Downloaded 29 times

"Cabaret" combines high drama, realistic if unconventional morality, and strong characters with astounding melodies. It was based on the play "I Am a Camera" by John van Druten. John Kander, the composer of Cabaret pushed the music into serious moral and Musical terrain. With the emergence of popular music threatening his career as a theatre composer he took his chances and tried a new style of musical. 'When popular music seemed to stop caring about theatre music, People who wrote for the theatre stopped writing for the market. The musical naturally became more experimental' (Esther, John). Set in the Kit Kat club where the cabaret encourages you to leave your troubles behind and believe that life is beautiful. This musical confronts the era of Nazism in Germany, even including a Nazi song, 'Tomorrow belongs to me'. The song was somewhat of a surprise for me, for I watched the production with no foreknowledge concerning the play, and thus the powerful "Nazi in your face" feeling of the song shocked me.

When it came out on Broadway in 1966, the Holocaust was still very fresh in everyone's mind, so I can imagine that there were much larger reactions from audiences back then.

The story follows the life of Sally Bowles, an English girl, working in the Kit Kat club (although the production I saw seemed to concentrate on the author Cliff and his moral conflicts). The emergence of the Nazi party's power is charted alongside the story of Sally. The musical was no longer singing about how wonderful life is but actually challenging a complex, poignant political era. It was an 'intelligent' musical that was not solely about entertaining but also about thinking and morality. Cabaret also used the theatrical form of 'a show within a show'. While...