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Cabaret (musical)

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Title: Cabaret (musical)  
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Cabaret (musical)

Original Broadway Cast recording
Music John Kander
Lyrics Fred Ebb
Book Joe Masteroff
Basis John Van Druten's play
I Am a Camera
Productions 1966 Boston (tryout)
1966 Broadway
1967 U.S. Tour
1968 West End
1969 U.S. Tour
1972 Film
1980 Mexico
1986 West End
1987 U.S. Tour
1987 Broadway
1988 Argentina
1989 U.S. Tour
1992 Spain
1993 West End
1998 Broadway
1999 North America Tour
2003 Spain
2004 Mexico
2005 Netherlands
2006 West End
2006 France
2007 Argentina
2008 U.K. Tour
2011 France
2012 U.K. Tour
2012 West End
2013 U.K. Tour
2014 Broadway
2014 Latvia
2015 Spain
2016 North American Tour
Awards Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Score
Tony Award for Best Revival
Drama Desk for Outstanding Revival

Cabaret is a musical based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. The 1966 Broadway production became a hit, inspiring numerous subsequent productions in London and New York, as well as the 1972 film by the same name.

It is based on John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera, which was adapted from the short novel Goodbye to Berlin (1939) by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it is based in nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the 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. The club serves as a metaphor for ominous political developments in late Weimar Germany.


  • Background 1
  • Productions 2
    • Original Broadway production 2.1
    • Original London production 2.2
    • 1986 London revival 2.3
    • 1987 Broadway revival 2.4
    • 1993 London revival 2.5
    • 1998 Broadway revival 2.6
    • 2006 London revival 2.7
    • 2012 London revival 2.8
    • 2014 Broadway revival 2.9
    • Other productions 2.10
  • Synopsis 3
    • Act I 3.1
    • Act II 3.2
  • Character list 4
  • Songs 5
    • Notes on the music 5.1
    • Recordings 5.2
    • Instrumentation 5.3
  • Awards and nominations 6
    • Original Broadway production 6.1
    • 1987 Broadway revival 6.2
    • 1993 London revival 6.3
    • 1998 Broadway revival 6.4
    • 2006 London revival 6.5
    • 2012 London revival 6.6
    • 2014 Broadway revival 6.7
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Sandy Wilson, who had achieved success with The Boy Friend in the 1950s, had completed the book and most of the score for Goodbye to Berlin, his adaptation of I Am a Camera, when he discovered that producer David Black's option on both the 1951 Van Druten play and its source material by Christopher Isherwood had lapsed and been acquired by Harold Prince. Prince commissioned Joe Masteroff to work on the book. When Prince and Masteroff agreed Wilson's score failed to capture the essence of late-1920s Berlin, John Kander and Fred Ebb were invited to join the project.

The new version was initially a dramatic play preceded by a prologue of songs describing the Berlin atmosphere from various points of view. As the composers began to distribute the songs between scenes, they realized the story could be told in the structure of a more traditional book musical, and they replaced some of the songs with tunes more relevant to the plot. Isherwood's original characters were changed as well. The male lead became an American writer who teaches English; the anti-Semitic landlady was transformed into a tolerant woman with a Jewish beau, Herr Schultz, who owned a fruit store; two language students were eliminated; and two loathsome but integral characters—prostitute Fräulein Kost and Nazi Ernst Ludwig—were added to the mix. The musical ultimately expressed two stories in one: the first a revue centered on the decadence of the seedy Kit Kat Klub; the second a story set in the society of the club.[1]

After seeing one of the last rehearsals before the company headed to Boston for the pre-Broadway run, Jerome Robbins suggested the musical sequences outside the cabaret be eliminated. Prince ignored his advice. In Boston, Jill Haworth struggled with her characterization of cabaret performer Sally Bowles. Critics thought the blonde dressed in a white dress suggested senior prom more than tawdry nightclub.

