Skip to main content Skip to footer site map



Cabaret previews - Page 5

Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/5/05

Cabaret previews

#101
Posted: 3/21/14 at 10:53pm
Just got out.

Cabaret is a show I'm happy to welcome back. Its score is flawless and outclasses easily anything else playing currently.

But this is a dutiful, ultimately toothless mounting. From its gym-toned ensemble, to Alan Cumming sounding exactly as he does on the recording, to the sure bet of applause after every number- a production that was infamously shocking and daring is now just another production.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
disneybroadwayfan22 Profile Photo
disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/10/13
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/10/13

Cabaret previews

#102
Posted: 3/21/14 at 10:54pm
Is it even different from the 1998 revival?
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Broadway Legend | Joined: 7/4/10

Cabaret previews

#103
Posted: 3/21/14 at 10:54pm
How was Michelle Williams?
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Joviedamian
Broadway Star
joined:11/9/10
Broadway Star | Joined: 11/9/10

Cabaret previews

#104
Posted: 3/21/14 at 10:58pm
".... a production that was infamously shocking and daring is now just another production."

So in other words, it never really closed since it opened in 1998?
CapnHook Profile Photo
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/12/03

Cabaret previews

#105
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:06pm
I'm not sure what the controversy nor confusion is. This is a return engagement of Roundabout's production of CABARET. Just like HAIR, FELA!, and Cathy Rigby's PETER PAN - productions that were on Broadway, closed, and returned - there may have been different casting and tweaks in the staging, but it's the same exact direction, design, choreography, and orchestrations.

The only grey area are the performances. There is a Tony ruling that a performer who previously won a Tony Awards for a role cannot be nominated again for that role. Otherwise, everything else is in the grey area and the administration committee needs to decide if the performers will be eligible. I think they should be, and will be.

"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
Updated On: 3/21/14 at 11:06 PM
east side story Profile Photo
east side story
Broadway Star
joined:4/21/11
Broadway Star | Joined: 4/21/11

Cabaret previews

#106
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:07pm
Okay, everyone pipe down about Tony rulings so we can read the first preview responses without sifting through the crap.
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/5/05

Cabaret previews

#107
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:21pm
Note I have never seen this production. I know the recording very well. I've seen all the clips.

There's nothing wrong with it. But there's nothing outstanding- aside from Linda Emond, who walks away with the show.

Michelle Williams is good. Sometimes great, in flashes. I'm sure it'll be a performance that, in time, will gel. But right now, her manic breakdown "Cabaret" feels unearned. Her performance only really comes together at that point.

Danny Burstein is essentially giving a reprise of his role in Tally's Folly. It's a role he could do in his sleep. He's charming, but it's not his "at last, a Tony!" role.

Alan Cumming is, judging by the cast recording and any media I've seen, doing his same performance- which is kind of wonderful, considering the time that has passed. But it feels sort of by rote.

The whole production does. The sleazy glamor and decadent squalor is polished and palatable. The cocktails start at $14. Roundabout thoughtfully includes a prepaid envelope in the playbill so you can send in a nice donation to them- a ballsy move considering how much money you probably paid for your seats and drink.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
E.Davis Profile Photo
E.Davis
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
Broadway Legend | Joined: 1/1/08

Cabaret previews

#108
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:22pm
Hearing that about Emond, just makes me so excited to see her in this role.
"I think lying to children is really important, it sets them off on the right track" -Sherie Rene Scott-
oasisjeff
Broadway Star
joined:11/15/07
Broadway Star | Joined: 11/15/07

Cabaret previews

#109
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:30pm
"Alan Cumming sounding exactly as he does on the recording"

Interesting to object to someone sounding like himself in the same role. Cabaret previews Not to mention, the people most apt to go to a first preview of this are Cabaret fans, so I'm not sure why applause would be surprising, either.

I'm not one to review shows, but I had a delightful time. I adore Alan Cumming, so to have such a great seat to see him deliver such an iconic performance was quite a treat.

