For Michelle Williams, Going to Work Every Day is a ‘Cabaret’ on Broadway

Cabaret Broadway curtain call
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Alan Cumming, fresh off the April 24 opening night performance of the Broadway revival of “Cabaret,” emerged from backstage wearing plaid, brandishing a cigarette and eyeing the crowd of well-wishers through a monocle.

“Did you get that I’m dressed as an Otto Dix painting?” he asked. Er, no, not many people did, but you can Google it for yourself and see: He was doing a mean impression of the German painter’s Weimar-era “Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia Von Harden.”

Cumming is reprising his role as Emcee in a Roundabout Theater Company revival that is itself a reprise of Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s 1998 production.

Back then, the Emcee was the part that launched Cumming’s career. “I was giving a star turn, but I wasn’t a star!” he cracked.

New to the production this time around is Michelle Williams, playing the semi-talented cabaret singer Sally Bowles in Williams’ first stage role in a decade, and her first musical role ever.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” she said.  “I had no training for it. But that’s very Sally Bowles, in a way.”

The day the show opened, the Roundabout announced “Cabaret” would extend until January with Williams and Cumming in the lead roles. Williams said she’s loving taking a break from the gypsy lifestyle of moviemaking.

“I’m happy to go to work every day,” she said. “I really like my office!”

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  1. “Did you get that I’m dressed as an Otto Dix painting?” could be the most pretentious question ever asked! But I love Alan Cumming anyway.

    I saw the Mendes treatment of Cabaret twice– once on tour and at Studio 64 in 2003. I wish Mendes would adapt it into a film. Fosse’s Cabaret was great, but it deviated so far from the original storyline that a new movie would be welcome.

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