Prince's staging was unusual for the time. As the audience filled the theater, the curtain was already up, revealing a stage containing nothing but a large mirror reflecting the auditorium. There was no overture; instead, a drum roll and cymbal crash led into the opening number. The juxtaposition of dialogue scenes with songs used as exposition and separate cabaret numbers providing social commentary was a novel concept that initially startled the audience, but as they gradually came to understand the difference between the two, they were able to accept the reasoning behind them.[2]


Original Broadway production

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 to the Imperial and then the Broadway before finally completing its 1,165-performance run. The cast included Jill Haworth as Sally, Bert Convy as Cliff, Lotte Lenya as Fräulein Schneider, Jack Gilford as Herr Schultz, Joel Grey as the Emcee, Edward Winter as Ernst and Peg Murray as Fräulein Kost. Replacements later in the run included Anita Gillette and Melissa Hart as Sally, Ken Kercheval and Larry Kert as Cliff, and Martin Ross as the Emcee.

The 1968 roadshow (Broadway Company National Tour) featured Melissa Hart (Sally), Signe Hasso (Fräulein Schneider) and Leo Fuchs (Herr Schultz). The tour included (as the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera), Ahmanson Theatre, and The Curran Theatre in San Francisco, also in Atlanta, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas.

Original London production

The first West End production opened on February 28, 1968 at the Palace Theatre with Judi Dench as Sally, Kevin Colson as Cliff, Barry Dennen as the Emcee, Lila Kedrova as Fräulein Schneider and Peter Sallis as Herr Schultz. It ran for 336 performances.[3]

1986 London revival

London 1986 Revival Production

In 1986, the show was revived in London at the Strand Theatre starring Kelly Hunter as Sally, Peter Land as Cliff and Wayne Sleep as the Emcee, directed and choreographed by Gillian Lynne.

1987 Broadway revival

The first Broadway revival opened on October 22, 1987, with direction and choreography by Prince and Field. The revival opened at the Imperial Theatre, eventually transferring to the Minskoff to complete its 261-performance run. Joel Grey received star billing as the Emcee, with Alyson Reed as Sally, Gregg Edelman as Cliff, Regina Resnik as Fräulein Schneider, Werner Klemperer as Herr Schultz, and David Staller as Ernst Ludwig. The song "Don't Go" was added for Cliff's character.

1993 London revival

In 1993, Sam Mendes directed a new production of the show for the Donmar Warehouse in London's West End. It starred Jane Horrocks as Sally, Adam Godley as Cliff, Alan Cumming as the Emcee and Sara Kestelman as Fräulein Schneider. Cumming received an Olivier Award nomination for his performance and Kestelman won the Olivier for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical. Mendes' conception was very different from either the original production or the conventional first revival.

The most significant change was the character of the Emcee. The role, as played by Joel Grey in both prior incarnations, was an asexual, edgy character dressed in a tuxedo with rouged cheeks. Alan Cumming's portrayal was highly sexualized, as he wore suspenders (i.e. braces) around his crotch and red paint on his nipples.[4]

Staging details differed as well; instead of "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" being performed by a male choir, the Emcee plays a recording of a boy soprano singing it. In the final scene, the Emcee removes his outer clothes to reveal a striped suit of the type worn by the internees in concentration camps; on it are pinned a yellow badge (identifying Jews) and a pink triangle (denoting homosexuals). Other changes included added references to Cliff's bisexuality, including a brief scene where he kisses one of the Cabaret boys.[5] "I Don't Care Much", which was cut from the original production, was reinstated, and "Mein Herr" was added from the film.