It's obviously hard to critique a show that is so similar to its last incarnation, since I went in so unprepared last time, which makes everything that surprised me last time not surprised this time. Of course, that also speaks to how indelible an impression the show made. There are certainly recent shows where I could see them again now and still catch tons of new things.

I thoroughly enjoyed Michelle Williams, but the people around me were seemingly not too impressed by her. There was a lot of vibrato in there, and I did wonder how much of that was her singing voice and how much might be nerves. Time will tell...

I'll leave the deeper critiquing for the people who enjoy such things. I'd rather let the joy of one of my favorite shows continue to wash over me than pore over it for things to write online.

We got out at 10:37, before anyone asks. Technically, there were a few audio issues with mics not being on for lines a few times, but it is pretty ready to thrill out of the gate.
Now t/d/b/a haterobics on here.
#1Elphie Profile Photo
#1Elphie
Broadway Legend
joined:6/24/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/24/04

Cabaret previews

#110
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:35pm
"Roundabout thoughtfully includes a prepaid envelope in the playbill so you can send in a nice donation to them- a ballsy move considering how much money you probably paid for your seats and drink."

Playbills which we only received as we walked out the doors, fresh off the press I guess.

This was my first time seeing Cabaret, and I really enjoyed it. Alan Cumming was brilliant. I thought Michelle Williams came off as a bit stiff and nervous at some points during the first act, but I was impressed with her "Cabaret" and I think she'll find her footing; I look forward to going back and seeing her again. I was in the rear mezz ($10 so I can't complain), and I'd like to sit closer to see the actors' facial expressions, especially Ms. Williams'.
Michael Bennett Profile Photo
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/16/05

Cabaret previews

#111
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:35pm
Perhaps over time people have built up the reputation of this production to be something that never was. This production was never daring or shocking other then it's departure of how the material up to that point had been presented. Since then every time I hear about any production of CABARET happening it's as if they took the cue from this production and push the envelope to ridiculous lengths – full on nudity by the Kit Kat Girls, character shooting up onstage, etc.

But that has never been with this production has been about. Perhaps as is so often the case, the fact that this production has inspired so many other revivals to rethink their source material diminishes this revival now upon viewing it through that lens. But I still find it a thrilling staging.

Does this production recapture the lightning in the bottle of 1998? Of course not. Aside from the already discussed magnetic turn by Natasha Richardson, how can you really begin to touch upon the work by actors like Marylouise Wilson and Ron Rifkin. And Alan Cumming who is proving to be a virtuoso at a very specific type of role is asked to re-create the template of that role, from which we have seen him play many variations in the years since.

But there is still much to champion here and I find this revival a welcome addition to a Broadway that rarely sees stagings of this caliber anymore.

Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes's vision for the material remains insightful and brutal and often brilliant without ever upstaging the original show that Kander/Ebb/Masteroff crafted 50 years ago. And I will maintain much of their concepts remain brilliant.

In casting this revival they've taken some different angles on their ensemble. Herr Schultz and Frau Schneider as well as Frau Kost are all cast noticeably younger than their original predecessors in these roles. But I found the work of Danny Burstyn and Linda Edmond to be simple and truthful and powerful in subtle ways.

Michelle Williams plays Sally very much as a spoiled petulant little girl. If it's not a performance that carries with it the nervous coltish weight of a life lived on the edge as Natasha Richardson's did, it is still a very valid take on the character, very in keeping with how she is described by Isherwood in the original stories. And her second act is indeed filled with brilliant touches that I know will only grow and deepen and she has more time with character. Her take on the title song does indeed inspire chill bumps.

And I disagree with Kad about the ensemble cast looking buff or out of place, at least not anymore so than it was in the original revival. The point of the ensemble is that they represent a kind of sinister seduction- and in this take with the material, they have always been cast with actors who were deceptively attractive underneath the make up bruises.

