Yesterday was the press day for the Cabaret 40th Anniversary Blu-ray™ Book & DVD (Warner Bros., $27.98), which included round-table interviews with cast members Joel Grey, Michael York and Marisa Berenson, as well as with director Bob Fosse's daughter Nicole, dancer Louise Quick and WB VP of Mastering Ned Price.
We had four nice people are our table, so there were no interruptions and very few awkward waves.
Price was happy to discuss his supervision of the restoration of numerous classics, not least of which the restored Cabaret. As odd as it seems for a film that's only 40 years old, the master print had a devastating tear (from a faulty cleaning in the '80s) that required painstaking reparation. (He confirmed that Warner Bros., thanks to its acquisition of various entities over the years, probably literally does not know every film it possesses; therefore, it's altogether possible they own prints of silent and other old movies that are considered lost! Rin Tin Tin features are on the way.)
Fosse and Quick were a giggly pair, though Fosse was quick (did you see what I did there?) to reprimand one questioner for innocently referring to her dad as a "choreographer"—she wanted it made clear that he was a director, and that dance was merely one weapon in his arsenal. She had fascinating memories of growing up the daughter of Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and Quick recalled her director's (not her choreographer's) exacting and yet nurturing nature.
That meant he was respectful of everyone on the ground-breaking production, and yet demanded multiple retakes—leading to dancers hoofing it for eight or 10 hours a day.
Marisa Berenson is still gorgeous and slinky at 65, and yet entirely approachable and free with her memories of working with Fosse. (Keep in mind her first movies were under Fosse, Luchino Visconti and Stanley Kubrick—not bad for a model who, as she said herself, no one was sure could even act at first. (Spoiler alert: She could!)
The main attraction was getting to speak with Grey and York, who did their interviews together. Like the rest of the cast, they're very comfortable with each other, playfully razzing each other and jarring each other's memories.
Grey—who at 80 looks like a 60-year-old version of himself—mischievously told us he has always avoided viewing any other iterations of Cabaret (sorry, Alan Cumming) but gave me the answer I was hoping for when he confirmed that his personal career highlights are this film and his work on the recent (amazing) revival of The Normal Heart.
After, he also whispered into my ear, "What is Boy Culture, anyway?" I told him, "A gay culture blog." He feigned a scandalized look and I joked, "Now you'll never work again." Awkwardly, a fellow reporter blurted out, "No, he has a daughterrrr." Oy.
York, 70, is hard to recognize these days, but was generous with his extensive memories of making Cabaret. He and Grey agreed they had no qualms about the film's then-shocking bisexual content. He also gamely spoke at length about deciding to do the film Logan's Run in the '70s, one of the day's rare tangents.
I, of course, was the first "journalist" in the room to ask Grey for a pic-with, which he warmly obliged. This led to open season on all of the stars, who were gracious in indulging all of us.
Tonight is the red-carpet premiere of the restored Cabaret, including Ms. Liza Minnelli herself doing the press line. Wish me luck and let me know what I should ask her should I be lucky enough to get in a question or two.