Leeves welcomed to ‘Cabaret’

'Frasier' star to replace Ringwald on April 29

“Frasier” star Jane Leeves will take over from Molly Ringwald in the long-running Broadway revival of “Cabaret.”

When Leeves plays her first performance as Sally Bowles April 29, the Roundabout production of the Kander & Ebb musical will have just entered its fifth year on Broadway.

After the events of Sept. 11, the show had been considered a likely candidate to shutter this winter. The producers recently returned two-thirds of the $83,400 in ticket purchases it received from the city’s legit subsidy program “Spend Your Regards to Broadway,” however. For that same period of Jan. 7-27, “Les Miserables” and “The Phantom of the Opera” kept the entire amount of $83,400 each as those shows’ respective ticket sales fell below the break-even point.

At last year’s Tony Awards, Natasha Richardson spoke of returning to the “Cabaret” cast to play Bowles, a high-profile stint which was to close the show. Those plans now appear to be on indefinite hold. Scott Ellis had also told Daily Variety that an untitled Burt Bacharach revue, under his direction, may go into the Studio 54 theater as soon as this summer.

Leeves is now contracted in “Cabaret” through July, her hiatus from “Frasier.” Show could get a publicity push this spring when the final episodes of “Frasier” focus on the impending wedding of the recurring characters Daphne Moon and Dr. Niles Crane, played by Leeves and David Hyde Pierce.

Hope springs eternal as well for next fall. The Roundabout has reportedly contacted thesp agents to reup clients through December.