Oscar, Tony, and Olivier winner Eddie Redmayne will return to Broadway to lead the upcoming revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff's Cabaret, starring alongside Gayle Rankin (Glow) as Sally Bowles. The Olivier-winning revival will play the August Wilson Theatre as previously announced, but now we have dates. Performances will begin April 1, 2024. Opening night will come in two parts: the gala opening night celebration is set for April 20, while the embargo on reviews will lift on April 21.
Redmayne, reprising his Olivier-winning performance as The Emcee from the production's London debut, and Rankin, starring as Sally Bowles, will play a limited engagement on Broadway through August 31. Beginning June 17, Redmayne will sit out Monday evenings and Rankin will not perform at Wednesday matinees.
As in the production's West End run, the theatre will be transformed into an in-the-round Kit Kat Club, with ticketholders invited to arrive at a designated time before curtain to take in pre-show entertainment, drinks, and dining. “The Kit Kat Club at the August Wilson will be the thrilling evolution of our production of Cabaret," shares designer Tom Scott. "Inspired not only by 1920s Germany and 2020s London, our new renovation is enriched by the influence of New York deco architecture, the jazz age, and queer cabaret. Cabaret NYC promises to be a totally unique melting pot of an experience.”
Cabaret also announced its lottery system. The show will partner with Lucky Seat, which will release a limited number of $25 tickets for every performance beginning April 1.
Redmayne was last seen on the Main Stem in 2010 in a Tony-winning performance in John Logan's Red. Rankin, notably, made her Broadway debut in the last major revival of Cabaret, though not as Sally Bowles. She played Bowles' neighbor Fräulein Kost in Roundabout Theatre Company's 2014 encore run of its 1998 Tony-winning revival, directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall.
“It was whilst playing The Emcee in a student production of Cabaret over 25 years ago that my love for theatre was properly ignited," says Redmayne in a statement. "It now feels completely thrilling and a little surreal to be a part of Rebecca’s truly unique vision of Masteroff, Kander, and Ebb’s brilliance as it arrives on Broadway, where the piece has such a history. I am beyond excited to be doing it arm-in-arm with the remarkable Gayle Rankin and a truly stunning cast and team. I am hoping we will create an experience for you quite unlike any other.”
“Cabaret has been a wildly profound marker in my life," adds Rankin. "How I understand myself as an artist and citizen in the very fragile world we live in has proved to revolve on its axis. I am completely honored to hold hands with Sally inside of this singular, powerful production, and forever grateful to Rebecca, Eddie, and the whole family for inviting me into its creation on Broadway.”
Directed by Rebecca Frecknall and choreographed by Julia Cheng, the production opened at London's Playhouse Theatre, newly re-christened The Kit Kat Club for the revival, in 2021 with Redmayne and Jessie Buckley starring. The revival went on to win seven 2022 Olivier Awards, the most of any production that season, including Best Musical Revival, and Best Actor and Actress in a Musical for Redmayne and Buckley.
“Cabaret is a masterpiece of writing which continues to reveal its richness to us," says Frecknall. "Masteroff, Kander, and Ebb have created characters on the brink, in a world where the rules are changing. Acts of courage, defiance, hope, delusion, fear, and anger ricochet between them and their circumstances, all intensely human responses to a world in chaos. I’m so excited to be reuniting with Eddie as our devilishly seductive Emcee, the metaphorical soul of Berlin, and I cannot wait to dive into rehearsals with Gayle, a fearless actor of supreme talent, as she explores Cabaret’s magnetic core, the breathtaking and heartbreaking Sally Bowles.”
The London run has featured a string of notables leading the cast since Redmayne and Buckley's departure, including Fra Free and Amy Lennox, Callum Scott Howells and Madeline Brewer, Aimee Lou Wood and John McCrea, Maude Apatow and Mason Alexander Park, and current stars Jake Shears and Rebecca Lucy Taylor (aka Self Esteem). Further casting for the Broadway run is to be announced.
Based on Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin and John Van Druten's dramatization of them, I Am a Camera, Cabaret is set in Weimar-era Berlin as American writer Clifford Bradshaw arrives to work on his novel and soak up the debaucherous nightlife. He meets English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and a complex relationship develops, all as the Nazis ascend to power and the spectre of World War II and all its horrors loom on the horizon.
The upcoming revival will be the musical's first new staging on the Main Stem since the 1998 revival, which was also a London transfer. That 1998 production was revived in 2014. Revivals of previous stagings are not uncommon for Cabaret.
The oft-produced work premiered in 1966 with Harold Prince at the helm and Joel Grey starring (and winning a Tony Award) as The Emcee. The original staging (with some revisions) was brought back to Broadway, with Grey reprising his performance, in a 1987 revival. The 1998 version of Cabaret, a more dramatic revision of the work, starred Alan Cumming as the Emcee—Cumming won the Tony for his performance and came back with the production when it was revived in 2014.
The musical was famously adapted for the big screen by director-choreographer Bob Fosse, with Liza Minnelli starring as Sally Bowles. The film version, considerably darker and seedier than Prince's staging, won eight Academy Awards and is considered by many one of the best films ever made. Revisions to the stage work since the 1972 film have largely transplanted the film's energy into the script—along with some of its new songs, including "Mein Herr" and "Maybe This Time."
The London run of Cabaret features set and costume design by Tom Scutt, lighting by Isabella Byrd, sound design by Nick Lidster, and musical direction by Jennifer Whyte. Scutt will recreate his work for the Broadway bow, with further members of the creative team to be announced.
The Broadway transfer is being produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Underbelly, Gavin Kalin Productions, Hunter Arnold, Smith & Brant Theatricals, and Wessex Grove.
See production shots of Redmayne in the London production below: