When: Tue., Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m., Wed., Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m., Thu., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m., Fri., Oct. 28, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 29, 2 & 8 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 30, 2 & 7:30 p.m. 2016
Sam Mendes’ terrific 1993 production of Cabaret accomplished the seemingly impossible: It actually rivaled the artistic success of both Hal Prince’s original production of ’66 and Bob Fosse’s award-winning film adaptation, starring a particularly leggy Liza Minnelli. For this re-imagining, Mendes upped Cabaret’s sheer sleaziness as he parked the show in Manhattan’s legendary Studio 54 for a multiple-year run. The New York incarnation won Tony awards for its young, gender-bending emcee, Alan Cumming, as well as for Natasha Richardson. In an unusual move, the Roundabout Theater has revived this revival of a London revival, which makes it a head-spinningly meta-revival. But fret not: It’s still as fabulously gay as ever, as the sexual anarchy of the Weimar Republic is juxtaposed with the increasing militarism and bigotry of the German Nazi party. The brilliance of Cabaret is that the cabaret itself functions as a metaphor for political apathy of every stripe — and Mendes’ harrowing coda, with its gesture toward the Holocaust, remains one of the masterstrokes of contemporary musical theater. If you’ve been on the fence about seeing yet another Cabaret, discover a production where both the staging, and “life” itself, are beautiful.