Life is a… (you know the rest)

CabaretThere are some performers that theater patrons will see in almost any role. And so it is with me and Alan Cumming. I’ve seen him doing a solo show of MacBeth, in his cabaret act at the intimate Rose Room at Lincoln Center, and now in two revivals of “Cabaret.” (That’s not counting my tuning in to see him on “The Good Wife.”) I don’t want to wax too poetic, but I feel as an actor Cumming commands whatever stage he’s on. And he totally owns the role of emcee in the current revival of “Cabaret” at Studio 54.

The big news when casting was announced for this production was the news that Michelle Williams was to play Sally Bowles. Ms. Williams has an excellent singing voice and held her own against the more seasoned Broadway performers. But something in her selection as Sally Bowles didn’t ring true to me. The other performers at the Kit Kat Klub are sexy and sleazy and Ms. Williams had a cute waif vibe. I didn’t find it believable that the patrons of the Klub would make someone like her the toast of the town.

But speaking of the Kit Kat Klub, the orchestra members were excellent – extremely talented musicians, singers and dancers. The veteran performers Danny Burstein and Linda Emond brought delicacy and pathos to their roles as doomed older lovers. The ending is, as always, chilling as you realize that although you are seeing a fictionalized account of pre-war Germany the worst is yet to come.

My only personal complaint about the seating at the former Studio 54 is that I paid for first class seats and I flew coach. You’re at tables that are extremely close together and I felt like a sardine in a can. I wish Roundabout would not have tried to cram so many tables on top of one another. AFW


Through January 4, 2015 at Studio 54

Tickets $47-$172


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