Condensing a wide variety of sources into a handy and engaging chronicle, this book is the most detailed production history to date of the original Broadway version of Cabaret , showing primarily how the show evolved from Christopher Isherwood's Berlin stories (especially the Sally Bowles novella), into John van Druten's stage play, a British film adaptation, and then the Broadway musical, conceived and directed by Harold Prince as an early concept musical or meta-musical. The book shows how Prince was able to find his central metaphor that was appropriate to Weimar society and to America in the Sixties as well. It places this cabaret metaphor within a contextual history of European cabaret. Tracing the gradual evolution of Joe Masteroff's libretto (through three versions), the book analyzes the musical's main metaphor, structure, music and lyrics (John Kander and Fred Ebb), design (sets by Boris Aronson, lighting by Jean Rosenthal, costumes (by Patricia Zipprodt), choreography (Ron Field), casting, and rehearsals, arguing that though the original version was limited by social and political mores of its day, it set a new standard and path for the American musical, drawing attention to its own theatrical artifice (including camp). The book ends with an examination of the first London version (1968), Bob Fosse's 1972 film version, Hal Prince's 1987 Broadway remount, Sam Mendes's stunning 1998 production, Rufus Norris's London re-imagining (2006), and Amanda Dehnert's new investigation for the Stratford Festival of Canada (2006), and speculates on what the future holds for this musical. The book contains nearly 40 illustrations, full cast credits, and a bibliography.
Keith Garebian is a widely-published, award-winning author of 17 books and over 1200 articles, reviews, features, and interviews in more than 100 newspapers, journals, magazines, and anthologies.