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The years 1930 and 1931 were critical for Germany and, as, it turned out, for the world. More and more volunteers looking for a cause about which to rally, to march, to "clear the streets", to set a lawful and orderly course for a newly united nation swelled the ranks of the Nazi Party. Money and prestigious endorsements lined its coffers and inflated its influence, giving shape to formal acceptance and eventual triumph.
The extraordinary texture of this tragically pivotal time and place, with its sleazy after dark Gemutlichkeit and its drifting abdication of political, social, and moral conscience was - incredibly - transformed into an adventurous musical play.
The original production of CABARET was staged by Harold Prince, opened on November 20, 1966 and was hailed as a milestone in the contemporary refinement of the musical drama. It won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, swept the Tony Awards in 1967 and its recent film adaptation dominated the Academy Awards this Spring. The libretto by Joe Masteroff and the music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb were designed to mirror the show strip of Berlin "before the start of the Third Reich" through the re-creation of the garish indulgences and diversions of its changing citizenry and its confused international colony.
Christopher Isherwood's "Berlin Stories" and a later dramatization by John van Druten, I Am a Camera, formed the foundation for this evocation of a churning political and social riptide which at first supports then engulfs Sally Bowles, Cliff Bradshaw, Fraulein Schneider, Herr Schultz and, in fact, a whole hell-bent society.
Theatre and Performance Studies
La Salle College, "Cabaret" (1973). La Salle College Summer Music Theatre. 26.