By Jim Buckley
There are some who may quibble with Santa Barbara High School's iconoclastic Drama Department head Otto Layman that he sometimes chooses material that might prove too challenging, too risque even, for a high school production, but he plows ahead anyway; he knows his stu-dents perhaps even better than some of their parents. At least, Otto really, believes he knows what his thespian charges can do and which among them will rise to the occasion. And he rarely misses. His latest challenge is Cabaret, the musical, and the first of what Otto presumably hopes will be a yearly "Summer Stock" production, headed up by students from all around Santa Barbara's high-school universe, a last hurrah for many of the seniors if you will. Cabaret, produced in conjunc-tion with Upstage Left, is a tough show, in that it deals with the rise of Hitler and the tragedy of Germany's Jews, along with an examination of the greed, ambition, amorality, deca-dence, innocence, naivety, betrayal, love, hate, jealousy, and a string of other human emotions that play themselves out on the stage of the seedy Kit Kat Klub, set in Weimar Berlin. The pivotal Emcee role is being tackled by SBHS graduate Clayton Barry (he's off to Carnegie-Mellon next month). The Kit Kat's "inter-national sensation, Sally Bowles," will be played by Dos Pueblos' Xeni Tziouvaras, who goes on to the Manhattan School of Music; its fall semester begins September 14. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students) and performances are scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 8, 9 and 10 beginning at 7 pm.