1998 Broadway revival

The second Broadway revival was based on the 1993 Mendes-Donmar Warehouse production. For the Broadway transfer, Rob Marshall was brought on board as co-director and choreographer. The production opened after 37 previews on March 19, 1998 at the Kit Kat Klub, housed in what previously had been known as Henry Miller's Theatre. Later that year it transferred to Studio 54, where it remained for the rest of its 2,377-performance run, becoming the third longest-running revival in Broadway musical history, third only to Oh! Calcutta! and Chicago. For the Broadway production, Cumming reprised his role as the Emcee, opposite newcomers Natasha Richardson as Sally, John Benjamin Hickey as Cliff, Ron Rifkin as Herr Schultz, Denis O'Hare as Ernst Ludwig, Michele Pawk as Fräulein Kost, and Mary Louise Wilson as Fräulein Schneider, along with Joyce Chittick, Leenya Rideout, Erin Hill, Christina Pawl, Kristen Olness, Michael O'Donnell, Bill Szobody and Fred Rose. The Broadway production was nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning four for Cumming, Richardson and Rifkin, as well as the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. This production featured a number of notable replacements later in the run: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Susan Egan, Joely Fisher, Gina Gershon, Deborah Gibson, Teri Hatcher, Melina Kanakaredes, Jane Leeves, Molly Ringwald, Brooke Shields, and Lea Thompson as Sally; Michael C. Hall, Raúl Esparza, Neil Patrick Harris, Adam Pascal, Jon Secada, Norbert Leo Butz and John Stamos as the Emcee; Boyd Gaines and Michael Hayden as Cliff; Tom Bosley, Dick Latessa, Hal Linden, Laurence Luckinbill, and Tony Roberts as Herr Schultz; and Blair Brown, Polly Bergen, Mariette Hartley and Carole Shelley as Fräulein Schneider.

There were a number of changes made between the 1993 and 1998 revivals, despite the similarities in creative team. The cabaret number "Two Ladies" was staged with the Emcee, a cabaret girl, and a cabaret boy in drag and included a shadow play simulating various sexual positions.[5] The score was entirely re-orchestrated, using synthesizer effects and expanding the stage band, with all the instruments now being played by the cabaret girls and boys. The brutally satiric "Sitting Pretty", with its mocking references to deprivation, despair and hunger, was eliminated entirely, as it had been in the film version, and where in the '93 revival it had been combined with "Money" (as it had been in '87 London production), "Money" was now performed on its own. "Maybe This Time", from the film adaptation, was added to the score.[5]

2006 London revival

In September 2006, a new production of the show opened at the Lyric Theatre, directed by Rufus Norris,[6] and starring Anna Maxwell Martin as Sally, James Dreyfus as the Emcee, Harriet Thorpe as Fräulein Kost and Sheila Hancock as Fräulein Schneider. Hancock won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical. Replacements later in the run included Kim Medcalf and Amy Nuttall as Sally, Honor Blackman and Angela Richards as Fräulein Schneider, and Julian Clary and Alistair McGowan as the Emcee. This production closed in June 2008 and toured nationally for two years with a cast that included Wayne Sleep as the Emcee and Samantha Barks and Siobhan Dillon as Sally.

2012 London revival

A revival opened in the West End at the Savoy Theatre on 3 October 2012, following a four-week tour of the UK, including Bromley, Southampton, Nottingham, Norwich and Salford.[7] Will Young plays the Emcee and Michelle Ryan portrays Sally Bowles.[8] It was announced on 10 August 2012 that Siân Phillips, Harriet Thorpe and Matt Rawle would also be joining the cast. The production was made by the creative team behind the 2006 London revival, but they had created a different set, lighting, costumes, choreography and direction. The 2012 revival focuses more on comic aspects, but still expresses the harshness of 1931 Germany.[9] In August 2013 the show went on tour, again with Young as The Emcee, Siobhan Dillon reprising her role of Sally and Lyn Paul joining the cast as Fraulein Schnieder.[10]

2014 Broadway revival

In September 2013 Roundabout Theatre Company announced plans to return the company's acclaimed 1998 production to Studio 54 in New York.[11] For this, the show's third Broadway revival, Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall reprised their respective roles as director and co-director/choreographer to recreate their work from the earlier production. Alan Cumming starred again as the Emcee while Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams made her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles. On October 7, 2013, Tony Award nominees Danny Burstein and Linda Emond joined the cast as Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider.[12] The production began a 24-week limited engagement with previews from March 21, 2014 with opening night on April 24, 2014. This engagement was later extended to a 36 week run concluding on January 4, 2015.[13]