So count me as a champion who was happy 16 years later to revisit this world. Don't go in expecting the legend of 1998, but enjoy the merits on display instead because they are still many.






Updated On: 3/21/14 at 11:35 PM
WhizzerMarvin Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 5/26/05

Cabaret previews

#112
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:37pm
I think I enjoyed myself much more than you did, Kad.

There is an eerie quality to Alan's performance sounding exactly like the recording. It's like we were at The Drowsy Chaperone, but this time the Man in Chair put on the '98 Cabaret recording instead! Still, he is phenomenal, and it's pretty awesome that he's able to pull this off so many years later.

Michelle Williams is off to an impressive start, and her performance will surely grow over the course of previews. She is confident, moves well and "Maybe This Time" and "Cabaret" scored big.

Danny Burstein and Linda Emond felt like they were six months into the run- the whole show did actually.

So, there's not much to say, ha. Yes it's the same show as before, but with a terrific cast and one of the most powerful evenings currently on Broadway. The time flew by and I can't wait to go back.

Maybe Roundabout only brought this back to make them some money, but it's hard to fault them for that when we get to reap these rewards.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
oasisjeff
Broadway Star
joined:11/15/07
Broadway Star | Joined: 11/15/07

Cabaret previews

#113
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:39pm
"Playbills which we only received as we walked out the doors, fresh off the press I guess."

I think that was a carryover from last time, to not break the illusion that we were a Kit Kat Club audience.
Now t/d/b/a haterobics on here.
east side story Profile Photo
east side story
Broadway Star
joined:4/21/11
Broadway Star | Joined: 4/21/11

Cabaret previews

#114
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:39pm
Playbills were handed out at the very end because they want to carry that seedy club feeling all the way through to the end of the evening. Or at least, that was the case with the production before.
#1Elphie Profile Photo
#1Elphie
Broadway Legend
joined:6/24/04
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/24/04

Cabaret previews

#115
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:42pm
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/5/05

Cabaret previews

#116
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:44pm
I don't know. I think it's a hard thing to evaluate. In many ways, it's as if time had frozen at Studio 54. Cabaret is back, the same, more or less, as it was in the late 90s, early 00s. It's a landmark production of a masterpiece, which informed basically ALL productions subsequently of the show, not to mention musical theatre productions in general. But it's not revitalized. It's just... back. And I don't think it has the same punch. It's respectful.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Updated On: 3/21/14 at 11:44 PM
oasisjeff
Broadway Star
joined:11/15/07
Broadway Star | Joined: 11/15/07

Cabaret previews

#117
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:46pm
Considering Sam Mendes recently included in his list of rules for directors that "There are no such things as 'previews' on Broadway," doesn't that mean that we just saw it on opening night?!
Now t/d/b/a haterobics on here.
qolbinau Profile Photo
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
Broadway Legend | Joined: 6/29/08

Cabaret previews

#118
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:47pm
In some ways that sounds disappointing because I thought it would be interesting if say Alan Cumming for example had a fresh, perhaps more desperate take (given his age) on the role. However, in some ways they have probably succeeded just bringing the show back the way it was. Everything about this production (e.g., Alan Cumming, the Marketing, Direction etc.) suggests that was the intention.
"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
Michael Bennett Profile Photo
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/16/05

Cabaret previews

#119
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:48pm
And though I found Natasha Richardson thrilling at the first preview back in 1998, it was indeed her singing voice that people back then on message boards seemed to have a hard time accepting. Williams is, in truth, a better singer than Richardson was. Vocally, Williams is a bird - with an almost Piaf like quality. I'm sure there were some nerves in there tonight as well, but her "Cabaret' was terrific.

There are still people who will never accept a non-Liza type of voice in the role and that is what it is.
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/5/05

Cabaret previews

#120
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:49pm
I had no qualms about her voice. I thought she was a great presence on stage, even if her performance needs time to set.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
oasisjeff
Broadway Star
joined:11/15/07
Broadway Star | Joined: 11/15/07

Cabaret previews

#121
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:53pm
"In some ways that sounds disappointing..."

