Seal of Approval

cabaret1Remember that time when you could get a job based solely on your resumé? Well, we all know that time is long gone. It is now all about who you know and what people say about you behind your back. And guess what, the theatre world isn’t any different!

Cabaret is making its way back to Broadway this season with Alan Cumming (Macbeth, The Good Wife) returning to his Tony-Award winning role of Emcee. And for months there has been speculation about who will play the female lead, Sally Bowles.

First, Anne Hathaway was in talks to take on the famous role after her lauded appearance in Les Miserables. Then it was Emma Stone who was supposedly going to make her Broadway debut. Well, it has finally been announced that the role of Sally Bowles will be played by . . . .

*Drumroll, please*

Sally Bowles will be played by . . . Michelle Williams as she makes her debut on Broadway.

Now, no doubt her resumé was enough for the producers to cast her in the famous role – and a singing and dancing audition – but is it enough for the audience?

Both Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming will bring their own fans from their previous television and movie endeavours to the show. But what about the staunch Broadway fans, those who are becoming increasingly skeptical of Hollywood stars stepping onto the Broadway stages?

This is where the verbal references come in.

There are a number of people in the Broadway community who can drastically sway popular opinion just by expressing their own opinions. These are the kind of people who encourage audiences to come to a production no matter what the show is. It could be a one-woman performance of Gregorian funeral chants which they sing while dancing around a coffin waving a shroud – and they would still sell out!

For younger generations they are Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Sutton Foster and Audra McDonald. For the older generations they are Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury and Julie Andrews.

And for Cabaret fans, there is no one more powerful at directing popular opinion than Liza Minnelli who is possibly the most memorable Sally Bowles after playing the role in the movie version.

Well, yesterday Liza Minnelli spoke to the media about how she thought Michelle Williams would make a ‘perfectly marvellous Sally Bowles’. Giving her seal of approval not only to the actor but also to the show.

Can’t you just hear all the theatre fans logging into Telecharge to reserve their tickets for the 24-week limited engagement?

By having your new show endorsed by a Broadway legend, the risk of spending $120 on a ticket suddenly disappears and consumers will be more willing to engage with the service despite the fact that it is a new production.

Basically, the moral of the story is – if Liza loves it, then so will you!