On August 21, 2014 it was officially confirmed that Emma Stone would replace Michelle Williams as Sally until February 1, 2015 after Williams left the production on November 9, and Alan Cumming would continue in the role of "The Emcee" until the show's closing date in March 2015.[14] The Roundabout Theatre Company announced on January 5, 2015 that Stone would extend her run as Sally until February 15.[15] On February 17, Sienna Miller replaced Stone as Sally through to the show's closing on March 29, 2015.[16]

Other productions

A BBC Radio 2 radio broadcast in 1996 at the Golders Green Hippodrome starred Claire Burt (Sally Bowles), Steven Berkoff (Emcee), Alex Hanson (Clifford Bradshaw), Keith Michell (Herr Schultz), and Rosemary Leach (Fraulein Schneider).

Since 2003, there have been successful international stagings of the show (many of which have been influenced by Mendes' concept), including productions in Texas (US), Colombia, Canada, Malaysia, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Melbourne, Peru, France, Venezuela, Serbia, Spain, Argentina, Israel and Greece. In 2008, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival performed an extremely powerful production at the Avon Theatre designed by Douglas Paraschuk and directed by Amanda Dehnert,[17] featuring Bruce Dow as the Emcee, Trish Lindström as Sally, Sean Arbuckle as Cliff, Nora McClellan as Fraulein Schneider and Frank Moore as Herr Schultz.

The Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada included Cabaret in its 2014 season.[18] The production, which ran from April 10 – October 26, 2014 at the Festival Theatre, was directed by Peter Hinton (influenced by the Mendes production) with choreography by Denise Clarke and featured Juan Chioran as the Emcee, Deborah Hay as Sally, Gray Powell as Cliff, Benedict Campbell as Herr Schultz, Corrine Koslo as Fraulein Schneider and Jay Turvey as Ernst.


Act I

At the dawn of the 1930s in Berlin, the Nazi party is growing stronger. The Kit Kat Klub is a seedy cabaret, a place of decadent celebration. The Klub's Master of Ceremonies, or Emcee, together with the cabaret girls and waiters, warm up the audience ("Willkommen"). In a train station, Cliff Bradshaw arrives, a young American writer coming to Berlin to work on his new novel. He meets Ernst Ludwig, a German who offers Cliff work and recommends a boardinghouse. At the boardinghouse, Fräulein Schneider offers Cliff a room for one hundred marks; he can only pay fifty. After a brief debate, she relents and lets Cliff live there for fifty marks. Fräulein Schneider observes that she has learned to take whatever life offers ("So What?").

As Cliff visits the Kit Kat Klub, the Emcee introduces a British singer, Sally, who performs a racy, flirtatious number ("Don't Tell Mama"). Afterward, she asks Cliff to recite poetry for her; he recites "Casey at the Bat". Cliff offers to take Sally home, but she says that her boyfriend Max, the club's owner, is too jealous. Sally performs her final number at the Kit Kat Club aided by the female ensemble ("Mein Herr"). The cabaret ensemble performs a song and dance, calling each other on inter-table phones and inviting each other for dances and drinks ("The Telephone Song").

