Theater: CABARET (Roundabout’s production on National Tour)

Post image for Theater: CABARET (Roundabout’s production on National Tour)

by Frank Arthur on July 11, 2016

in Theater-Los Angeles,Tours


You better tell Momma and everybody else to come see Roundabout’s production of Cabaret, which kicked off its national tour this year. It plays the Hollywood Pantages Theatre for a limited three-week run from July 19 – August 7, 2016, and continues through the summer of 2017.

The backstage story that becomes a show within a show has seen plenty of reworkings since Hal Prince’s production opened on Broadway in 1966. The 1972 film had songs only take place inside the cabaret as commentary of the action (and eliminated six songs altogether), but most productions offered relatively “straightforward” versions until Sam Mendes (who had already directed it in England) joined forces with co-director and choreographer Rob Marshall for a 1998 Broadway revival. This one was decidedly more decadent, sexual, poignant, and dark, eliminating some songs (“Meeskite” “The Telephone Song,” and “Sitting Pretty”), but adding three songs from the film version, as well as the Emcee’s lesser known “I Don’t Care Much,” which was cut from the original production. It is this newer version that has more or less been done at regionals and schools since then.

Under the aegis of Mendes and Marshall, this gritty, explicit, darkly existential summoning of the cabaret scene in 1930s Berlin returned to Broadway two years ago, and it was more apparent than ever just how brilliant the life-vs.-art construction is (John Kander, music, Fred Ebb, lyrics and Joe Masteroff, book). The touring staging is in the hands of director BT McNicholl and choreographer Cynthia Onrubia, who have both done masterful jobs of replicating the New York production.The Roundabout vision is a fresh and stirring viewing experience for veteran patrons of the show who thought they knew the musical almost by heart, and first time spectators will be totally blown away.

Randy Harrison, best known for his portrayal of Justin in the Showtime drama “Queer as Folk,” will step into the role of the Emcee while Andrea Goss, a veteran of Roundabout’s version on Broadway will return to the role of Sally Bowles. Joining them are the great Chicago actress Shannon Cochran as Fraulein Schneider, Alison Ewing as Fraulein Kost, Mark Nelson as Herr Schultz, Ned Noyes as Ernst Ludwig, and Lee Aaron Rosen as Clifford Bradshaw.

True quadruple threats, the cast which also doubles as the Kit Kat Band includes Kelsey Beckert, Sarah Bishop, Margaret Dudasik, Lori Eure, Aisling Halpin, Leeds Hill, Andrew Hubacher, Joey Khoury, Tommy McDowell, Samantha Shafer, Evan D. Siegel, Dani Spieler and Steven Wenslawski.


Cabaret is a portrait of decadent Berlin society as Germany moves relentlessly toward the Nazi era in the early 1930’s. The action centers within the sleazy Kit-Kat Club, a sex-drenched second-rate nightclub presided over by a character known only as the Master of Ceremonies.

The Club and particularly the Emcee are metaphors for the tawdry moral climate that engulfed Berlin as the turbulent 1920s came to an end. The story has two pair of lovers. The central pair consists of a young expatriate American writer named Clifford Bradshaw who moves to Berlin to try to complete a novel and falls in with a second-rate but alluring English singer named Sally Bowles, the featured act at the Club. Bradshaw’s landlady Frau Schneider and a gentle Jewish fruit merchant named Herr Schultz supply the other romance.

All the previous stagings I’ve seen move spasmodically between the musical numbers and the tribulations of the four lovers. This production blends the musical numbers and the storyline together to create a single credible narrative, allowing the characters to have greater dimension, which of course makes the tragic end all that much more palpable.

photos by Joan Marcus

national tour plays through 2017
for more info, visit Roundabout


Alex November 10, 2019 at 6:08 pm

Hi Stage and Cinema,

Could you tell me if the Roundabout Theatre Company ever made a DVD of their version of Cabaret. If yes could you let me know how I could get it or where I could purchase it?

Thanks in advance.

Tony Frankel November 13, 2019 at 11:40 pm

Hey, Alex! I looked into it and there seems to only be the Original Cast CD. But keep hope. Many Broadway shows have been recorded and may be released as demand increases — either that or it starts streaming on BroadwayHD.

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