cabaret

Our Favorite Cabaret Backdrops 

Cabaret is an American musical set in 1930s Germany during the Nazi’s fascist rise to power. The musical, which focuses on the seedy underbelly of Berlin nightlife, is based on the 1951 play, I Am a Camera by John Van Druten, which in turn was based on the 1939 novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood.

The musical examines the chaotic time of life in Nazi Germany and the oppression of Jews living in Germany and in other European countries during this time. Themes of love, oppression, division and hope are found in the sometimes raucous world of nightclubs in Berlin. 

A Little Background on Cabaret

Cabaret the Musical enjoyed a 1,165-performance run in multiple professional theaters including the Broadhurst, Imperial and Broadway Theaters. The original Broadway production, directed by Harold Prince and choreographed by Ron Field, opened on November 20, 1966. Music was written by John Kander and lyrics were written by Joe Masteroff. The production won eight Tony Awards and inspired numerous subsequent productions around the world as well as the 1972 film of the same name.

Cabaret chronicles the life of Clifford Bradshaw, a struggling American writer looking for inspiration for his next novel who heads to Berlin, Germany. On his first night in Berlin, he wanders into a nightclub where he meets 19-year-old Sally Bowles, a vivacious and talented cabaret performer. Despite the growing peril in the world outside the Kit Kat Klub, Clifford and Sally fall into a dreamlike romance. 

As the turmoil grows in Germany and the environment becomes increasingly more hostile toward those of Jewish descent, Clifford and Sally recognize the danger that surrounds them. They plan an escape to America before it is too late. 

Beyond the storyline of Clifford and Sally, the musical also follows a doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. 

Cabaret truly holds up a mirror to what was going on in the world during this tumultuous time and how love and hope can exist in a cruel world. 

Setting the Stage for Cabaret 

The musical takes place within the walls of the “cabaret,” which features nightly song and dance numbers. Backdrops By Charles Stewart offers over 35 options for backdrops for your next performance of Cabaret

Here are a few of our popular backdrops that can help set the mood of a raunchy and active nightclub in 1930s Germany as well as the interior homes of Europe during this time period. 

This Awards Show Backdrop #2442 depicts a stage with red drapes, a double staircase and spotlights. This backdrop is a perfect setting of the Kit Kat Klub where Sally and Clifford meet. 

Continuing with the nightclub setting, this Painted Austrian Backdrop #2301 shows a scalloped, red curtain with gold tassels.

For scenes that take the characters to Fraulein Schneider’s guest house, this Victorian Interior Backdrop #2458 shows an ornate Victorian living room with a fireplace, chandelier and Victorian furniture. 

For a complete viewing of the options for backdrops for this musical, visit our show suggestion pages for Cabaret