Michelle Williams has signed on to tackle the role of Sally Bowles in the Roundabout Theater Company’s upcoming Broadway revival of “Cabaret” — and it’s been long enough since her last legit appearances that theatergoers may not remember that while the thesp is a Broadway tyro, “Cabaret” won’t be her first time on the Gotham boards.
Her first New York stage stint was way back in 1999, when, during a hiatus in her TV gig “Dawson’s Creek,” she stepped into the Off Broadway run of Tracy Letts’ trailer-park murder tale “Killer Joe.” She followed up that legit outing in 2002 with an Off Broadway engagement in the New Group’s staging of Mike Leigh’s “Smelling a Rat.”
Since then, of course, she’s shot to bigscreen stardom, snagging Oscar noms for her turns in “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), “Blue Valentine” (2010) and “My Week With Marilyn” (2011). Her most recent pic, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” proved a B.O. success for Disney earlier this year.
Williams’ casting in the Broadway project adds the Hollywood buzz that earlier this year looked like it would come from Emma Stone, whose attachment to the musical subsequently fell through. Williams becomes the high-profile new element in a revival that reunites Sam Mendes, Rob Marshall and Alan Cumming for a new staging of their 1998 production of the 1966 Kander and Ebb musical.
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Both Mendes and Marshall are stage vets whose film careers took off in the wake of the Broadway success of “Cabaret,” which won four Tonys (including one for Cumming) and ran for six years. Mendes will be back to direct “Cabaret,” with Marshall once again on board as co-director and choreographer.
Cumming reprises the role he played in the 1998 staging, appearing as the emcee at a Berlin nightclub in 1930. Williams stars as Sally, the chanteuse played by Liza Minnelli in the 1972 film.
Initially skedded for a 24-week run, “Cabaret” will once again play Studio 54, the venue to which the Roundabout’s earlier Broadway staging transferred after its initial bow at the Henry Miller’s Theater. Previews kick off March 21 ahead of an April 24 opening.