Music:John Kander
Lyrics:Fred Ebb
Book:Joe Masteroff; based on the play by John van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Director:Sam Mendes
Choreographer and Co-director: Rob Marshall
Musical DirectorPatrick Vaccariello
Sets:Robert Brill
Lighting:Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari
Costumes:William Ivey Long
Sound:Brian Ronan
Opened:4/98 at the Kit Kat Klub
Cast:Natasha Richardson, Alan Cumming, Ron Rifkin, John Benjamin Hickey, Denis O'Hare, Michele Pawk and Mary Louise Wilson

This bewitching revival of John Kander and Fred Ebb's 1966 musical set in Germany at the start of the Third Reich garnered eight Tony Awards. Delectably raunchy and politically frank, the adaptation forks into two parallel love stories: that of bisexual Clifford (Hickey) and nightclub diva Sally Bowles (Richardson), and that of Fraulein Schneider (Wilson), Clifford's landlady, and Herr Schultz (Rifkin), a Jewish grocer. The regal Richardson admirably makes the role of Bowles her own — a sympathetic merging of erotic energy and raw desperation. It's no easy feat considering a certain Miss Minnelli has haunted the role since the 1972 movie. In the midst of these affairs, Alan Cumming, a Scottish actor in his American debut, enchants as the Emcee, an omniscient character with saucer-like eyes and diabolical androgyny. The decadence of Germany's underworld is embodied by a crotch-grabbing chorus line (who successfully doubles as the band) in S&M-inspired costumes. Likewise, the cast belts out the musical's classic numbers — "Money," "Married" and "Come To The Cabaret" — with more than a soupcon of recklessness to match the brooding times. Indeed, not far below their febrile bohemianism, these entertainers know that life is not a cabaret, old chum.