Sitting here in Berlin, this seems quite appropriate.
The musical Cabaret was based on the play I am a Camera by John Van Druten. And that, in turn, had been based on the semi-autobigraphical The Berlin Stories, two short novels written around 1939 by Christopher Isherwood.
When the musical of Cabaret had its now-renowned 1993 Donmar Warehouse revival in London's West End, the Kander and Ebb show was completely re-envisioned by director Sam Mendes, and it made Alan Cumming a star as the Emcee, a role he repeated when the show came to New York.
But when it was in London, the whole production was actually broadcast on television with the original cast. And this is the powerful final scene.
It begins with Adam Godley who played Cliff Bradshaw, the young American writer who comes to Berlin and realizes here that he has to leave, immediately. Alan Cumming is as creepy as ever, and we also get to see the wonderful Jane Horrocks (who some might know as the utterly ditzy 'Bubbles' in Absolutely Fabulous), As I noted here in her eerie performance of the title song, Horrocks is actually a wonderful singer, but intentionally sang very off-key, befitting the less-than-talented Sally Bowles. For those who've only seen the movie version of Cabaret, and never the play, the two other characters in the scene in the scene are an elderly couple -- a German woman and a German Jewish gentleman -- whose December romance is profoundly affected by a world both see, but neither wants to accept.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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