PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: Cabaret — Cumming & Going & Cumming Again

By Harry Haun
25 Apr 2014

Bill Heck
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Composer Marc Shaiman was inordinately revved up about the Carnegie Hall salute he and lyricist Scott Wittman are getting April 28 from The New York Pops and music director Steven Reineke. "It's a pleasure to be able to pick the best songs from all these things we've done," he said. "It's so many showstoppers, one after another, that some people may actually die. I understand there's an older clientele there, so we may literally knock 'em dead. I think there are 17 songs." Dispensing them will be Patti LuPone, Will Chase, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Nikki Blonsky, Ricki Lake, Christian Borle, Kerry Butler, Linda Hart, Capathia Jenkins, Jenifer Lewis and Katharine McPhee.

Johnny Depp, in shades, hat and a Travolta-esque white jumpsuit, made his star entrance with Amber Heard — no doubt a deep bow to Marshall, who directed him in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Into the Woods," which is due in movie theatres on Christmas Day. Depp's the wolf, and Meryl Streep's the witch.

The slick, stylish dancing partner Cumming plucked from the audience on opening night for a quick spin — Cynthia Nixon — said she'll be joining Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Real Thing the night before Halloween at the American Airlines Theatre. She did the original Mike Nichols-directed production of Tom Stoppard's play in 1984 when she was 18; now she's playing that character's mom.



Other first-nighters: Neil Simon and his Sugar, Elaine Joyce; another Pulitzer Prize playwright, Lynn Nottage; a blissfully beaming Gary Rankin, who came all the way from Scotland to see his little Gayle make her big Broadway bow as the sailor-sated Fraulein Kost; Emily Bergl; actor-singer George Dvorsky; Jim Dale, whose Just Jim Dale bows June 3 at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre; Katie Finneran, who will take the plunge into cabaret May 28-31 right under Cabaret at 54 Below; Jessica Hecht; Troy Britton Johnson, the roller-skating romeo of The Drowsy Chaperone, who has "written a couple of musicals that are happening"; Rachel York; Charlotte Parry, who was so good in The Winslow Boy; Tracee Chimo and Molly Ranson, both of Bad Jews; Lee Radzwell and daughter-in-law Carole; cabaret accompanist Alex Rybeck, and a host of hot young directors (Alex Timbers, Leigh Silverman, Pam MacKinnon, Daniel Aukin and choreographer Marshall's choreographer sister, Kathleen). A Tony cluster in attendance: Jane Krakowski, Denis O'Hare and Kristin Chenoweth.