The next day, Cliff has just finished giving Ernst an English lesson when Sally arrives. Max has fired her and thrown her out, and now she has no place to live, and so she asks him if she can live in his room. At first he resists, but she convinces him (and Fräulein Schneider) to take her in ("Perfectly Marvelous"). The Emcee and two female companions sing a song ("Two Ladies") that comments on Cliff and Sally's unusual living conditions. Herr Schultz, an elderly Jewish fruit-shop owner who lives in her boardinghouse, has given Fräulein Schneider a pineapple as a gift ("It Couldn't Please Me More"). In the Kit Kat Klub, a young waiter starts to sing a song—a patriotic anthem to the Fatherland that slowly descends into a darker, Nazi-inspired marching song—becoming the strident "Tomorrow Belongs to Me". He initially sings a cappella, before the customers and the band join in. (In the 1998 and 2014 revivals, this is replaced by the Emcee playing a recording of a boy soprano)

Months later, Cliff and Sally are still living together and have fallen in love. Cliff knows that he is in a "dream," but he enjoys living with Sally too much to come to his senses ("Why Should I Wake Up?"). Sally reveals that she is pregnant, but she does not know the father and reluctantly decides to get an abortion. Cliff reminds her that it could be his child, and seems to convince her to have the baby. Ernst enters and offers Cliff a job—picking up a suitcase in Paris and delivering it to his "client" in Berlin—easy money. The Emcee comments on this "Sitting Pretty", or (in later versions) "Money".

Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider has caught one of her boarders, Fräulein Kost, bringing sailors into her room. Fräulein Schneider forbids her from doing it again, but Fräulein Kost threatens to leave. She also mentions that she has seen Fräulein Schneider with Herr Schultz in her room. Herr Schultz saves Fräulein Schneider's reputation by telling Fräulein Kost that he and Fräulein Schneider are to be married in three weeks. After Fräulein Kost leaves, Fräulein Schneider thanks Herr Schultz for lying to Fräulein Kost. Herr Schultz says that he was serious and proposes to Fräulein Schneider ("Married").

At Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz's engagement party, Cliff arrives and delivers the suitcase to Ernst. A "tipsy" Herr Schultz sings "Meeskite" (Meeskite, he explains, is Yiddish for ugly or funny-looking), a song with a moral ("Anyone responsible for loveliness, large or small/Is not a meeskite at all"). Afterward, looking for revenge on Fräulein Schneider, Fräulein Kost tells Ernst, who now sports a Nazi armband, that Schultz is a Jew. Ernst warns Fräulein Schneider that marrying a Jew may not be wise. Fräulein Kost and company reprise "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", with more overtly Nazi overtones, as Cliff, Sally, Fräulein Schneider, Herr Schultz and the Emcee look on.

Act II

The cabaret girls, along with the Emcee in drag, perform a kick line routine which eventually becomes a goose-step. Fräulein Schneider expresses her concerns about her union to Herr Schultz, who assures her that everything will be all right ("Married" (Reprise)). They are interrupted by the crash of a brick being thrown through the window of Herr Schultz's fruit shop. Schultz tries to reassure her that it is just children making trouble, but Fräulein Schneider is afraid.

Back at the Kit Kat Klub, the Emcee performs a song-and-dance routine with a girl in a gorilla suit, singing that their love has been met with universal disapproval ("If You Could See Her"). Encouraging the audience to be more open-minded, he defends his ape-woman, concluding with, "if you could see her through my eyes... she wouldn't look Jewish at all." (The line was intended to shock the audience and make them consider how easily and unthinkingly they accepted prejudice, but protests and boycott threats from Jewish leaders in Boston led Ebb to write an alternate final line, "She isn't a Meeskite at all."[19]) Fräulein Schneider goes to Cliff and Sally's room and returns their engagement present, explaining that her marriage has been called off. When Cliff protests, saying that she can't just give up this way, she asks him what other choice she has ("What Would You Do?").

Cliff tells Sally that he is taking her back to America so that they can raise their baby together. Sally protests, declaring how wonderful their life in Berlin is, and Cliff sharply tells her to "wake up" and take notice of the growing unrest around them. Sally retorts that politics have nothing to do with them or their affairs. Following their argument, Sally returns to the club ("I Don't Care Much") (in the 1998 Broadway and 2012 London revivals, Sally takes cocaine before leaving Cliff's room). At the Kit Kat Klub after another heated argument with Sally, Cliff is accosted by Ernst, who has another delivery job for him. Cliff tries to brush him off, but when Ernst asks if Cliff's attitude towards him is because of "that Jew at the party", Cliff attacks him—only to be badly beaten up by Ernst's Nazi bodyguards and dragged out of the club. On stage, the Emcee introduces Sally, who enters to perform again, singing that "life is a cabaret, old chum," cementing her decision to live in carefree ignorance and freedom ("Cabaret").

