Life is a Cabaret, Old Chum

When you think of a cabaret, what comes to mind?

Do you think of a night club? Slinky clad women dazzling audiences with singing and dancing? An extravagant and dramatic performance?

You may be surprised to find out that that the first cabarets looked very different from what we see today.

The first cabarets were of European origin and began in France in the 16th century. Instead of a theater or night club, a 16th century French cabaret was more of a meeting place where people could come for wine and food, much like modern restaurants.

Today when you think of a cabaret, it may conjure images of a burlesque. You may even think of the musical Cabaret and the feature film it inspired.

The original Broadway musical Cabaret premiered in 1966 featuring Jill Haworth as Sally. The musical is based on the play I Am A Camera (1951) by John Van Druten and Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin (1939). The original Broadway production was a winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Direction of a Musical.

The musical was later adapted into the 1972 film, Cabaret, starring Liza Minnelli and Michael York. The director, Bob Fosse, was an Academy Award winner, Tony Award Winner, and Primetime Emmy Award winner.

The film was not without controversy. The film met with criticism, even censorship, for its themes of sexual innuendo, homosexuality, Nazism, and club life. But controversy did not keep the film down! It went on to be a winner of eight academy awards, including Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Liza Minnelli), and Best Cinematography.

Feeling a little risqué? Come and see ASPI’s daring production of Cabaret on September 13-16 and 20-23. Tickets are on sale NOW! For more information on the show or to order tickets, go to or call the box office at 920-826-5852.