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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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Reincarnations and Revisions

Reincarnations and Revisions

(p.128) Chapter 9 Reincarnations and Revisions
The Making of Cabaret

Keith Garebian

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines radical reinterpretations of the musical: Harold Prince's 1968 London version that was bedeviled by troublesome stage technology as well as the misplaced expectations of the public and the critics; Bob Fosse's 1972 Oscar‐winning film that featured a bisexual Cliff and a bohemian American Sally (Liza Minnelli) and that used camp and MERM (Musically Enhanced Reality Mode) to become a metamovie–musical; Prince's 1987 Broadway revival that turned the musical into a cautionary tale or parable about what happens when people turn away from what is happening in their society; Sam Mendes's Donmar production and his sexually exhibitionistic 1998 Broadway version (with new interpretations of Sally and the Emcee by Natasha Richardson and Alan Cumming) that by turning a theater into the Kit Kat Klub implicated the audience in the frenetic escapism and impending horror of the holocaust; Rufus Norris's 2006 London production and Molly Smith's Washington, D.C., production that same year that carried politics and sexuality to jarring extremes; and Amanda Dehnert's 2008 Stratford Festival of Canada production, staged as a play‐within‐a‐play to reveal the whole world as a cabaret hosted by Bruce Dow's paternalistic Everyman as an Emcee.

Keywords:   1968 London version, Bob Fosse film, Liza Minnelli, 1987 Broadway revival, Sam Mendes, Natasha Richardson, Alan Cumming, Rufus Norris, Molly Smith, Amanda Dehnert

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