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Related: Cabaret Voltaire - Moulin Rouge - entertainment - theatre


Cabaret is a form of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue - a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting around the tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance. The venue itself can also be called a "cabaret". These performances could range from political satire to light entertainment, each being introduced by a Master of Ceremonies, or MC.

The term is a French word for coffee-tray, used in the Parisian bars and other places in which this genre was born (mainly the café-chantants).

Famous cabarets include:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabaret [Jul 2004]

Le Chat Noir

Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (French, 1859-1923), Chat Noir, color lithograph, a poster advertising an event at the Chat Noir, a Paris cabaret from 1881 to 1897.
Image sourced here.

Le Chat Noir (French for "The Black Cat") was a famous 19th century cabaret in the notoriously bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. It was opened on 18 November 1881 at 84 Boulevard Rouchechouart by the artist Rodolphe Salis.

Perhaps best known now by its iconic Théophile-Alexandre Steinlein poster art, in its heyday it was a bustling nightclub - part artist salon, part rowdy music hall, partially due to an illegal piano. The cabaret published its own journal "Le Chat Noir". It began as a small, two room affair, but within three and a half years its popularity forced it to move into larger accommodations a few doors down.

According to Salis: "The Chat Noir is the most extraordinary cabaret in the world. You rub shoulders with the most famous men of Paris, meeting there with foreigners from every corner of the world."

Famous patrons of the Chat Noir included Adolphe Willette, Caran d'Ache, Henri Rivière, Erik Satie, and George Auriol. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Chat_Noir [Feb 2006]

Music halls [...]

Paris's Moulin Rouge, for example, dispensed beer, wine, and champagne to its customers along with a dance orchestra and a string of singers and entertainers. Artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec painted the entertainers at the Moulin Rouge. His lithographs were enough to make them famous in Paris; many of them--such as the chanteuse Yvette Guilbert--became international celebrities.

The French were also the inventors of the cabaret, a type of nightclub where the audience was composed of writers, artists, and the prosperous middle class, who came to rub elbows with bohemia and to be pleasantly shocked by the avant-garde and satiric nature of the entertainment. The Chat Noir, which opened in Paris in 1881, was the most famous of the early cabarets. -- http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Balcony/7634/music_halls.htm [Jul 2004]

Cabaret (musical)

Cabaret is a 1966 Broadway musical, based on John Van Druten's play I Am a Camera, based in its turn on stories by Christopher Isherwood, with book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John Kander, produced and directed by Hal Prince and starring Bert Convy, Jack Gilford, Jill Haworth, Lotte Lenya, and Joel Grey. The musical is set in Berlin in 1929-30 during the run-up to the coming to power of the Nazis under Adolf Hitler.

Its original New York run was from 1966-1969, winning Tony Awards in 1967 for Best Musical, Best Composer and Lyricist, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Choreography, and Best Direction of a Musical. The musical has been revived twice to date, in 1987 and 1998.

The 1998 revival, which was the second longest-running revival in Broadway musical history, closed in January 2004.

Cabaret is also a 1972 film based on the musical. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabaret_%28musical%29 [Jul 2004]

Cabaret (1972) - Bob Fosse

Cabaret (1972) - Bob Fosse (Editor) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Director (Bob Fosse), Best Actress (Liza Minnelli), and Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), Cabaret would also have taken Best Picture if it hadn't been competing against The Godfather as the most acclaimed film of 1972. (Francis Ford Coppola would have to wait two years before winning Best Director, for The Godfather, Part II.) Brilliantly adapted from the acclaimed stage production, which was in turn inspired by Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories and the play and movie I Am a Camera, this remarkable musical turns the pre-war Berlin of 1931 into a sexually charged haven of decadence. Minnelli commands the screen as nightclub entertainer Sally Bowles, who radiantly goes on with the show as the Nazis rise to power, holding her many male admirers (including Michael York and Helmut Griem) at a distance that keeps her from having to bother with genuinely deep emotions. Joel Grey is the master of ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub who will guarantee a great show night after night as a way of staving off the inevitable effects of war and dictatorship. They're all living in a morally ambiguous vacuum of desperate anxiety, determined to keep up appearances as the real world--the world outside the comfortable sanctuary of the cabaret--prepares for the nightmarish chaos of war. Director-choreographer Fosse achieves a finely tuned combination of devastating drama and ebullient entertainment, and the result is one of the most substantial screen musicals ever made. The dual-layered Special Edition widescreen DVD includes an exclusive 25th-anniversary documentary, Cabaret: A Legend in the Making, a 1972 promotional featurette, a photo gallery, production notes, the theatrical trailer, and more. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

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