Behind the scenes pictures during the recording of the original Cabaret Broadway soundtrack, which was released in summer 1998
Kander and Ebb were being honored at the 1998 Kennedy Center Honors and I was asked to take part in the presentation in their honor, directed by Rob Marshall. It was me, Joel Grey, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli! Not bad company!
I felt completely out of my depth. I remember in rehearsals Liza trying to teach me how to do that funny shoulder thing she does in New York, New York (which was the finale of the presentation) and not being able to grasp it and Liza saying 'Oh darling, just make it your own!'
I was still performing Cabaret on Broadway and they wouldn't let me have the Sunday matinee off so I had to rush to the airport right after the show and fly to D.C. and of course I missed the plane I was supposed to get, so by the time I got there I was late and there were Secret Service men waiting to get me when the plane door opened. I was driven so fast, in a car with a siren on top of it, and drivers were literally driving off the road to get out of our way as we passed. The thing is you have to get into a building before the president arrives cos once he gets there the doors are all locked. I was opening the entire show so it was kind of important to get me there that fast! We made it in the nick of time, but the entire experience was utterly surreal.
Afterwards at the party I met Henry Kissinger and we had our picture taken. I had it made into a christmas card and it said 'Love and Peace, Love Alan and Henry'!
On a break from Titus, I shot a cameo in Urbania by Jon Shear. I played Brett, a man dying from AIDS, who is visited by Dan Futterman's character in the midst of his personal odyssey.
I am so happy this film did so well. It is a really stylish and moving story. I loved my scene, and think Jon is a great director.
The film premiered at Sundance 2000.
Here is a reel of interviews and appearances about Cabaret, on CNN Showbiz Tonight, NY1, The Late Show with David Letterman, Fox's Judith Regan Show (my Mum appears!) and the Rosie O'Donnell show, which had to have a PG rating because of our performance of Wilkommen! And finally CBS' Morning Show.
Also there is the Broadway Beat special on the show.
Plus here's me discussing my experiences in Cabaret with Charlie Rose.
Finally here I am Launching the Tony's 98
I took a hiatus from Cabaret to fly to Rome and play Saturninus in Julie Taymor's film Titus, of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. Anthony Hopkins starred as Titus, and Jessica Lange as Tamora, Queen of the Goths. Other roles were played by Colm Fiore, Laura Fraser, Matthew Rhys, Jonathan Rhys-Myers and Harry J. Lennix.
The film was an extraordinary merging of times and ideas, and a visually stunning and emotionally charged experience. I had always admired Jessica and Tony, so to get to work with them on such an amazing project was really exciting to me. Although it was a difficult and at times really unhappy shoot for me, I really love this film and am so proud to be a part of it.
Broadway Bares is a yearly institution when the theater community in NYC gets down and dirty and raises a ton of cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It is one of the most fun things ever, both to watch and to be in.
This was my first year and I was not quite sure to expect, but they eased me in gently...
I reprised his role of The Emcee in the Broadway production, with Natasha Richardson playing opposite me as Sally Bowles, and Sam Mendes was joined by Rob Marshall as co-director and choreographer.
The production was a huge success, and I won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World, FANY, New York Press and New York Public Advocate's Awards for my performance.
Well, what can I say about this? I had no idea what success on Broadway was like. The first night I was so tense because people kept telling me that everything was going to change, and it did. I remember being so stressed out because I got sent so many presents and things and my dressing room was so tiny. I didn't think I was going to be able to get ready because there was no room. The stairs backstage too were all lined with everybody's gifts. It was excessive. I was so stressed out because of the weight of responsibility I felt for what was about to happen, and so I went next door and had a really good cry with Ron Rifkin.
And also on the last day of my run, the following June, it was a lovely thing. All the friends I'd made in New York were there to share it with me. I remember trying to start the show and walking out on stage and people wouldn't stop clapping. I thought, I'm going to be standing here with the band vamping for hours. Afterwards there were hundreds of people outside the stage door waiting to say cheerio to me. It was so moving. I'll never forget it.
The production opened at the Kit Kat Klub (formerly the Henry Miller Theatre) in March 1998 and I performed until September, when I left to shoot the movie Titus in Rome. I then returned to the show in December at its new home, Studio 54. I left the show for good in June 1999. Cabaret finally closed on Broadway in January 2004.