Michelle Williams will make her Broadway debut next year in a role best known by Liza Minnelli – fishnet-and-bowler hat wearing chanteuse Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.”
The Roundabout Theatre Company confirmed Wednesday that the former “Dawson’s Creek” and “Brokeback Mountain” star will join Alan Cumming in the revival. Williams takes over after Emma Stone withdrew due to scheduling conflicts.
Previews will begin March 21 with an opening set for April 24 at the Roundabout’s Studio 54 theater on Broadway, the last home of the show, which ran for more than 2,000 performances from 1998 to 2004. It won the Tony Award in 1998 for best musical revival.
Cumming, who will be reprising his 1998 turn as Master of Ceremonies, recently ended a one-man “Macbeth.” Also reprising their parts from the 1998 production: Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall, who will direct. Marshall will also choreograph this time as well.
Set in 1931 Berlin, “Cabaret” centers on the world of the indulgent Kit Kat Klub as it becomes intertwined with the world outside, which gets more precarious on the brink of World War II. The songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb include “Willkommen” and “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.”
“Cabaret,” both the Broadway show and 1972 film starring Minnelli, Joel Grey and Michael York, are based on the 1951 Broadway play “I Am a Camera,” which, in turn, was based on Christopher Isherwood’s book “Goodbye to Berlin.”
In addition to Minnelli, the part of Bowles has been played by Jill Haworth, Gina Gershon, Melina Kanakaredes, Natasha Richardson, Jane Leeves, Lea Thompson, Alyson Reed and Judi Dench, among others.
Williams’ film career took off with 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain” and received her first of her three Oscar nominations for her performance as the rejected wife of former real-life partner Heath Ledger’s cowboy. She’s earned two other nods, for “Blue Valentine” and “My Week with Marilyn.” Her other credits include “Shutter Island” and “Land of Plenty” and was directed by Raimi in his recent film “Oz: The Great and Powerful.”