“Chicago” director Rob Marshall thinks Michelle Williams will be a Sally Bowles for the ages in the Roundabout Theatre’s upcoming revival of “Cabaret.”
The three-time Oscar nominee faces a daunting challenge — she will have to banish the thoughts of the acclaimed actresses who play Sally in the past. It’s a group that includes Judi Dench, Liza Minelli (who won an Oscar in the 1972 film version) and the late Natasha Richardson (who picked up a Tony Award for the 1998 stage revival).
But in a statement, Marshall, who will co-direct the revival with Sam Mendes and choreograph it, implied that he thinks Williams has what it takes.
“Michelle Williams is an actress of rare gifts and she will make an astonishing Sally Bowles,” he said.
Williams was one of a number of prominent actresses circling the part. At one point, Emma Stone considered hitting the Kit Kat Klub, but scheduling conflicts prevented her from coming aboard.
Williams will make her Broadway debut in the play, but she does have past stage experience. She has appeared Off-Broadway in challenging plays like Tracy Letts’ “Killer Joe” and in a Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard.”
She will also have a team of performers and backstage talent that is well acquainted with the Kander and Ebb musical. Alan Cumming will reprise his Tony Award-winning role as Emcee and both Mendes and Marshall were involved with the acclaimed 1998 production.
The original design team from that acclaimed production will also return. The show will feature set and club design by Robert Brill, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari and sound design by Brian Ronan. Patrick Vaccariello is the Musical Director.
The full cast will be announced shortly.
“Cabaret” will play a 24-week limited engagement beginning previews on March 21, 2014 and open officially on April 24, 2014 at Studio 54 on Broadway.