A decision regarding the of the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cabaret may come soon. Show spokesperson Erin Dunn (of Boneau/Bryan-Brown) told PBOL the theatre was awaiting news from the city regarding the block of 43rd Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, which has been closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic since a July 21 construction accident. The Kit Kat Klub, home of Cabaret, is situated on that block. Cabaret has canceled performances through Aug. 16.
Roundabout Artistic Director Todd Haimes told the New York Times on Aug. 9 that the theatre would make a decision about whether to move the musical by the end of this week. He said the company was still considering moving the show to the former Studio 54, though he added that such a move would be extremely expensive.
A call to the New York City Department of Emergency Management was not returned.
The Roundabout is taking the long view on the current crisis. The theatre is now offering theatregoers who bought tickets for the temporarily shuttered show directly from the Roundabout or through a subscription a chance to reschedule for a show between Apr. 27 and May 9, 1999. Ticketholders may also obtain a refund if they wish. The number to call is (212) 869-8400.
The problem with seeing Cabaret in April or May, however, is that Alan Cumming, who won a Tony for his portrayal as the M.C., is leaving in March. According to Dunn, those who wish to catch his performance before he goes can get a refund and then try to buy tickets for an earlier performance, though they can't be sure of securing seats as good as the ones they originally had. Cabaret was performing at the Kit Kat Klub on 43rd Street, just feet away from the Conde Nast tower when a July 21 construction accident caused the block to be closed.
Ten members of the Cabaret staff were allowed July 30 to enter the Kit Kat Klub. They retrieved costumes and musical instruments so rehearsals of the ill-fated musical could resume at the Roundabout's rehearsal hall on 45th Street, according to production spokesman Adrian Bryan-Brown.
"I think it's just going to be a waiting game," Bryan-Brown said. Witnesses reported sets being removed too, but Bryan-Brown said they were in error.
The show is reportedly losing over a quarter million dollars a week. Cabaret had played 141 Broadway performances before the disaster.
Bryan-Brown confirmed a July 29 report in the Daily News that the theatre was considering other spaces for the production but stipulated that, at this point, there were no plans to move the show. He also pointed out that Cabaret would only move to a venue that met the artistic demands of the production. Cabaret director Sam Mendes' environmental staging of the musical duplicates the atmosphere of a pre World War II nightclub. The Roundabout and director Mendes searched for months for an appropriate home for the show before settling on the former Henry Miller Theatre, which was converted into the Kit Kat Klub.
Roundabout Artistic Director Todd Haimes told The Daily News that the Shuberts, the Nederlanders and Jujamcyn, Broadway's three major theatre owners, had inquired about moving Cabaret to one of their houses, suggesting the Cort, O'Neill and Atkinson theatres. Haimes also said he was considering a move to the old Studio 54.
Matters on 43rd Street were exacerbated on July 27, when an eight-foot long aluminum pipe fell from one of the top floors of the troubled tower onto the nearby Kit Kat Klub. The immense netting which has been painstakingly draped around the Conde Nast building caught the pipe and no harm came to any person or the theatre. However, Sunny Mandel, a spokesperson for the OEM, confirmed that if the object had fallen at a different angle, it could have caused significant damage. The fallen pipe reemphasized the existing danger posed by tower.