The next morning, the bruised Cliff is packing, when Herr Schultz visits. He tells Cliff that he is moving to another boardinghouse, but is confident that the bad times will soon pass. He understands the German people, he says, because he is a German too. When Sally returns, she reveals that she has had an abortion; Cliff slaps her. He still hopes that she will join him, but Sally says that she has "always hated Paris" and hopes that when Cliff finally writes his novel, he will dedicate it to her. Cliff leaves, heartbroken.

On the train to Paris, Cliff begins to write his novel, reflecting on his experiences: "There was a cabaret, and there was a master of ceremonies ... and there was a city called Berlin, in a country called Germany ... and it was the end of the world." ("Willkommen" Reprise). In the Kit Kat Klub, the Emcee welcomes us (in the 1998 revival, he strips off his overcoat to reveal a concentration camp prisoner's uniform marked with a yellow Star of David and a pink triangle, and the backdrop raises to reveal white space). The cabaret ensemble reprises "Willkommen", but it is now harsh and violent as the Emcee sings, "Auf Wiedersehen...à bientôt..." followed by a crescendo drum roll and a cymbal crash, (in the 1998 revival, the Emcee lurches forward and the lights go out, interpreted by some as him committing suicide by throwing himself onto an electric fence. However, neither the script nor any of those involved in the revival have confirmed this interpretation). In the 2012 London revival, the letters spelling the word "Kabaret" are lined up on the stage; the Kit Kat Klub boys/girls, Sally and the Emcee walk through them to the back of the bare stage, stripping naked. Ernst then slowly crosses the stage, knocking over each letter, which falls with a crash. When he exits after knocking over the last letter, the naked cast members huddle together at the back of the stage, white flakes begin to fall down upon them and the sound of hissing gas is heard.

Character list

  • The Emcee – The Emcee of the Kit Kat Klub, a leering, ghoulish, flamboyant figure
  • Sally Bowles – The headlining British singer at the Kit Kat Klub
  • Clifford "Cliff" Bradshaw – An American writer traveling through Berlin
  • Fräulein Schneider – An older woman who runs the boarding house that Cliff and Sally live in
  • Herr Schultz – An elderly Jewish fruit shop owner who falls in love with Fraulein Schneider
  • Ernst Ludwig – A German man who befriends Cliff when he arrives in Berlin, later revealed to be a Nazi
  • Fräulein Kost – A prostitute who rents in Fraulein Schneider's boarding house
  • Rosie, LuLu, Frenchie, Texas, Fritzie, and Helga – Girls who perform alongside Sally at the Kit Kat Klub
  • Bobby, Victor, Hans, and Herman – The Cabaret boys of the Kit Kat Klub (Bobby and Victor are twins)
  • Nazi Youth – A young boy involved in the Nazi Party.
  • Sailors #1 and #2 – Fraulein Kost's sailors
  • Nazi Guard – Ernst's bodyguard at the Kit Kat Klub
  • Max – Owner of the Kit Kat Klub


Notes on the music

Of the prologue of songs originally planned, only "Willkommen" remained. One of the dropped numbers, "I Don't Care Much", was eventually restored to the 1987 production. "Roommates" was replaced by "Perfectly Marvelous", but largely serves the same purpose, for Sally to convince Cliff to let her move in with him. "Good Time Charlie" was to be sung by Sally to Cliff while they are on their way to Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz's engagement party, with Sally mocking the overly dour and pessimistic Cliff with the lines "You're such a Good Time Charlie/What'll we do with you?/You're such a Good Time Charlie/frolicking all the time..."). "It'll All Blow Over" was planned for the end of the first act: Fräulein Schneider is concerned that marrying a Jew might not be wise, and Cliff is concerned about the city's growing Nazism. In the song, Sally tells them both that they have nothing to worry about and that all will turn out well in the end. She eventually convinces Cliff and Fräulein Schneider to sing the song with her. (Both this song and "Roommates" are occasionally underscored by the ostinato rhythm of the piece.) These three deleted songs were recorded by Kander and Ebb, and the sheet music for the songs was included in The Complete Cabaret Collection, a book of vocal selections from the musical.

