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Cabaret 2020: 'Game Over,' a gamer's fantasy tale

| Denise Olson

A favorite campus signature event returns, and it's all about gamers. But have no fear, it's a show for everyone, as always. 

Cabaret Productions of UW-Eau Claire's music and theatre arts department will present "Game Over" in the Ojibwe Ballroom of Davies Center. Performances are scheduled for Jan. 30-Feb. 8, with eight separate performances, including Saturday matinees and two evening dinner show options. 

The show will feature UW-Eau Claire's Concert Choir, The Singing Statesmen, Women's Concert Chorale, University Symphony Orchestra and jazz ensembles, as well as various small acts and solo performers. 

Students in Mario Brothers costume for rehearsal for Game Over

Audiences will recognize costumes and sets from familiar games like Pac Man and Super Mario, pictured here.

Built around a theme of gaming, the general concept for the script is that a pair of friends and an older sister get sucked into the "gamerverse" by the Game Master where they have to learn to work together throughout the acts. Audiences will recognize both video and board games in the sets representing familiar favorites like Pac Man, Super Mario, Clue, Battleship and more, including the final battle taking place in the epic realm of Dungeons and Dragons. 

"This show proved to be a fun theme, not only because it connected the cast and crew through shared childhood memories, but also because the characters in the show work together to succeed, and this show is amazing because so many people worked together to make it happen," said show choreographer Ali Barrie, a senior music major from Eau Claire. 

The student intern and production manager for "Game Over," Shelby Bilgo, is excited and proud of the high-quality production her fellow students have to show for their months of effort. 

"The entire show is planned and produced by students in collaboration with a handful of professionals on campus. The opportunity to learn so much about the field that I am interested in has been incredible. The show is coming together fantastically; the cast and crew will blow audiences away," said Bilgo, a senior business administration major from Winneconne. Bilgo is completing a fine arts administration certificate through the music and theatre arts department and hopes to do similar production work in a future career. 

Few undergraduates have the opportunity to write or compose songs for a large production like "Cabaret," and senior Allie Ries enjoyed co-writing a song for "Game Over." 

"Writing songs is a very cathartic thing that I do, and writing this one with my sister was really fun. When I get to perform at events like this it’s super exciting because I get to bring them to life and be more collaborative with all these awesome Blugold musicians," said the marketing major from Minnetonka, Minnesota.  

"Cabaret," an annual show since 1978, supports ongoing scholarships for music and theatre arts students at UW-Eau Claire. The show also provides students in the music and theatre arts department with an opportunity to practice arranging and staging a variety show similar to what they might encounter in a professional career.