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The Making of Cabaret$
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Keith Garebian

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732494

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732494.001.0001

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Kander and Ebb

Kander and Ebb

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter 5 Kander and Ebb
Source:
The Making of Cabaret
Author(s):

Keith Garebian

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732494.003.0005

This chapter provides a detailed examination of the show's music and lyrics (including material cut from the final version) by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The examination includes potted biographies of the composers as well as an account of their collaboration on this musical, with details about the problems linked to characterization and incident. The main argument is that the songs comment on the book scenes but without being limited to commentary. They are in the mood of the story, and their primary purpose is point of view. They are entertaining even as they reflect the moral decline of Germany and many of the characters, and they draw attention to their theatrical artifice (including camp, which is examined in a historical gay context). Accordingly, the four basic elements of camp (irony, aestheticism, exaggeration, and humor) are analyzed as found in the musical

Keywords:   John Kander, Fred Ebb, music and lyrics, libretto, German and American jazz, point of view, camp and theatrical artifice

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