Cabaret

Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the play by John Van Druten and
stories by Christopher Isherwood
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Directed by Kenny Moten
Vocal Direction by Kate Rothstein
Music Direction by Matthew Rothstein
Choreographed by Angie Simmons

October 29–November 26, 2022
Playing at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre

A stunning musical... this marionette's-eye view of a time and place in our lives that was brassy, wanton, carefree and doomed to crumble is brilliantly conceived.” — Walter Kerr, The New York Times

This dynamic and much-loved Tony Award-winning musical continues to seduce audiences with the tantalizing Kit Kat Klub, where the iconic Emcee assures us that “life is beautiful…even the orchestra is beautiful.” As 1930s Germany slowly surrenders to the atrocities of the Third Reich, dreams unravel and lives are demolished. Cabaret is a dark, visceral, and tumultuous ride that finds us "at the end of the world… dancing… while being fast asleep.”

CONTENT WARNING: Adult themes and situations. Questions about content? Contact OpenStage at 970.484.5237.

“Cabaret is a superb production of one of the great Broadway musicals of all time—an exhilarating, harrowing masterpiece.” — Time Out NY

The Story

In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the Emcee's bawdy songs as wry commentary, Cabaret explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin's natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Cliff, a young American writer who newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken with English singer Sally Bowles. Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally's boarding house, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish. The musical depicts Weimar-era Berlin during this chaotic interwar period as a carnival of debauchery and despair inhabited by desperate people who are unaware of the national catastrophe that awaits them.

“...this audacious Brechtian musical set against the rise of Nazism in Weimar-era Berlin will always be relevant, and its glittering score by John Kander and Fred Ebb ranks among Broadway’s finest.” — Hollywood Reporter

The Experience

OpenStage’s Essential Season features rich, fully imagined theatrical experiences to captivate your heart and mind. Cabaret will be performed at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre. The Magnolia Theatre is a proscenium theatre with 226 seats, ample production and support space, and top-of-the-line audience amenities. Address: 417 West Magnolia Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521.

The Creators

Born in 1919 in Philadelphia, Joe Masteroff had only one dream from infancy: to write for the theatre. After the essential lonely childhood and four-year stint in the Air Force, he came to New York to face his future: book writer or book seller? Luckily, luck intervened. Before long he had three shows on Broadway bearing his name: The Warm Peninsula starring Julie Harris, and two musicals, She Loves Me and Cabaret, for which he was the book writer. His other work included the libretto for 70, Girls, 70 and Desire Under The Elms and book and lyrics for Six Wives and Paramour. Thanks to indulgent parents, the New Dramatists, Hal Prince and many others, Joe Masteroff retired and lived in subdued luxury until his death in 2018.

John William Van Druten (1901-1957) was a playwright, director, screenwriter, and novelist. In England, where he was born, he was a solicitor and lectured on English law and legal history at the University College of Wales. His first successful play was Young Woodley which was played in London and New York. He was known for Gaslight (1944), Cabaret (1972), and Raffles (1939). In addition to his later plays which were mostly comedies, he wrote novels and directed musicals. He was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Christopher Isherwood, by name of Christopher William Bradshaw-Isherwood, (born August 26, 1904, High Lane, Cheshire, England—died January 4, 1986, Santa MonicaCalifornia, U.S.), Anglo-American novelist and playwright best known for his novels about Berlin in the early 1930s. After working as a secretary and a private tutor, Isherwood gained a measure of coterie recognition with his first two novels, All the Conspirators (1928) and The Memorial (1932). During the 1930s he collaborated with his friend W.H. Auden on three verse dramas, including The Ascent of F6 (1936). But it had been in 1929 that he found the theme that was to make him widely known. Between 1929 and 1933 he lived in Berlin, gaining an outsider’s view of the simultaneous decay of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazism. His novels Mr. Norris Changes Trains (1935; The Last of Mr. Norris) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939), which were later published together as The Berlin Stories, established his reputation as an important writer and inspired the play I Am a Camera (1951; film 1955) and the musical Cabaret (1966; film 1972). These books are detached but humorous studies of dubious characters leading seedy expatriate lives in the German capital. In 1938 Isherwood published Lions and Shadows, an amusing and sensitive account of his early life and friendships while a student at the University of Cambridge.

As a writer, lyricist, composer and director, Fred Ebb made incalculable contributions to the New York theatrical community. Mr. Ebb is a Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Olivier, and Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award-winning recipient. Fred Ebb's first professional songwriting assignment came in 1953 when he and Phil Springer were hired by Columbia Records to write a song for Judy Garland called "Heartbroken." Mr. Ebb was introduced to composer John Kander in 1964 by music publisher Tommy Valando and became one of the most legendary songwriting teams in American history. The first successful collaboration was on the song "My Coloring Book," recorded by Barbra Streisand. Their second theatrical collaboration, Flora, the Red Menace, created a star out of Liza Minnelli in her Tony Award-winning Broadway debut. In 1966, their collaboration Cabaret opened and received seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Score. A 1972 movie version of Cabaret starring Liza Minnelli was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won eight awards and was nominated for nine Golden Globe Awards and won three including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. The same year, the songwriting team wrote a number of songs for Minnelli's television special "Liza With a Z," which received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Program - Variety or Popular Music. In 1975, the two wrote the Broadway musical Chicago, directed by Bob Fosse and starring Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera and Jerry Orbach. The musical was successfully revived 20 years later at City Center ENCORES! and subsequently transferred to Broadway where it is currently the longest-running revival in Broadway history. In 1977, the team collaborated with Martin Scorsese on the movie New York, New York; the title song was introduced by Minnelli and later recorded by Frank Sinatra becoming the unofficial theme song of New York City. The Minnelli Broadway vehicle The Act also opened that year. After a four-year absence, Mr. Ebb and Mr. Kander returned with Woman of the Year (1981), The Rink (1984), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (1985), and Steel Pier (1997). They were honored by the Kennedy Center with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Miramax's 2002 feature film Chicago was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture, and was nominated for eight Golden Globe Awards and won three, including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.

American composer John Kander (b. Kansas City, MO, March 18, 1927) is the musical partner of the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb, who together created at least sixteen Broadway shows, Flora the Red Menace (1965), Cabaret (1966), Chicago (1975), and Curtains (2007) among them. They also contributed material to fourteen films and television specials over their forty-year association. Independently John Kander supplied the scores to many films, including Something For Everyone (1970), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Places in the Heart (1984), and Billy Bathgate (1991).

Performance Schedule and Ticket Options

Legend:

  • Fab Friday
  • Matinee Performance
  • Pay What You Can
  • Performance
  • Student/Educator Night
Please choose a date below for tickets.

Cast and Creatives