Cabaret Made Eddie Redmayne Want to Be an Actor | Playbill

Sponsored Content Cabaret Made Eddie Redmayne Want to Be an Actor

The Tony and Olivier winner talks about bringing his Emcee to Broadway in the upcoming revival at the Kit Kat Club, née August Wilson Theatre.

Eddie Redmayne is getting ready to bring his Olivier-winning performance as The Emcee in Cabaret to Broadway. The starry revival begins performances at the Kit Kat Club (née August Wilson Theatre) April 1. Opening night has two parts, with a gala celebration set for April 20, and an official opening (including those all-important reviews) April 21.

And it turns out, Cabaret is the reason Redmayne is an actor at all.

"Cabaret, for me, was the one that made me want to be an actor, and The Emcee is one of the great characters of musical theatre," shares the Tony- and Olivier-winning stage and screen star. "You never know whether this character is grounded in a reality or floating in some puppet master place in the sky." See Redmayne speak more about the show and the role in the video above.

Directed by Rebecca Frecknall and choreographed by Julia Cheng, this revival originally opened at London's Playhouse Theatre, rechristened The Kit Kat Club, in 2021 with Redmayne and Jessie Buckley starring. The production went on to win seven 2022 Olivier Awards, the most of any production that season, including Best Musical Revival, and Best Actor and Actress in a Musical for Redmayne and Buckley.

Redmayne will be back for the upcoming Broadway bow as The Emcee, alongside Gayle Rankin (Glow) as Sally Bowles, Ato Blankson-Wood (Slave Play) as Cliff, Bebe Neuwirth as Fraulein Schneider, Steven Skybell as Herr Schultz, Natascia Diaz as Fraulein Kost and Fritzie, and Henry Gottfried (Waitress) as Ernst Ludwig.

READ: Eddie Redmayne On How His Emcee in Cabaret Is a Shape Shifter

The cast also includes Marty Lauter (AKA Marcia Marcia Marcia of RuPaul's Drag Race season 15) as Victor, Gabi Campo as Frenchie, Ayla Ciccone-Burton as Helga, Colin Cunliffe as Hans, Loren Lester as Herman/Max, David Merino as Lulu, Julian Ramos as Bobby, MiMi Scardulla as Texas, and Paige Smallwood as Rosie. Swings include Hannah Florence, Pedro Garza, Christian Kidd, Corinne Munsch, Chloé Nadon-Enriquez, and Karl Skyler Urban.

As in the production's West End run, the August Wilson will be transformed into an in-the-round Kit Kat Club. Ticket holders will receive a "club entry time" before their show date so that everyone's able to take in a pre-show featuring the Prologue Company. Some ticket levels even include a full dinner experience.

The Broadway prologue company will include dancers Alaïa, Will Ervin Jr., Sun Kim, Bryan Longchamp, and Deja McNair. The musicians include Brian Russell Carey on piano and bass, Francesca Dawis on violin, Maeve Stier on accordion, and Michael Winograd on clarinet. Rounding out the company are dancer swings Ida Saki and Spencer James Weidie, and dedicated substitute musician Keiji Ishiguri.

Based on Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin and John Van Druten's dramatization of it, I Am a Camera, Cabaret is set in Weimar-era Berlin as American writer Clifford Bradshaw arrives to work on his novel and soak up the debaucherous nightlife. He meets English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and a complex relationship develops, all as the Nazis ascend to power and the spectre of World War II and all its horrors loom on the horizon.

The upcoming revival will be the musical's first new staging on the Main Stem since the 1998 revival, which was also a London transfer. That 1998 production was revived in 2014. Revivals of previous stagings are not uncommon for Cabaret.

The oft-produced work premiered in 1966 with Harold Prince at the helm and Joel Grey starring (and winning a Tony Award) as The Emcee. The original staging (with some revisions) was brought back to Broadway, with Grey reprising his performance, in a 1987 revival. The 1998 version of Cabaret, a more dramatic revision of the work, starred Alan Cumming as the Emcee—Cumming won the Tony for his performance and came back with the production when it was revived in 2014.

The musical was famously adapted for the big screen by director-choreographer Bob Fosse, with Liza Minnelli starring as Sally Bowles. The film version, considerably darker and seedier than Prince's staging, won eight Academy Awards and is considered by many one of the best films ever made. Revisions to the stage work since the 1972 film have largely transplanted the film's energy into the script—along with some of its new songs, including "Mein Herr" and "Maybe This Time."

READ: 50 Years of Cabaret: The Surprisingly Transformative Journey of a Classic

Much of the production's creative team will reprise their work for the Broadway bow, including club, set, and costume designer Tom Scutt, lighting designer Isabella Byrd, sound designer Nick Lidster (for Autograph), and music supervisor and director Jennifer Whyte. Hair and wig design will be by Sam Cox, and Guy Common will handle makeup design. Prologue composition and music direction will be by Angus MacRae. Casting is by The Telsey Office, with Thomas Recktenwald serving as production stage manager.

The Broadway transfer is being produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Underbelly, Gavin Kalin Productions, Hunter Arnold, Smith & Brant Theatricals, and Wessex Grove.


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