Directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle (Company, Sweeney Todd), with Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Company, The Addams Family) as music director, the one-night concert to benefit The Acting Company is being held at Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. An intimate Patron's Dinner with the cast will follow at the Marriot Marquis Hotel.
Come to the Cabaret is inspired by last year's benefit concert, The Ladies Who Sing Sondheim, which starred Angela Lansbury leading a cast of Broadway divas performing signature Sondheim songs. The event celebrated The Acting Company's 35th anniversary, and was also directed by Doyle.
The songs of composer Kander and late lyricist Ebb have punctuated such musicals as 70 Girls, 70, The Act, Cabaret, Chicago, Curtains, Flora the Red Menace, The Happy Time, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink, Steel Pier, Woman of the Year, Zorba and the films "Funny Lady" and "New York, New York."
About the Tony-winning duo, Chita Rivera recently told Playbill.com, "John Kander and Fred Ebb. Where to begin. I am so lucky to have such great lifetime friends as John Kander and Fred Ebb, and even luckier to have had them write such wonderful roles for me. From Zorba to Chicago, The Rink, Spider Woman and The Visit. . .We are all so lucky to have their beautiful songs in our lives. I sometimes forget who they are and that they belong to the world until I do something like go to Yankee Stadium and hear 60,000 people singing 'New York, New York'! It blows me away, and I feel this little thing inside me say, 'Oh my God…John and Freddy wrote that, and they are my friends!' I would call them many times, and they would be working but would say to me, 'Hey Cheet…listen to this,' and proceed to play for me a brand-new song for the first time. They'd laugh because I cry at being so privileged. I miss Freddy terribly. John and Freddy have contributed their talent, dedication and love to the musical theatre, which will survive long after we've gone. In times to come, there will be productions of Cabaret, Chicago and all the others, as well as musak in outer space playing 'New York, New York.' The world is a better place with your music in it. We honor you, love you and keep you close to our hearts. Especially me."
The Acting Company has been honored with a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater. The not-for-profit troupe has produced 36 national tours of 131 classic and new plays adapted from American literary masterpieces. Its current tour — in tandem with the Guthrie Theater — features Shakespeare's Henry V and James Fenimore Cooper's The Spy, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher. Henry V recently played the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street in Manhattan. The Acting Company "gives young classically trained actors the opportunity to perform the classics while bringing theatre into under-served communities and disadvantaged school systems."
Founded in 1972 by the legendary John Houseman and current producing artistic director, Margot Harley, its alumni of over 300 includes Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Frances Conroy, Jesse L. Martin, Harriet Harris, Keith David, Jeffrey Wright and Rainn Wilson.
Tickets for Come to the Cabaret are priced at $100, $125 and $250 and are available through Telecharge.com or (212) 239-6200.
Premium tickets at $500 (performance only) and $1,000 and up (performance plus Patrons Dinner with the cast), are available through The Acting Company at (212) 258-3111.
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is located in Manhattan at 236 West 45th Street.