|Photo: Sara Krulwich, The New York Times|
Opened March 21st at Studio 54 Theatre
We meet Emcee (Alan Cumming), our story teller and Master of Ceremonies throughout the show, we’re told to leave our troubles at the door as he transports the audience to the oversexualized and seedy cabaret centric hotspot, the Kit Kat Klub. Set in a 1930’s Berlin, where English showgirl, Sally Bowles (Michelle Williams), is the sultry star of the show.
American writer, Cliff Bradshaw (Bill Heck), travels to Berlin in hopes of finding inspiration for his next novel, and soon after is befriended by a German man, Ernst Ludwig (Aaron Krohn), who encourages him to stay at a boarding house run by a sweet German lady named Fraulein Schneider. Later that evening Bradshaw finds his way to the Kit Kat Klub where he meets Sally, and sparks fly. Sally eventually moves in with Bradshaw after losing her job at the club and (surprise, surprise) becomes pregnant, although the father could be anyone according to her. Meanwhile Fraulein and her older male suitor Herr Schultz (who reveals his Jewish heritage when he blurs out “Mazel!”) begin heating up as he eventually brings her the most exotic of fruits from his store, the pineapple, and soon after they become engaged. Yet the marriage never happens after Fraulein is approached by Ernst Ludwig and black mailed, if she were to marry a Jew, her renting license may be taken away, he threatened. All of which is taking place while political and civil unrest begins to stir in a Pre WWII Nazi Germany, eventually causing Bradshaw to flee back to America.
As everyone tries to escape their troubles at the Kit Kat Klub through over indulging in Schnapps, sexual escapades, and song & dance…reality eventually finds them.
If you missed it in 1998 (or 1987), Cabaret is back on Broadway with the same late 90’s award winning trio Alan Cumming (Emcee), Sam Mendes (director), Rob Marshall (choreography.)Why mess with perfection?
Alan Cumming steals the show as the ultimate Master of Ceremonies, I couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect for this role.
Michelle Williams makes her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles, a British showgirl living in Berlin in the 1930’s. Williams is by no means pitch perfect but you can’t help but fall in love with her shabby chic voice that was endearing, likable, and real, as she honed in on her inner Marylin, after all she did play her in My Week with Marylin. I really appreciated how she invested herself emotionally into the part, as I saw real tears stream down her cheeks.
This was my first time seeing Linda Emond (Fraulein Schneider) on Broadway, she has the kind of face that looks so familiar, and that’s because she’s been in numerous movies and popular TV shows that we’ve all watched at some point. I really liked her performance.
One of my favorite parts of the show were the lingerie clad band members… the way the clarinet was meant to be played? Now, to rule Broadway you must sing, dance, and play an instrument! I like it.
Hands down, Alan Cumming, as it should be!
I think sitting at a stool or cocktail table on the orchestra level adds a lot to the over all experience of feeling like you’re a part of the Kit Kat Klub. The balcony is normal theatre seating.
Go! They’re obviously reviving it for a reason, it’s wonderful and highly entertaining. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment.
Cabaret came highly recommended by editor, Lucy Yeomans, of Porter magazine.