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State Theatre New Jersey

Scene Notes

Did You Know These Cabaret Facts?

Cabaret originally opened on Broadway in 1966 with music and lyrics by the dynamic duo of John Kander and Fred Ebb and a book by Joe Masteroff. Hal Prince directed and produced the musical which ran for 1,165 performances in it's Broadway premiere. The show is now considered part of Musical Theater history; brush up your studies with these fun facts about the show:

  • The show is originally based on a semi-autobiographical collection of stories, Goodbye to Berlin, compiled by writer Charles Isherwood based on his experiences living in Weimar Berlin
  • In 1951 the book was first adapted into a 1951 play called I Am a Camera
  • Sally Bowles is based on a German nightclub singer Jean Ross
  • Producer Harold Prince was not the first person to have the idea to turn I Am a Camera into a musical, composer/lyricist Sandy Wilson (The Boy Friend) had the same idea, Hal was just the first to procure the rights
  • Joel Grey created the role of the Emcee as well as his look, using a greasepaint called "Juvenile Pink," thinking "This creep, he would want to look young, and this is what he would use."
  • Cabaret redefined Broadway when it opened; rather then having an overture the show just started with a drum roll and a cymbal crash, catching the audience off guard. It also dealt with everything from anti-semitism to abortion
  • Liza Minelli won an Oscar playing Sally Bowles in the movie version of Cabaret in 1972 but she also auditioned for the original Broadway production and didn't get the role at that time...
  • Studio 54 was reopened solely to house the 1998 revival of Cabaret after it's original theater, the Henry Miller Theater, was damaged in a construction accident. Director Sam Mendes was determined to have the show play in a "club" over a theater.
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