News broke today that the usually delicate-seeming Michelle Williams will take on the lead role of Sally Bowles in a revival of “Cabaret.” This will, in fact, be a revival of a revival because both the co-directors of the 1994 revival (Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall) as well as the MC from that show (the incredible Alan Cumming) will be returning for this production at The Roundabout Theater in New York. So, well, is the lovely Ms. Williams (whose acting credentials are above reproach) the right fit for the job?
This is the best example I could find of her singing voice. It’s from The Baxter, an adorable little film co-starring Michael Showalter. Ignore the first tremulous effort, she gets going around 1:04.
Not too bad, right? Not stage-worthy, maybe. But I’ve heard worse. As for dancing? That’s harder to assess. But given a chair and the license to shimmy, I’m pretty sure she could pull something off.
At the very least, she’ll be in good company. Alan Cumming really is the best.
But Williams will have a lot to live up to. Both Emma Stone and Anne Hathaway were originally attached to this production and I can’t help but think they would have had an easier time living up to Liza…
…and, er, Natalie.
Best of luck to her.
Joanna Robinson regrets not getting to see the amazing Natasha Richardson as Sally Bowles.