The song "Mein Herr", which was written for the 1972 film, and "Maybe This Time" (an earlier song of Kander and Ebb's, written for the unproduced musical Golden Gate) were included in the 1998 revival. In this revival, "Mein Herr" would replace "The Telephone Song", which already had a small appearance before "Don't Tell Mama". "Maybe This Time" replaced "Why Should I Wake Up?", and was sung by Sally in her own personal reflection (both were included in the 2012 London revival). Previously, in the 1987 revival, a new song was written for Cliff entitled "Don't Go".

In addition, there were two "Money" songs. Originally, the song "Sitting Pretty" was sung by the Emcee and backed up by the Cabaret girls in international costumes and their units of currency (representing Russian rubles, Japanese yen, French francs, American dollars, and German Deutschmarks). For the movie, this number was then replaced by "Money, Money", and sung by the Emcee and Sally Bowles. However, "Sitting Pretty" was still heard briefly in the film. For the 1987 revival, there was a special version comprising a medley of both money songs, and motifs from the later song were incorporated into the "international" dance that had "Sitting Pretty". For the 1998 revival, only the later song written for the movie was used. This version added the Cabaret Girls, and had a darker and raunchier edge to it.


1999 studio cast recording

The first recording of Cabaret was the original cast album, with some of the songs (especially "Sitting Pretty"/"The Money Song") heavily edited to save disk space, and others (especially "Telephone Song") taken at a faster tempo. When this album was released on compact disc, Kander and Ebb's voice-and-piano recording of songs cut from the musical was added as bonus material.

The 1972 movie soundtrack with Liza Minnelli is perhaps the best-known of the recordings, although the movie is much re-written and eliminates all but six of the original songs from the stage production.

The original London cast recording (1968) was released in the UK and reissued on the CBS Embassy label in 1973. Both the 1986 London and 1998 Broadway revival casts were recorded.

A 1999 two-CD studio recording contains more or less the entire score, including songs written for the movie or for later productions, and many incidentals and instrumentals not usually recorded. This recording features Jonathan Pryce as the Emcee, Maria Friedman as Sally, Gregg Edelman as Cliff, Judi Dench as Fräulein Schneider, and Fred Ebb as Herr Schultz.

The most recent recording of Cabaret is the cast recording of the 2006/2007 London revival at the Lyric Theatre. The recording includes James Dreyfus as emcee and Anna Maxwell Martin as Sally Bowles. The recording peaked number 107 on the French Albums Chart[20] and number 49 and the Dutch Albums Chart.[21]

In addition to these recordings, cast albums for the French, Spanish, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Austrian, Dutch, and two German productions have been released.[22]


Cabaret uses this instrumentation in some productions:

"Stage Band"

  • Sax
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Piano
  • Drum Set

"Pit Band"

  • Reed I
  • Reed II
  • Reed III
  • Trumpet I-II
  • Trombone
  • Guitar
  • Bass
  • Piano
  • Accordion
  • Drum Set
  • Percussion
  • Violins
  • Violas
  • Cello

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1967 Tony Award Best Musical Won
Best Original Score John Kander and Fred Ebb Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Jack Gilford Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Lotte Lenya Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Joel Grey Won
Edward Winter Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Peg Murray Won
Best Direction of a Musical Hal Prince Won
Best Choreography Ron Field Won
Best Scenic Design Boris Aronson Won
Best Costume Design Patricia Zipprodt Won