It seems unfair to judge a show as disappointing for not doing what it expressly set out to do, because you decided against all evidence it might do something else. Plus, a lot of people who never got to see this production want exactly what is on offer. I know I am in that category and I did see it last time.

I'd welcome a new take on Cabaret, too, but I wasn't expecting it tonight.

Now t/d/b/a haterobics on here.
Updated On: 3/21/14 at 11:53 PM
Michael Bennett Profile Photo
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 3/16/05

Cabaret previews

#122
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:54pm
I don't know. I think it's a hard thing to evaluate. In many ways, it's as if time had frozen at Studio 54. Cabaret is back, the same, more or less, as it was in the late 90s, early 00s. It's a landmark production of a masterpiece, which informed basically ALL productions subsequently of the show, not to mention musical theatre productions in general. But it's not revitalized. It's just... back. And I don't think it has the same punch. It's respectful.

I speak to this in my review Kad, and ultimately feel it is too much to ask a game changing revival to YET AGAIN change the game when it is brought back.

The fault is that yes, you are right, it can never really be anything more than a time capsule piece, but that doesn't mean that time capsule in itself isn't still a valid thing to have on Broadway for new audiences to experience.

GreasedLightning Profile Photo
GreasedLightning
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/14
Broadway Legend | Joined: 2/11/14

Cabaret previews

#123
Posted: 3/21/14 at 11:54pm
".... a production that was infamously shocking and daring is now just another production."

Shot in the dark, but I can't help but think that the time we live in and what we have seen and accomplished since '98, 16 plus years later, has taken the "shock" and "daring" side of this away. Correct me if I'm wrong, but what was daring and shocking about this production in 1998 may not be as shocking as it is in present day? We've seen so many "game-changing shockers" since then (Spring Awakening immediately comes to mind, considering the shock-factor content there) that maybe that shock-factor here won't phase people who were shocked by it the first time around… 16 years ago.

That being said, this is coming from someone who knows the show very well from working on more than three productions of it in the past and knowing the story well, but who has never seen a professional production of it… let alone seeing it from the front of the house; but is still considering it an honor to be seeing a production that was truly a game-changer of its time. I couldn't be more excited to see it in May!


Updated On: 3/21/14 at 11:54 PM
oasisjeff
Broadway Star
joined:11/15/07
Broadway Star | Joined: 11/15/07

Cabaret previews

#124
Posted: 3/22/14 at 12:00am
Interesting, just reading my Playbill (since we didn't get the chance prior) and Leeds Hill, who played Bobby, is also the Emcee understudy. When I watched him onstage, I was even thinking he had the right vibe for the emcee... of course, Cumming is pretty famous for not missing shows, no?

Then again, maybe I just found Bobby exceedingly hot, hehe. Cabaret previews
Now t/d/b/a haterobics on here.
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Broadway Legend | Joined: 11/5/05

Cabaret previews

#125
Posted: 3/22/14 at 12:04am
I don't mean "shocking" in terms of sex, or debauchery, etc. I feel like a lot of the production's oomph is sapped simply by cultural osmosis. We all know the twists and skewed takes on the material it has to offer.

Don't get me wrong: this production still stands heads and shoulders over every NEW production this season. Which is a testament to its quality. And its design is flawless- the stage pictures haunting- the choreography on point.

But reanimating an extremely successful production- one still quite vivid in many people's memories- and then stepping back and saying, "You all know this, so here it is, exactly as you remember!"

It all felt *safe*- even the performances. And the performances are the one thing that actually could've been given more freedom in this production. Maybe time is what they need. But right now, this truly does feel like Roundabout's effort at reclaiming the high point of its existence.


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Updated On: 3/22/14 at 12:04 AM