Picks and Pans Review: Cabaret

UPDATED 08/03/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/03/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

The New Broadway Cast Recording (RCA Victor)

Money not only makes the world go around, it makes hit musicals come back too. This revival of the 1966 Broadway hit and 1972 Bob Fosse movie certainly doesn't improve on existing versions of the Fred Ebb-John Kander musical.

Natasha Richardson, as Berlin nightclub singer Sally Bowles, has none of the emotional neediness Liza Minnelli came by so naturally. Alan Cumming makes a suitably decadent Emcee, but without the undertones of menace mustered by Joel Grey. And of the rest of the cast, Ron Rifkin is most noteworthy (as Jewish grocer Herr Schultz), and that's due more to his acting ability than his singing. It's always fun to hear such Ebb-Kander songs as "Cabaret," "Tomorrow Belongs to Me," "Don't Tell Mama" and "Maybe This Time." But that's a reason to dig out a copy of the Fosse movie or its soundtrack, not scrounge up a new version.—R.N.

Bottom Line: No need to come hear this album play

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