ROUNDABOUT BLOG

2013-2014 Season

Cabaret: Read, Watch, Listen

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Olivia O'Connor

 

Immerse yourself in the world of Cabaret with our recommended reading, watching and listening lists!

WHAT TO READ

Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s by Otto Friedrich
American journalist and cultural historian Otto Friedrich explores the history of Berlin during its golden age, covering subjects in the spheres of entertainment, culture, and politics.

The Making of Cabaret by Keith Garebian
A detailed production history of Cabaret covering the show’s source material, first production, film adaptation, and contemporary revivals.

Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider by Peter Gay
An essay approach to the social, political, and artistic world of the Weimar era, analyzing the period’s distinct modes of thought and expression.

Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin by Mel Gordon
A collection of photographs, advertisements, and illustrations (interspersed with commentary) from Weimar Berlin. The visually shocking book exposes the era’s dark decadence and promiscuity.

The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
A collection of Isherwood’s two short, semi-autobiographical novels chronicling the knife’s-edge existence of 1931 Berlin. One of the novellas, Goodbye to Berlin, introduces the first iteration of the now-iconic character of Sally Bowles.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
A detailed and celebrated account of the rise, heyday, and destruction of Adolph Hitler’s political and military regime. Shirer worked as a foreign correspondent for various print and broadcast news outlets during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, witnessing many of the horrors of the Third Reich firsthand.

I Am a Camera by John van Druten
This 1951 play, adapted from Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin, expands on the character of Sally Bowles. The play’s title comes from a line of Goodbye to Berlin: “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.”

WHAT TO WATCH

Cabaret (1972)
This film adaptation features iconic performances from Liza Minelli and Joel Grey. The film made many changes to the stage musical, including changes to Sally and Cliff’s nationality and sexuality and the elimination/addition of several musical numbers. Several of these changes (including the addition of songs “Money,” “Maybe This Time,” and “Mein Herr”) have since been made to the stage version of the musical, as well.

I Am a Camera (1955)
The film version of John van Druten’s play features Julie Harris in the Sally Bowles role, which she also originated in the stage play. Her onstage performance garnered her critical acclaim and her first Tony win, but the film was not a success.

Third Reich: Rise and Fall (2010)
A two-part History Channel presentation which uses amateur film footage (taken by native Germans) to document the power of Hitler’s regime.

Legendary Sin Cities: Paris, Berlin, Shanghai (2005)
A three-part Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary profiling Paris, Berlin, and Shanghai during their periods of notorious decadence.

WHAT TO LISTEN TO

The true sounds of the Weimar cabaret era are captured on these recordings.

Claire Waldoff: German Cabaret Legend (CD)

Willy Fritsch, Gitta Alpar, Renate Mueller-Hermann Thimig, Ann Stein, Curt Bois
Tonfilmschlager der Weimarer Republik: 1929-1933 (CD)

Perlen der Kleinkunst (CD)

 

 


Cabaret plays at Studio 54 through January 4, 2015. For more information and tickets, please visit our website.


Related Categories:
2013-2014 Season, Cabaret, Roundabout Recommends


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Jim Dale at Roundabout

Posted on: July 10th, 2014 by Roundabout

 

Veteran actor Jim Dale has a long history with Roundabout Theatre Company. Starting with one of Roundabout’s earliest successes, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Jim Dale has performed in five Roundabout productions over the last 30 years. In his brand new solo show, Just Jim Dale under the direction of Tony winner Richard Maltby, Jr. (Fosse, Ain’t Misbehavin’), Dale shares his passion for the stage as he recounts a lifetime of irresistible showbiz tales. We look back at some of his great roles at Roundabout below.

Jim Dale in Just Jim Dale, 2014. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Jim Dale began working with Roundabout in our 1985 production of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, directed by Arvin Brown. The play centers on Bri (Dale) and Sheila (played by Stockard Channing), the parents of a severely disabled child and the subjects of a devastating marital breakup. Employing antithetical jokes and recollections of the past, both parents beg the question “how do we go on?” amid such inexplicable and unalterable truths.  Frank Rich of The New York Times claimed “Mr. Dale’s big moment [was] a harrowing fantasy of infanticide – a ghoulish practical joke that only a master comic actor could prevent from curdling.” For his performance, Dale received nominations for both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Actor.

