Willkommen, bienvenue, Broadway! London's Olivier-winning revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff's Cabaret is officially crossing the pond for a Broadway bow at the August Wilson Theatre. The production will open in Spring 2024, with specific dates and casting to be announced.
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 Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley starring as The Emcee and Sally Bowles, respectively. 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. The Olivier success ignited near instant rumors of a Broadway bow, but today's announcement is the first official news on the subject.
The London run has featured a string of notables leading the cast since Redmayne and Buckley's departure, including Fra Free and and Amy Lennox, Callum Scott Howells and Madeline Brewer, Aimee Lou Wood and John McCrea, and current stars Maude Apatow and Mason Alexander Park. Casting for the Broadway run has not yet been 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. The Broadway creative team is to be announced.