You can’t keep a good actor down. Since bowing in Broadway’s The Rocky Horror Show in October 2000, Raul Esparza has been in constant demand. He left the macabre musical May 13, 2001, to take the leading role in Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical show tick, tick...BOOM! Off Broadway. Subsequently, he left that show after a brief stay to take a role in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s planned Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. The production was suddenly canceled, however, in the wake of the World Trade Center catastrophe, leaving Esparza without an autumn job.
Well, he didn't remain out of work for long, and it is the Roundabout who saved him from the unemployment line. Esparza was tapped as the new Emcee in the long-running Broadway revival of Cabaret. (In the meantime, he even found time to participate in a workshop of the new musical Urban Cowboy.) He will begin his stay on Oct. 26, replacing Matt McGrath, who has been with the Kander and Ebb musical for a year. McGrath's last performance was Oct. 13. Filling in until Esparza arrives was Vance Avery.
If, over the last year, Matt McGrath became the iron man Emcee of Broadway's Cabaret, Gina Gershon is on her way to the becoming the most durable of the Roundabout Theatre Company revival's replacement Sally Bowles. Gershon stepped into the role back on Jan. 19 and stayed until June 17. Talking backstage at the June 3 Tony Awards ceremony (at which she was a presenter), Gershon said, "They just keep asking me to stay a little longer. It's been great."
Well, the producers asked her one more time, because the actress is back at the Kit Kat Klub starting Oct. 30. During her absence, Sally Bowles' fur coat has been filled by the likes of Kate Shindle and Brooke Shields. Gershon is well known to television and film audiences. Her movie credits include "Face/Off," "The Player" and "Black & White." She starred in the short-lived series "Snoops."
Larry Keith currently plays Herr Schultz opposite Carol Shelley's Fraulein Schneider. Matthew Greer is the current Clifford, Candy Buckley is Fraulein Kost and Peter Benson is Ernst Ludwig.
Now the fifth longest-running revival on Broadway, Roundabout's Cabaret had surpassed the number of performances logged by the original stage version. Now playing at Studio 54, the revival of Cabaret passed the 1,165 mark set by the original with its 1,166th show on Feb. 6.
Roundabout's Cabaret debuted March 19, 1998, and went on to win four Tony Awards (including Best Musical Revival). The role of Sally Bowles has been played by Natasha Richardson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary McCormack, Susan Egan, Lea Thompson, Joely Fisher, Katie Finneran, Gina Gershon, Brooke Shields and Kate Shindle. The emcee has been played by Alan Cumming, Robert Sella, Michael Hall and Matt McGrath.
Tickets range $45-$90. Tickets are on sale at the Studio 54 box office at 254 W. 54 St. and through TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200.