Stockard Channing and Jim Dale in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. Photo by Martha Swope.

In 1989, Jim Dale played Acting Captain Terri Dennis in Peter Nichols and Denis King’s farcical Privates on Parade, directed by Larry Carpenter. Centered on the fictional S.A.D.U.S.E.A. (Song and Dance Unit South East Asia), the play with songs details the experiences of a mostly gay British military Pierrot troupe. Mel Gussow of The New York Times hailed Dale’s performance, saying “As an actor, he is not satisfied with anything halfhearted.” Complete with drag performances of Marlene Dietrich, Carmen Miranda, and Vera Lynn, this Roundabout production showcased a young Donna Murphy and Simon Jones alongside Dale.

Simon Jones and Jim Dale in Privates on Parade. Photo by Martha Swope.

Jim Dale returned to Roundabout in 2006, working with director Scott Elliott and starring alongside Alan Cumming, Ana Gasteyer, Cyndi Lauper, and Nellie McKay in Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera.  Brecht’s satiric production employs deliberately artificial and undeniably Brechtian methods to thrust audiences into the world of crime and prostitution of Victorian London, all the while portraying the murderous Mac the Knife seducing his various love interests.  Earning himself another Tony nomination for Best Actor, “that marvelous trouper” (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) Jim Dale played Mr. Peachum, father of the mostly-virginal Polly Peachum.

Ana Gasteyer, Nellie McKay and Jim Dale in The Threepenny Opera. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Later that same year, Dale participated in an in-house playreading of Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, reading the roles of Bystander and Alfred Doolittle.  The reading was held in the American Airlines Theatre Penthouse Lobby and was directed by Todd Lundquist.

In 2011, Jim Dale returned to the American Airlines Theatre to star in the Broadway premiere of Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca, a story of an elderly woman attempting to transform her home into a dazzling work of art after the death of her husband.  The widowed Miss Helen (Rosemary Harris) faces the conservative values of the village pastor, Pastor Marius Byleveld (Jim Dale), as he attempts to put Helen into an old-age home. Calling upon her lone friend and confidant, the young liberal teacher Elsa (Carla Gugino), Miss Helen faces the mounting pressure to abandon her independent life. The New York Times acclaimed The Road to Mecca as “striking, compassionate and Fugard’s most personal play” in which “Mr. Dale unerringly [located] both the rigidity and the tremors in a resolutely pious man whose certainty comes under siege.” Dale’s performance yielded a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Actor.

Jim Dale, Carla Gugino and Rosemary Harris in The Road to Mecca. Photo by Joan Marcus.

In May, Jim Dale returned to Roundabout for his charming and hilarious one-man show recounting his start on the famed British Music Hall stage, through his Broadway triumphs, to his uproarious experience narrating all seven “Harry Potter” audiobooks. Just Jim Dale, playing at the Laura Pels Theatre, has been described as “light-footed and lovable” with a performance by “a triple-threat and first-rate showman!” (Adam Feldman, Time Out New York).

 

 


Just Jim Dale plays at the Laura Pels Theatre May 15 through August 10. For more information and tickets, please visit our website.

 


Related Categories:
2013-2014 Season, Education @ Roundabout, Just Jim Dale, Upstage


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The Life of Studio 54

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Roundabout

 

Studio 54 was known for two things before Roundabout purchased this historic theatre: being a famous club and being a cursed theatre, with shows sometimes opening and closing in the same night. However, Roundabout turned Studio 54’s luck around with successful productions like Sunday in the Park with George, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and, of course, Cabaret.

Studio 54 Timeline

1927: Gallo Opera House built by Italian entrepreneur Fortune Gallo for the San Carlo Opera Company.

