LONDON – A revival of “Cabaret” that has been a hot topic here due to skyrocketing ticket prices and stellar cast dominated the nominations for this year’s Olivier Awards – the British equivalent of the Tonys – announced Tuesday.
The musical received 11 nominations, including a nod for Best Musical Revival, as well as Best Actor and Actress in a Musical for its stars Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley.
Its fame was perhaps unsurprising, given the acclaim ‘Cabaret’ has received since opening last December in a production that transforms the West End’s Playhouse Theater into a seedy nightclub straight out of 1920s Berlin.
Audiences enter the show through the backstage corridors of the theater and can even get a meal before the show, which partly explains why tickets cost up to 325 British pounds (or about $420).
Matt Wolf, who reviewed the show for DailyExpertNews, called it “nervous-wrenching” for its portrayal of a world on the brink of Nazism. Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph called it “the theatrical triumph of 2021’s kill-for-a-ticket,” suggesting readers “dig in your pockets as if your life depended on it” to pay for a ticket.
Even with such acclaim, “Cabaret” faces stiff competition in the musical categories, especially with a revival of Kathleen Marshall’s 2011 Broadway production of “Anything Goes” at the Barbican, which garnered nine nominations, including Best Musical Revival. and a Best Actress nomination for Sutton Foster as Reno Sweeney. Foster won a Tony in 2011 for the same role.
In the non-musical categories, the nominations are led by “Life of Pi,” Lolita Chakrabarti’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestseller that tells the story of a boy trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger. That play, at Wyndham’s Theater, has earned nine nods, including a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the seven puppeteers who bring the tiger to life.
“Life of Pi” was also nominated for Best New Play, where it competes against “2:22: A Ghost Story”, a haunted house thriller shown at the Noël Coward Theater, “Cruise”, a story set in London’s 1980s Soho (that was at the Duchess Theatre), and ‘Best of Enemies’, James Graham’s play about the resentful 1968 TV debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal at the Young Vic.
One of the most contested categories is probably best actress in a play, in which Cush Jumbo is nominated for her performance while Hamlet in the Young Vic Jumbo takes on Emma Corrin, nominated for her role in “ANNA X” at the Harold Pinter Theater , singer Lily Allen for “2:22: A Ghost Story” and Sheila Atim for a revival of “Constellations”, at the Vaudeville Theater.
The winners will be announced on April 10 at a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.