There are two major actors who are most associated with John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical Cabaret: Liza Minnelli, who won an Oscar for her role as Sally Bowles in Bob Fosse’s 1972 film adaptation of the musical, and Alan Cumming, whose performance as the Emcee in Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival won him a Tony in in 1998. Both actors became associated with their roles. Minnelli performed several of the show’s numbers in her award-winning solo performance, Liza With a Z, and last week it was announced that Roundabout will be remounting their most popular production in the spring of 2014 with Cumming reprising his most famous stage role. But who will play the young English chanteuse Sally Bowles? Here are the five best casting opportunities.
Hathaway was rumored to be associated with the upcoming Roundabout revival, but her publicist quickly shut down the idea. But perhaps she should consider it! She proved her musical abilities in last year’s Les Miserables, and her stage presence is also acclaimed (at least when she’s not sharing hosting duties with James Franco). Considering the public’s general disdain for her seemingly over-achieving personality, a Broadway turn as a beloved cultural icon might be just what’s necessary for her career. (And she needn’t grow out her hair!)
Emma Stone is apparently already in talks with producers for the role of Sally Bowles. While she has the spunk and the pipes, it’s hard to imagine the comic actress in a dark, more serious role — much less commanding the attention of a Broadway audience.
With Gossip Girl over, Leighton Meester has had a tough go in terms of getting solid film work. Sure, she had a strong supporting role in Country Strong (and she sang!), but it was hardly mind-blowing. Meanwhile, she’s been in quite a few duds, ranging from schlocky thriller The Roommate to the embarrassingly bad That’s My Boy. Stepping into Sally Bowles’ tights might bring her a second chance in the limelight, and give her the opportunity to take the lead.
This is a no-brainer, especially since Natalie Portman played the nightclub singer as a teenager at musical theater camp Stagedoor Manor. If she can pull off Sally Bowles at 15, just imagine what she can bring to the stage as an adult.
You may be asking yourself, “Who?” Of all the young women on this list, Mueller is the least recognizable, but she has the most stage credits on her resume, including a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Since then she’s played Cinderella in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods, had a supporting role in Roundabout’s revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and is currently playing opposite Matthew Broderick in the Gershwin musical Nice Work If You Can Get It. Plus, she has the adequate dash of Minnelli in her vocal ability to make her potential Sally Bowles both familiar and fresh.