November 7, 1927: First production at Gallo Opera House, La Boheme, closes after less than three weeks of performances.

December 1, 1927: The opera house is renamed The Gallo Theatre and does a production of Electra, which only runs for 12 performances.

October 21, 1929: Revival of A Tailor-Made Man opens three days before Black Thursday, the start of The Depression.

May 12, 1930: Theatre re-opens with a performance of Henrik Ibsen’s The Vikings. Closes after eight performances.

1932: Spanish Theatre of Madrid occupies the space for several weeks, attempting to bring good luck to the theatre; meets the same fate as all the previous occupants.

April 8, 1933: Gertrude Cox stars in a musical about life on Kentucky race tracks titled Hummin’ Sam. Opens and closes on the same night.

1937: Space renamed the Federal Music Theatre with aid from the WPA’s Federal Theatre Project, which strives to create a performance venue that would only charge 25 or 50 cents per ticket. In 1939 the project was defunded and the theatre was left open for purchase again.

1939: The theatre is renamed The New Yorker Theatre and starts with a performance of The Swing Mikado, an adaptation of The Mikado with an all-black cast.

1940: CBS-TV renames the space yet again to the CBS Radio Playhouse Number 4, only to have another name change after World War II as CBS Studio Number 52. During this time the studio is home to popular shows including “The Jack Benny Show,” “Captain Kangaroo,” “Password,” and “The $64,000 Question.”

1974: CBS decides to move most of their studios to California, and the space becomes vacant again.

April 16, 1977: Restaurateurs Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager purchase the building and renovate the interior to create the club popularly known as Studio 54. Studio 54 is known for only admitting the rich, famous, and beautiful. With its capacity at only 700, people line up around the block for a chance to go inside.

The Studio 54 lobby. Photo by Tanya Braganti, source Spotlight on Broadway.

November 1979: Rubell and Schrager begin to take money from the business for personal use. The IRS comes down on them and both plead guilty and spend over a year in jail.

February 4, 1980: Studio 54 closes after having a last blow-out party.

1982: A second incarnation of the club opens with attempts to keep the same environment as the original Studio 54 and undergoes various changes as nightclub, concert hall, and more until 1998.

November 12, 1998: Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret moves from the Henry Miller’s Theatre to Studio 54 and runs until January 4, 2004.

2003: Roundabout Theatre Company purchases Studio 54.

April 22, 2004: Broadway debut of Assassins by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman opens and goes on to win five Tony awards.

The cast of Assassins. Photo by Joan Marcus.

December 2, 2004: Another Sondheim and Weidman collaboration, Pacific Overtures, opens at Studio 54.

2005: Roundabout Theatre Company removes the cabaret style seating and adds in traditional raked seating, creating a 1,002-seat house.

April 2005: A Streetcar Named Desire receives its 8th Broadway production, starring John C. Reilly and Natasha Richardson.

April 20, 2006: The Threepenny Opera opens, starring Alan Cumming alongside Jim Dale and Cindy Lauper.

Jim Dale, Ana Gasteyer, Alan Cumming, Nellie McKay, and Cyndi Lauper in The Threepenny Opera. Photo by Joan Marcus.

February 2008: Roundabout brings over Sunday in the Park with George from the Menier.

The cast of Sunday in the Park with George. Photo by Joan Marcus.

April 30, 2009: Waiting for Godot opens starring Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, John Goodman, and John Glover.

The cast of Waiting for Godot. Photo by Joan Marcus.

May 2012: Harvey opens starring Jim Parsons.

Jim Parsons in Harvey. Photo by Joan Marcus.

November 2012: The Mystery of Edwin Drood opens and receives 5 Tony nominations.

The cast of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Photo by Joan Marcus

March 21,2014: First preview of the return of Cabaret.

 

 


This article features in our Upstage playgoer guide for Cabaret.

Cabaret plays at Studio 54 through January 4, 2015. For more information and tickets, please visit our website.


Related Categories:
2013-2014 Season, Cabaret, Education @ Roundabout, Upstage


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