Theatre; CURTAIN CALLS

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The Independent Culture
You simply can't get into Broadway's latest revival of Cabaret. You can name-drop, beg, plead and whimper all you like but it'll do you no good. At the peak of its award-laden run, the Sam Mendes/Rob Marshall production has been forced to close. A neighboring building has collapsed, the block it's playing on has been declared unsafe and the area evacuated.

Theatregoers are gnashing their teeth because they'll miss seeing Natasha Richardson (above) as Sally Bowles. Her contract was due to expire last weekend anyway, but she was to have been starrily replaced by Jennifer Jason Leigh. Who knows when or if it will re-open. Not that Kander and Ebb, the show's writers, are too worried about the collapse in their royalties. They're doing fine with worldwide productions of their other hit Chicago.

Ute Lemper has left London's Chicago for the Broadway cast, but from Monday, London's Chicago bids welcome to Joel Grey. 'Twas he who nabbed an Oscar playing the Kit Kat Klub's lascivious and positively oleaginous master of ceremonies in Bob Fosse's film of Cabaret.

Chicago tickets are already rarer than hen's teeth. Grey's arrival suggests that you'll have to part with a great deal of "Money, Money, Money" if you want to catch him over the next three months.

'Chicago' is at the Adelphi Theatre, Maiden Lane, London WC2 (credit card bookings 0171-344 0055)

David Benedict

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