Broadway comes to East County with musical theater – cabaret style


“We should have never been friends,” was a statement once made in the heat of the moment by Steve Rolf, one of the two owners of what will soon be East County’s new musical theatre.

“We should have never been friends,” was a statement once made in the heat of the moment by Steve Rolf, one of the two owners of what will soon be East County’s new musical theatre.

Putting the topic of their since long evolved friendship aside, the real hot topic of discussion is that East County citizens will soon be able to enjoy live musical theatre performances.
Rolf and his business partner Bob Schulze are anxious that the curtain will rise and music will soon be heard from their new Santee theatre Off Broadway Live, slated to open in February on Cuyamaca St. at the site of the former Blockbuster Video. As sports slogans go Rolf, 54, and Schulze, 46, still “play as one” in writing and performing musical theatre. They will be playing as one even more often with their new venture. Their joint venture could be described as musical theatre- cabaret style.
Rolf explained that they plan on sharing the space with other performing arts groups for part of the year.

This venture is even more special to the two since they both live in East County, Rolf in La Mesa, and Schulze in Santee. Between the two of them, they claim a current following of 600-700 patrons. They hope that bringing live theatre to Santee should bring them even more fawning fans.
“We write guy chick flick (type of performances),” said Rolf. Their first production, at the new theatre, will be a performance of “Boys of Summer,” an original romantic, musical comedy that will actually be the duo’s sixth production.

Rolf and Schulze have worked together for thirteen years, having previously met and performed in a musical group named Three Fold.

If you are looking for a little sincerity in a singing voice – Rolf likens his singing voice to Journey’s Steve Perry’s “dripping with sincerity voice” and states that he is a “powerful balladeer”. Rolf describes Schulze’s voice as… “He’s more blues.” Rolf elaborated with the statement, “We are singers who act.”

Rolf gets to be ignored by some audience members after shows while they fawn over Schulze’s vocal abilities. Schulze gets to be “jealous” of Rolf’s fawning, adoring patrons on other turns.
They sing together and write together. Their previous productions have been staged at the Coronado Playhouse in Coronado and the Sonrise Church in Santee.

The “blueprints” that Rolf has in mind for the Santee theatre include twenty tables- each seating four patrons. Food and drinks will be available, as they have recently applied for a beer and liquor license. Ample free parking will be another highlight. Tickets will be modestly priced for live performances costing $27 each. Inaugural day and other discounts will be available.

Cabaret life can be described in a range from showcasing bohemian writers/artists, often associated with burlesque, political/satirical works, “small art,” and jazz/music, eating, drinking and, of course flirting.

Historically, cabaret life (theatre) has been popular nationwide. For example, France was known for its famous Moulin Rouge. Other countries such as Holland, Germany, Poland and Britain, however have their own versions of cabaret. Mediterranean cabaret life was said to include women who ‘mingled’ with the clientele, most likely to just ‘chitchat.’

The theater’s opening night performance is scheduled on Feb. 22. For information and tickets, visit their box office, located on 9490 Cuyamaca St., or phone (619)-988-5483.