Jane Leeves Comes to the 'Cabaret'
The role that brought Liza Minnelli an Oscar 30 years ago, that of aspiring chanteuse Sally Bowles in the musical "Cabaret," is now about to be filled in the Broadway stage revival by Jane Leeves, best known as Daphne Moon on "Frasier." Leeves, 41, will be playing the part, which marks her live performance debut, through July 15, reports USA Today. "I'm an insane person for doing this," Leeves told the paper in the midtown Manhattan apartment she is occupying with her husband, Paramount executive Marshall Coben, and their 16-month-old daughter, Isabella Kathryn. "Had I stopped to think it through, it probably would have seemed too scary." Natasha Richardson originated the role in this successful revival (she also won a Tony for it), and Molly Ringwald and Gina Gershon are among those who have filled Sally's shoes. "It's practically a new cast going in now," said Leeves, referring to fellow new cast members Hal Linden and John Stamos, "so I'm finding a bit of safety in that." According to Leeves, the revival's English director, Sam Mendes, "said that the nice thing about having an English girl playing Sally is when I say to you, 'She's a Lancashire girl trying to pass herself off as a Chelsea girl,' you know what I mean." (For the movie, Sally was played as an American, to fit Minnelli.) Leeves notes to the paper that her Frasier character "is also a Lancashire girl passing herself off . . . But basically, Daphne's very different." Leeves was further encouraged, she said, by composer Randy Newman, whose songs she sang for the animated movie "James and the Giant Peach" in 1996. "He told me, 'You should do more of this,' and that meant a lot."
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