The VIP experience will include cabaret-style seating and a complimentary cocktail.

Corey co-stars as Sally Bowles, a cabaret singer at the seedy Kit Kat Klub in 1930s Berlin as the Nazis are about to rise to power. The Carbonell Award-winning actor is part of a 12-person, all-local cast.

In addition to Corey, the cast comprises Sara Grant, Avi Hoffman, Lauren Horgan, Robert Koutros, Nate Promkul, Casey Sacco, Ben Sandomir, Laura Turnbull, Conor Walton, Teddy Warren, and Elijah Word.

Stuart Meltzer, a co-founder of Zoetic and its artistic director, is helming the production. Meltzer is an award-winning director.

In “Cabaret,” as the 1920s draw to a close, a garish master of ceremonies assures his audience that they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, the musical explores the dark, heady and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany yields to the emerging Third Reich.

Elijah Word as the Emcee and Lindsey Corey as Sally Bowles (Photos by Morgan Sophia Photography)


Elijah Word as the Emcee and Lindsey Corey as Sally Bowles (Photos by Morgan Sophia Photography)

Cliff, a younger American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken with Bowles. Meanwhile, Fraulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally’s boarding house, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish.

The musical’s familiar songs include “Wilkomen,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Two Ladies,” as well as the title song.

“We can’t think of a better time to present the wonderfully sexy, poignant, and important musical, ‘Cabaret’ to South Florida audiences,” says Meltzer. “This piece of art is a reminder of the power complacency has over society and celebrates bravely the many varied individuals making up the fabric of our lives.”

“I think our version of this epic musical is extraordinary in its storytelling,” says Corey. “I’ve never seen ‘Cabaret’ done like this while still being so truthful to the material.”

According to Corey, the stage and audience seating configuration will be vastly different from probably any other Zoetic production.

Zoetic Stage Cabaret 4 (Pictured - Nate Promkul. Photo - Morgan Sophia Photography.)


Zoetic Stage Cabaret 4 (Pictured - Nate Promkul. Photo - Morgan Sophia Photography.)

Meltzer says the production will feature “elements of immersion.” However, he stopped short of calling the upcoming mounting an immersive production. Other area theater companies expertly mount such productions, and Meltzer says he doesn’t want to “step on their toes.”

What can audiences expect? Come prepared to experience a thoughtful, creative story told inventively, says Meltzer.

He says he is directing an excellent cast and crew of creative artists.

“I love them,” says Meltzer. “They’re all so wonderful and they’re also game for everything. I’m a very blessed person to work with such artists.”

And they praise Meltzer as a director. For instance, Corey says he is not afraid to embrace humor and subtext in a script.

“Cabaret” will mark Corey’s ninth time working on a Zoetic production with Meltzer.

“We’ve worked so intimately on so many projects together that we almost know what the other one is thinking,” she says.

Meanwhile, Hoffman, who will portray Herr Schultz, is working with Meltzer for the first time.

“He’s an extraordinary director,” the veteran performer says. In particular, Meltzer has an “amazing vision,” he listens to the actors, and guides them toward his vision without telling them what to do.

Zoetic Stage Cabaret 5 (Pictured - Lauren Daniell Horgan, Elijah Word, Lindsey Corey. Photo - Morgan Sophia Photography.)


Zoetic Stage Cabaret 5 (Pictured - Lauren Daniell Horgan, Elijah Word, Lindsey Corey. Photo - Morgan Sophia Photography.)

Like Corey, this will mark Hoffman’s first time performing in “Cabaret.”

“It’s a brilliant piece of theater,” he says, adding that the music is “extraordinary.”

In fact, “Cabaret” holds a special place in Hoffman’s heart since both of his parents are Holocaust survivors. He says he finds any story dealing with the rise of Nazism “incredibly fascinating.”

“How do human beings become animals?” Hoffman asks rhetorically.

In addition to praising Meltzer, Hoffman says he thinks the set is “extraordinary” and so is the talent onstage. In particular, Hoffman singled out Word, who will play the mysterious Emcee of the Kit Kat Klub.

Word brings something to the character that Hoffman says he’s not sure any other actor portraying the Emcee has conveyed.

Hoffman has known Word since the latter was a teenager. Word has done “amazing work” and the role of the Emcee is “perfect” for him, Hoffman adds.

Word is making his Zoetic Stage debut with “Cabaret.” He is a Florida native who has performed at many South Florida theater companies. Including Slow Burn, The Wick, MNM Productions, the now-defunct Broward Stage Door, and City Theatre. Word is a two-time Carbonell Award winner for his work as Lola in “Kinky Boots” at Slow Burn and Jimmy Early in “Dreamgirls” at Broward Stage Door Theatre.

