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OCT season stretches from 'Johnny Cash' to 'Rocky Horror'

The Oregon Cabaret Theater's 31st season will open Feb. 11 with "Ring of Fire — The Music of Johnny Cash," featuring more than two dozen of Cash's hits.

Reviews of the musical in other venues note that it's less about Cash and more about his music, with his songs loosely telling the story of several characters. Those songs include “I Walk the Line,” “A Boy Named Sue” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” Performances are Feb. 11 through April 17.

The Cabaret’s spring show, "9 to 5," is set to the music of Dolly Parton and based on the 1980 movie of the same name. The musical tells the story of three female co-workers who concoct a plan to get even with their sexist and egotistical boss. The show was nominated for four Tony awards and 14 Drama Desk awards when it opened in 2009, including an outstanding actress nomination for Oregon Cabaret alum Megan Hilty. Performances are April 28 through July 3.

In mid-summer, the Ashland theater will present its largest cast show to date in Kander and Ebb’s classic musical "Chicago." One of the longest running shows on Broadway, "Chicago" takes the audience to the roaring '20s, where murderers Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, both in prison awaiting trial, vie for the spotlight as they seek fame, fortune and acquittal. The musical won six Tonys when it was revived on Broadway in 1997. Performances are July 14 through Sept. 11, 2016.

OCT’s first “Double Creature Feature” is set for the fall, with "Bat Boy, the Musical" playing in rotation with the "Rocky Horror Picture Show." The story of "Bat Boy," which won numerous awards for best off-Broadway musical, is ripped from the supermarket tabloids and follows the journey of a half-boy, half-bat found in the depths of a cave in West Virginia. The same cast will perform in the "Rocky Horror Picture Show," the campy musical placed at the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter on the eve of his greatest triumph — the creation of a muscled hunk named Rocky. Performances for the two shows are from Sept. 22 through Nov. 6, 2016.

Cabaret will finish its season with a holiday musical featuring the music of Irving Berlin. "The Pine Mountain Lodge" tells the story of a returning World War II vet who plans to shut down his late father’s flagging upstate New York hotel, only to discover that the hotel is haunted by two quarreling ghosts, former lovers and famous dancer partners. Performances are Nov. 17 through Dec. 31, 2016.

In addition to its primary season of six shows, the Cabaret will continue its  “One Night Only Series,” cabaret acts performed on select Wednesdays. Music, comedy acts, cabaret singers and even the granddaughters of film legends Kathryn Grayson and Buster Keaton will appear in 2016.

Shows in the series include:

Feb. 17 — Local band Rogue Suspects.

March 2 — Hollywood actresses Keaton Talmadge and Shannon Nelson.

March 9 — The Brother’s Reed, local music duo.

March 16 — Kristin Towers-Rowles, musical tribute to her Hollywood heritage.

March 30 — Siri Vik and Shirley Andress-Tendick sing of womanhood, love and family.

May 11 — Gina Citoli, one woman musical show.

May 18 — The Hamazons, Ashland improv troupe.

June 1 —  Gretchen Rumbaugh, one-woman musical.

Sept. 28 — Brent and Erika Schindele, an evening of love songs.

Oct. 19th — Opera bass Kevin Nakatani and OCT Artistic Director Valerie Rachelle perform "Songs They Won’t Let us Sing."

Season subscribers may order tickets beginning Sept. 21; individual tickets go on sale Oct. 5. The box office is at First and Hargadine streets, Ashland. Tickets may be ordered online at www.oregoncabaret.com.