Goodspeed Musicals' production of John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff's Cabaret, running at the Connecticut theatre through July 3, features a reconstruction of Bob Fosse's original choreography to "Mein Herr" from the musical's 1972 film adaptation. A new video offers a peek behind the curtain at how choreographer and longtime Fosse dancer Lainie Sakakura went about bringing Fosse's steps to the stage. Watch above.
Sakakura's association with the Tony-winning choreographer began after his death, when choreographer and dancer Chet Walker saw her in Broadway's The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public and invited her to join him and Gwen Verdon for a series of invite-only Fosse dance classes, Verdon's answer to feeling that the then-current generation of dancers couldn't perform his unique choreographic style. These classes, which comprised studies on individual moves along with recreations of full numbers, eventually led to the 1999 dance revue Fosse, in which Sakakura performed, assisted Walker in choreographing, and served as dance captain.
For Goodspeed's Cabaret, Nicole Fosse authorized Sakakura to bring her own modern sensibility to Fosse's style, with "Mein Herr" being the production's only complete reconstruction of Fosse's original steps.
"I think what's interesting about me as a choreographer for this production at Goodspeed is I have all of this knowledge, so even though the rest of the numbers are not Bob Fosse's numbers, I can't help it," says Sakakura. "It's kind of infused in me as an artist because of all the time that I've spent with it."
Cabaret, directed by James Vásquez, stars Jelani Remy (Ain't Too Proud) as the Master of Ceremonies, Aline Mayagoitia (Notes From Now) as Sally Bowles, and Bruce Landry (Les Misérables) as Clifford Bradshow. Also appearing are Jennifer Smith (The Secret Garden) as Fraulein Schneider, Kevin Ligon (Hello, Dolly!) as Herr Schultz, Terra C. MacLeod (Chicago) as Fraulein Kost, and Tim Fuchs (Something Rotten!) as Ernst Ludwig, with the ensemble comprising Matt Allen (Escape to Margaritaville), Shelby Finnie (The Prom), Aurore Joly, Caroline Kane, Kathy Liu, Connor McRory (Goodspeed's Billy Elliott), Christian Elán Ortiz (West Side Story), Antonia Raye, and Adam Rogers (Cinderella) plus swing Georgia Monroe.
The production also features music direction by Adam Souza, scenic design by Michael Schweikardt, sound design by Jay Hilton, costume design by Lex Liang, lighting design by Amanda Zieve, wig and hair design by Jayson P. Hayes, fight direction by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, dialect coaching by Jennifer Scapetis-Tycer, and casting by Paul Hardt of Hardt Casting. Bradley G. Spachman is the production stage manager.