Word says he has always had a “huge” imagination and loves playing make believe. He first saw “Cabaret” mounted as a high school production and fell in love with the piece. Specifically, Word says he likes the “ruggedness” of the show, and how it holds a mirror up to human existence.

Word says that the Emcee has been a dream role for him. Actually, the role has intimidated him since it’s such a major part and great performers have portrayed the eccentric character. So how did Word deal with his fright? He says he “leaned into” his anxiety and that has helped him.

Lindsey Corey in Zoetic Stage's


Lindsey Corey in Zoetic Stage's "Cabaret." (Photo by Morgan Sophia Photography.)

“I kind of let my fear drive me,” says Word. “With fear and nervousness there is a sense that you care.”

Word says he also allowed Meltzer’s vision guide his portrayal.

Speaking of the director’s vision, Word says that Zoetic’s production is a “very abstract” take on the show.

“We don’t bring you right into Berlin,” says Word. “We’re really just telling the story and the audience takes the ride with us and uses their imagination when it comes to certain settings.”

The cast is “super amazing,” says Word. “It’s really refreshing being around such talented storytellers.”

Word says he feels it’s important in 2024 to tell stories such as “Cabaret.”

“It’s holding up a mirror to society today,” adds Word.

Turnbull, Hoffman’s wife of 30 years, is appearing in “Cabaret” for the first time. She portrays Fraulein Schneider.

Turnbull referred to “Cabaret” as a “great musical.” And with everything happening in the world today, it is a timely show. Turnbull says she hopes that after people experience Zoetic Stage’s production, they say “Wow, that could happen here.”

Turnbull says she also hopes that audiences think about their beliefs, judgments, and biases against people who are not like them. In addition, she hopes that audiences connect with the characters and what they go through.

This production does not mark the first time that Turnbull will act alongside her husband. They’ve appeared in many shows together, not necessarily as spouses. Hoffman has also directed Turnbull in a few productions.

The real-life couple met while performing in an Off-Broadway show in New York titled “Finkle’s Follies.”

How does it feel to perform onstage with her spouse?

“Anytime you work with someone who you know really well, (you) gain a kind of shorthand,” says Turnbull.

Meanwhile, Hoffman says “she is probably the best actress I’ve ever worked with.”

Zoetic Stage Cabaret 7 (Pictured - Lauren Daniell Horgan, Lindsey Corey. Photo - Morgan Sophia Photography.)


Zoetic Stage Cabaret 7 (Pictured - Lauren Daniell Horgan, Lindsey Corey. Photo - Morgan Sophia Photography.)

Since the couple have been married as long as they have, they understand each other on many conscience and subconscious levels, says Hoffman.

“We enjoy working together,” he says. Among other things, “it saves us money on gas.”

“We get to carpool,” adds Turnbull.

Turnbull has worked at nearly every professional theater company in South Florida over the past 25 years. In addition, she has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in national tours, in regional theaters, as well as on television and film.

Hoffman boasts a prestigious resume as well. For instance, he received Congressional recognition and was invited to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis. Also, he was inducted into the Bronx Jewish Hall of Fame for his lifetime of work advancing Jewish culture, Yiddishkayt, and Holocaust awareness through his Yiddishkayt Initiative (,), the charity he founded in 2015.

As an actor, Hoffman was nominated for a NY Drama Desk Award for his Yiddish language portrayal of Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman.”

Hoffman knew Jack Gilford, the actor who originated the role of Herr Schultz on Broadway – the same part that Hoffman will portray.

While Hoffman didn’t witness Gilford’s performance as Schultz, he described Gilford as a “brilliant character actor.” Hoffman adds that he views his upcoming portrayal as a “wonderful dedication” to his appreciation of Gilford.

Hoffman says he hopes audiences will realize how relevant “Cabaret” is to today. Indeed, 1929-1930 Germany seems “very reminiscent” to 2024 in the U.S., he adds.

Hoffman says while the similarities are scary, there is at least one difference in 2024. Namely, we have social media -- which allows propaganda and dangerous rhetoric to spread more quickly.

Nate Promkul and Lauren Daniell Horgan in


Nate Promkul and Lauren Daniell Horgan in "Cabaret." (Photo by Morgan Sophia Photography)

Zoetic Stage Company’s production of “Cabaret” officially opens on March 15 and runs through April 7 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theatre at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. The address is 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in downtown Miami.

Ticket prices range from $65 to $85. The $85 price includes cabaret-style seating and a complimentary cocktail – wine or beer. You can buy tickets at the Arsht Center box office or by calling (305) 949-6722.

Audiences are invited to a pre-show experience at 6 p.m. on opening night Friday, March 15. The enchantment begins with live jazz and cabaret-style performers evoking the eccentricity of 1920s Berlin. Champagne and light bites will be available for purchase. Zoetic Stage will continue its Second Sunday Talkback series immediately following the matinee performance on Sunday, March 24.

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