Is life a cabaret? Cabaret and its sources in reality and the imagination
Studies in Musical Theatre
The article will explore the accuracy behind the creative conceit that cabaret life during the waning days of the Weimar Republic can serve as ‘metaphor for Germany’. The article will show how the peripheral presence of the cabaret in Christopher Isherwood’s stories and John Van Druten’s play adaptation I Am a Camera assumed primary importance in the musical Cabaret (directed by Hal Prince), Bob Fosse’s film based on the show and future stage productions, including the London and New York revival directed by Sam Mendes. The article will demonstrate that however effective as an artistic and social statement the guiding metaphor of Prince, largely retained by his successors, the powerful and persuasive artistic visions and social statements of the musical versions are historically misleading.
“Is life a cabaret? Cabaret and its sources in reality and the imagination,” Studies in Musical Theatre 5/2, 163–80, 2011.