Why Eddie Redmayne and Gayle Rankin Love the ‘Organized Chaos’ Backstage at ‘Cabaret’

If you think there’s a lot going on onstage in “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club,” you should see what’s going on backstage

Published Time: 28.05.2024 - 22:29:48 Modified Time: 28.05.2024 - 22:29:48

If you think there’s a lot going on onstage in “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club,” you should see what’s going on backstage.

Listen to this week’s“Stagecraft”podcast below:

Speaking on the latest episode of Variety’s theater podcast, “Stagecraft,” the Tony-nominated actors Eddie Redmayne and Gayle Rankin revealed the boisterous behind-the-scenes life of “Cabaret,” where the show’s full cast, plus the cast of its prologue performances, plus its food and drink servers, all overlap. “It’s organized chaos,” Rankin declared — but a chaos modulated by the precision of synchronized watches.

“There’s so much hedonism and so much debauchery going on a minute away onstage, but we’re all backstage like, ‘I’m going to put my wig on now and synchronize my watch,'” Rankin says.

Redmayne adds, “What’s lovely is that some of the dressing rooms are now used as kitchens, and as you’re running onstage, you’re passing waiters who are coming back.”

“I almost stood on a fork last night!” Rankin interjected. “There was a fork on the floor.”

“The ‘Cabaret’ hazards,” Redmayne laughed. “But there’s something wonderful about that because you feel like you’re part of the whole building, from the dressers to the makeup artists to the waiters to the prologue cast.”

With luxe cocktails flowing at every performance, “Cabaret” has spurred talk of rowdy audience members disrupting the show. It happens, admitted the two actors, but not all that often. -

“It doesn’t feel like a chronic problem,” Rankin said.

“In the opening number ‘Vilkommen,’ I’m trying to really pull this audience to a place of ecstasy and joy, so I love someone that I can interact with,” Redmayne says. “And what has been known to happen is I get perhaps too interactive with people who I then realize, well, part of the reason they’re so interactive is because they’ve had a glass of champagne too many.”

He continued, “I’ve also been offered a few drinks — and I’m never one to turn down a sip of champagne during quite a workout of a number!”

Also on the new “Stagecraft,” the actors discuss the “umbilical cord” linking their characters, Sally Bowles and the Emcee; Redmayne reveals how he’s managed to play the Emcee four different times now; and Rankin talks about why Tony night, June 16, is an especially big night for her — because it’s also her premiere episode as a season-two star of HBO hit “The House of the Dragon.”

To hear the entire conversation, listen at the link above or download and subscribe to “Stagecraft” on podcast platforms includingApple Podcasts,Spotifyand theBroadway Podcast Network.New episodes of “Stagecraft” are released every other week.

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