‘Cabaret’ back; ‘Me’ short

Roundabout to open, with woes

HOLLYWOOD — Even as Roundabout officials breathe sighs of relief at the prospect of opening their hit revival of the musical “Cabaret” on Wednesday evening, there are other woes to be confronted, a Roundabout source confirmed.

It seems that there’s a shortfall at the Roundabout: “Little Me,” the Roundabout’s much touted tuner that will star Martin Short and Faith Prince lacks $150,000 in funding.

“We’re looking to cut back on the sets and designs, to rethink the show a bit,” said a Roundabout source. But the source was quick to point out that the decision to keep “Cabaret” in has “absolutely nothing” to do with the decision to consider scaling back “Little Me.”

The source called the procedure “routine” for Broadway producing. Keeping “Cabaret” in mothballs came at a cost of $200,000 a week — after a Times Square construction accident derailed the production on July 21 and closed 43rd St. in Manhattan.

Instead, says another source familiar with the production, the Roundabout hasn’t secured the needed cash largely because Short is skedded only for a 17-week run in “Little Me.” That’s too short a run to make money on a $6 million dollar musical, insiders say.

Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes, who has already been preoccupied with managing the “Cabaret” crisis, has had additional difficulty in getting investors to commit to a project where success is based on a star’s participation.

Haimes did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Short has a talkshow commitment with King World Productions set to begin production in the winter of 1999.

“Cabaret” is estimated to have lost $280,000 a week in revenue since its closure.

When it does, stars Blair Brown and Jennifer Jason Leigh will get their first look at the stage. Brown has taken over the role of ‘Frau Schneider’ from Mary Louise Wilson. Leigh will take over as ‘Sally Bowles’ from Natasha Richardson.

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