People are going absolutely wild for Eddie Redmayne in Cabaret: ‘The hottest new show on Broadway’

Eddie Redmayne as The Emcee in Cabaret.

The reviews are in for Cabaret starring Eddie Redmayne: critics are saying the show is a “gut-punch” and “the hottest new show on Broadway.”

Cabaret is currently at the August Wilson Theatre where Redmayne and Gayle Rankin star in the revival of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s classic musical.

This new iteration – based on the play by John van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood – is directed by Rebecca Frecknall with the original music by Kander and lyrics by Ebb. 

Tickets for the show’s Broadway run are now available to buy from Ticketmaster.

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The show’s description reads: “Experience this groundbreaking musical like never before. The denizens of the Kit Kat Club have created a decadent sanctuary inside Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre, where artists and performers, misfits and outsiders rule the night. Step inside their world. This is Berlin. Relax. Loosen up. Be yourself.”

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Redmayne, who has previously starred in Fantastic Beasts and The Danish Girl, plays The Emcee in the show. He held the same role in a 2022 West End revival of Cabaret that earned him a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

Rankin, known for her roles in Her Smell and The Climb, plays Toast of Mayfair, Sally Bowles in the 2024 Cabaret iteration after she played Fräulein Kost in the show’s 2014 revival. 

What are the reviews of Cabaret on Broadway?

Cabaret is receiving rave reviews for its innovative transfer to Broadway. The show set in the seedy Kit Kat Klub and follows two doomed romances in 1929 as fascism takes hold of Germany.

Variety‘s review noted that: “The August Wilson Theater, done up like the Kit Kat Club for a bracing, high-style, Broadway revival that opened there Sunday, has indeed been transformed into a house of pleasure.”

Though the review is ultimately positive, the outlet notes: “For the Emcee to exist as a creature apart makes narrative sense, but Redmayne’s remoteness drains some of the force from what is otherwise a grounded, gut-punching take on a disturbingly timely story.”

The New York Times review states: “Eddie Redmayne and Gayle Rankin star in a buzzy Broadway revival that rips the skin off the 1966 musical.

“But too often a misguided attempt to resuscitate the show breaks its ribs,” the reviewer also remarks.

Eddie Redmayne as The Emcee and the cast of Cabaret.
Eddie Redmayne as The Emcee and the cast of Cabaret. (Marc Brenner)

Entertainment Weekly noted Cabaret is “the hottest new show on Broadway” and “jaw-droppingly gorgeous from start to finish.”

“Redmayne, both a literal Emcee for the club’s patrons as well as metaphorical representation of the spirit of the time period, soaks up the spotlight like it was made for him.”

Vulture, however, was much more critical of Cabaret: “While Frecknall has put a lot of energy into giving Cabaret a glow-up—Sleep No More mood board, Eddie Redmayne in a party hat—she hasn’t provided the show underneath the makeover with sufficient focus or muscle.”

The reviewer goes on to note while the wider cast is boosting each other’s performances, Redmayne “is on his look-at-me planet.

“His singing voice never leaves a plugged-up, somewhat Muppet-y place somewhere behind his nose, and his physical palette is all coyly twirling fingers and hunched-up, leering Gollum poses.”

London’s West End Cabaret

Cabaret is also running in London at the moment, this version of the show is also receiving rave reviews. 

The London-based revival originally opened in 2021, with Redmayne and Jessie Buckley in the lead roles. Since then, the likes of It’s A Sin’s Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells and Sex Education star Aimee Lou Wood have entered London’s Kit Kat Klub.

Currently, Cara Delevingne is making her stage debut as Sally Bowles.

With the announcement, Delevingne said: “There are no words to explain the excitement I have to return home to make my stage debut in such an iconic role.

The show is currently running at London’s Playhouse Theatre, with Delevingne set to appear until 1 June and tickets are available from ATG Tickets.

Why is Cabaret considered to be an LGBTQ+ play?

Cabaret has become a stage show deeply connected to the LGBTQ+ community. But when and why did this association start?

Previous versions of the show have seen queer performers, like Alan Cumming and Will Young, at the show’s helm. However, this is just one aspect of the show’s LGBTQ+ resonance. 

More widely, the show’s implicit depiction of queerness was groundbreaking; Cabaret is a bold show, sparkling with glitter and set in a sort of underworld where desire manifests in unconventional forms. 

Cabaret was adapted into a film in 1972, starring the iconic Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles, released only three years after the Stonewall riots. The film adaption went on to win eight Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Minnelli and Best Director for Bob Fosse.

Characters play with gender expectations in presentation and action; there are also implications of bisexuality and polyamory with romances between these central characters trying to find beauty in a moment of political and historical turmoil.

How to buy Cabaret on Broadway tickets

Tickets are now available for Redmayne and Rankin’s Cabaret, you can purchase these from Ticketmaster.

Previews were from 1 April and the show officially opened on Saturday (20 April). 

Cabaret is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission. Tickets start at $107 (around £86).

It’s also worth noting that beginning 17 June, Redmayne will not perform on Monday evenings, and Rankin will not perform at Wednesday matinées. They are performing in the show until through 31 August.