A Season of Stars

W‘s arts and culture director shares her spring picks.

Arianne Phillip

This month brings a number of starry names to the New York stage in highly anticipated turns. Michelle Williams stars as the indomitable Sally Bowles in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Cabaret, opening April 24 and costarring Alan Cumming as Emcee. Steven Soderbergh directs Chloë Grace Moretz in the world premiere of Scott Z. Burns’s The Library, which tackles gun violence. The drama, about a teen who survives a deadly shooting at her high school, opens April 15 at the Public Theater. Then there’s the musical that, to my mind, is the ne plus ultra of the genre: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell’s brilliant allegorical play about a plucky East German transgender singer, which had an Off-Broadway run in 1998 and now comes to the Great White Way with Neil Patrick Harris in the lead. Its message about the fluidity of sexual roles and self-reinvention was life-changing for the costume designer Arianne Phillips, who makes her Broadway debut with this production. Phillips, who did the clothes for the 2001 film version (not to mention those for Madonna’s past five tours), says the challenge in bringing Hedwig to Broadway is maintaining the character’s decidedly gritty spirit. “I am dragging Hedwig from downtown to uptown, and she’s going to be Broadway-worthy but Broadway-scrappy,” says Phillips, who is working with Swarovski to add a little dazzle to the drag diva’s duds. “The rough edges are what make her who she is. This is, after all, a DIY story—become who you want to be at your own hands.”