1987 Broadway revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1987 Tony Award Best Revival of a Musical Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Werner Klemperer Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Alyson Reed Nominated
Regina Resnik Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Joel Grey Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Hal Prince Nominated

1993 London revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1994 Laurence Olivier Award Best Musical Revival Nominated
Best Actor in a Musical Alan Cumming Nominated
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Sara Kestelman Won
Best Director of a Musical Sam Mendes Nominated

1998 Broadway revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1998 Tony Award Best Revival of a Musical Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Alan Cumming Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Natasha Richardson Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Ron Rifkin Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Mary Louise Wilson Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall Nominated
Best Choreography Rob Marshall Nominated
Best Orchestrations Michael Gibson Nominated
Best Costume Design William Ivey Long Nominated
Best Lighting Design Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Musical Won
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Alan Cumming Won
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Natasha Richardson Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Michele Pawk Nominated
Outstanding Director Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Rob Marshall Nominated
Outstanding Orchestrations Michael Gibson Nominated
Outstanding Set Design Robert Brill Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design William Ivey Long Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari Nominated

2006 London revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2007 Laurence Olivier Award Best Musical Revival Nominated
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Sheila Hancock Won
Best Theatre Choreographer Javier de Frutos Won

2012 London revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2013 Laurence Olivier Award Best Musical Revival Nominated
Best Actor in a Musical Will Young Nominated
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Siân Phillips Nominated

2014 Broadway revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2014 Tony Award
Best Featured Actor in a Musical Danny Burstein Nominated
Best Featured Actress in a Musical Linda Emond Nominated


  • Mordden, Ethan (2001). Open a New Window: The Broadway Musical in the 1960s. New York: Palgrave.  
  • Green, Stanley (1980). Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre. Da Capo Press.  
  • Jones, John Bush (2003). Our musicals, ourselves: a social history of the American musical theatre. University Press of New England. p. 243.  
  1. ^ Mordden 2001, pp. 152–54
  2. ^ Mordden 2001, pp. 156–57
  3. ^ Green 1980, p. 53
  4. ^ Reice, Sylvie (March 10, 1998). "Curtain Up Review". 
  5. ^ a b c Brantley, Ben (March 20, 1998). "Desperate Dance at Oblivion's Brink".  
  6. ^ "Listing for 2006 revival". Retrieved July 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Will Young to make West End musical debut in Cabaret". BBC. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Michelle Ryan to join Will Young in Cabaret revival". BBC. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Heads it's Lia - tails it's Kristin: The toss of a coin will decide leading lady for Harold Pinter's revived play".  
  10. ^ Rosie Bannister (26 Jun 2013). "Will Young returns to emcee Cabaret tour - Theatre News". Retrieved 2013-09-09. Will Young is set to reprise his role of Emcee in a UK tour of Rufus Norris' production of Cabaret, which will open at the New Wimbledon Theatre on 28 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Back to Broadway With Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams in 2014."Cabaret"Willkommenn! Roundabout Will Welcome Tony-Winning 4 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  12. ^ BWW News Desk (7 October 2013). "Danny Burstein and Linda Emond to Play 'Herr Schultz' and 'Fraulein Schneider' in CABARET Revival". 
  13. ^ BWW News Desk (21 July 2014). "Michelle Williams Extends Run in Broadway's CABARET". 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Emma Stone extends 'Cabaret' run on Broadway". Entertainment Weekly's 
  16. ^ "'"Sienna Miller to replace Emma Stone in Broadway's 'Cabaret. Entertainment Weekly's 
  17. ^ "Stratford Festival Review: Terrific Cabaret in both senses of the word". Your online newspaper for Southwestern Ontario. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Jones 2003, p. 243
  20. ^ MUSICAL - CABARET (ALBUM). Accessed on August 8, 2013. (in France).
  21. ^ MUSICAL - CABARET (ALBUM). Accessed on August 8, 2013. (in Dutch).
  22. ^ "Cast album information".  

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