Cabaret

Cabaret is a musical with a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander. After 21 previews, the original Broadway production, directed by Harold Prince and choreographed by Ron Field, opened on November 20, 1966 at the Broadhurst Theatre, eventually transferring first to the Imperial and then the Broadway before finally completing its 1,165-performance run. The opening night cast included Jill Haworth as Sally, Bert Convy as Cliff, Lotte Lenya as Fräulein Schneider, Jack Gilford as Herr Schultz, and Joel Grey as the Emcee, with Edward Winter and Peg Murray in supporting roles. Joel Grey reprised his role in the 1972 film adaptation.

It is based on John Van Druten’s 1951 play I Am a Camera, which in turn was adapted from the novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with young American writer Cliff Bradshaw.

A sub-plot involves the doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub which serves as a constant metaphor for the current state of society in Weimar Germany throughout the show.

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