Eddie Redmayne's "Cabaret" Performance At The Tonys Is Creeping People Out

Eddie Redmayne's performance as the Emcee in "Cabaret" has split the Tony audience, with some comparing his look to a "sleep paralysis demon."

By Nicole Dominique1 min read
Getty/Theo Wargo

Last night, English actor Eddie Redmayne dominated the stage at the Tony Awards with his eerie portrayal of the central character Emcee – otherwise known as the "master of ceremonies" – from the musical Cabaret, a story set in 1930s Berlin as the Nazis rose to power.

While theater fans often describe Emcee as "intriguing, charismatic," and magnetic, Redmayne's take was unwelcoming. He moved like an animatronic and smiled in a way that made you uncomfortable.

Of course, some people at the show seemed enraptured by Redmayne's performance as he launched into the song "Wilkommen," but others were downright scared. Indeed, even a Vulture critic has described Redmayne as "repulsive and confusing, igniting a fight-or-flight response in thousands of innocent viewers who did nothing to deserve this."

Buzzfeed's Editorial Director, Spencer Althouse, hilariously tweeted, "Eddie Redmayne in Cabaret is my new sleep paralysis demon. jesus christ."

"me and my friends would’ve killed eddie redmayne’s emcee with hammers i can tell you that much," wrote @BarryPierce on X.

However, user @leonardovans_ believes that Redmayne delivered. "I truly believe that people actually don’t understand what Cabaret is about…" he shared on social media. "what Eddie Redmayne did with his Emcee is a piece of art, a remarkable and unforgettable work, scary, twisted, dark and yet clean and beautiful."

But considering how Cabaret explores sensitive themes like the Holocaust and violence in a surreal manner, fans argue that Redmayne's Emcee makes sense. "Isn't the premise of Cabaret that it's Nazi Germany and everyone at the club is high out of their mind? The show is meant to upset you! Let Eddie Redmayne be a weird little freak," added @nobrysta.

Redmayne actually offers a sound explanation for the off-putting Five Nights at Freddy's motions. The production's revival portrays the Emcee as a "Nazi-enabling puppet," as described by The Washington Post, who has no issues with condoning horrors to survive. "Individuality was stripped away as fascism rose and people had to become more homogenized,” Redmayne said about the Reich's decline. “So the idea, therefore, of our Emcee as being puppeteer, conductor, perpetrator — rather than the version of the Emcee as a victim — was important.”

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