Broadway’s “Cabaret” is in its final run, and for the last six-week round, Sienna Miller has joined the cast as Sally Bowles. It’s been a star-studded revival for the Sam Mendes-directed production, with Miller following in the footsteps of Emma Stone and Michelle Williams. From appearing in the Oscar-nominated “Foxcatcher” and “American Sniper” to taking on Broadway, Miller has had a career resurgence this year.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Miller’s ability to wow with her shoes. On that score, the actress is a pretty consistent winner.
While the shoes in “Cabaret” are pure vintage, and the costumes take a page from the amateurish, sexed-up Kit Kat club, Miller certainly has been able to pull off the look created by Broadway costume veteran William Ivey Long.
Click through to see her best shoe moments on and off the stage, and read our earlier interview with venerable designer Ivey Long, below.
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How was working on this revival different from the 1998 production?
I think it feels even more decadent and cutting-edge than it was then. The aesthetic is pared down — it’s less theatrical and more real. Since 1998, our director [and our star, Alan Cumming] have become superstar filmmakers, and now they are bringing that instinct back to this production, which has affected the intensity and the reality.
What challenges did you face when designing the costumes?
The seven principal roles were completely reimagined and reinterpreted, so I reconceived the costumes, [just as] the actors [reconceived their characters]. It’s a very joint journey. We brought in period references again, copying lots of vintage styles, and theatrically aged them.
What were some of your inspirations for the shoes?
The ladies’ shoes were inspired by old Vogue illustrations from the 1920s. We worked with T.O. Dey to create the ladies’ court shoes, choosing 3-inch heels and silver leather. When they get scuffed up onstage, we touch them up with radiator paint.
Do you do lots of additional customization?
We’ve added orthotics for Michelle Williams and some of the other actors. And we’ve used bra straps to elasticize the Mary Janes to make quick changes easier. Actually, many of the Mary Janes have been converted to T-straps for security. I imagine the real cabaret girls of the ’20s had plenty of their own costume tricks up their sleeves.
What about the men’s shoes?
The men’s shoes are all purchased, but every pair is different. They are rubber-soled because the actors run up and down the stage … but then how do the women do it? Men are always wimps.
-Mickey Woods contributed to the reporting of this story