Israeli actress Hani Furstenberg will make her Broadway debut later this month in the musical “Cabaret,” a recreation by director Sam Mendes and co-director/choreographer Rob Marshall of their Tony Award-nominated 1998 production.
Furstenberg will replace Gayle Rankin as Fraulein Kost in the iconic John Kander and Fred Ebb musical.
“Cabaret” is about a a seedy 1930s Berlin nightclub where a young English cabaret performer (played by Emma Stone) encounters an American writer (Bill Heck), under the watchful eye of a zealous Master of Ceremonies (Alan Cumming.)
The original film, with Liza Minelli in the lead role, was released in 1966. It includes such songs as “Willkommen,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Maybe This Time” and “Cabaret.”
Born in New York and raised in both the United States and Israel, Furstenberg, 35, returned to New York in 2010 to further her acting career. Her film credits include “The Loneliest Planet,” “Yossi Jagger” and “Campfire.”
In an interview with Haaretz two years ago, Furstenberg told of the trauma of immigrating to Israel when she was 16.
“The move to Israel was a shock, no doubt about it,” she said. “I was a New York girl going to the School of the Arts, and then one day my parents were watching television and saw Clinton, Rabin and Arafat signing the Oslo Accords and they shed tears of excitement. They were sure a lasting peace in the Middle East was just around the corner, and so we moved to Israel.
“But the year we moved to Tel Aviv, I heard the blast of the bombing on the No. 5 bus [in October 1994]. And then a month later Rabin was killed, and I couldn’t understand why my parents forced me to move into this awful, Spielberg-type movie. As an American girl who grew up in New York before the attack on the Twin Towers, I had no idea what terror was.”
Furstenberg made her name in Israel 14 years ago, when she played Lilach, a young woman who has an affair with Yisrael (Dov Navon,) in the TV drama series “The Bourgeoisie.” She went on to build a promising career at Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theater, where she had roles in “Hamlet,” “Ghetto” and “Games in the Backyard,” among other plays.