Musicalkritik

'Cabaret' im English Theatre

On 23rd January I went to the English theatre with my English class to watch the musical “Cabaret”. 

It was written by Joe Masteroff, the music was composed by John Kander and the lyrics were written by Fred Ebb.

The first performance was on 20th November 1966 in New York City. The musical is about Berlin in the golden 20s and how National Socialism influences friendship, love and life.

The main character is Cliff Bradshaw who travels to Berlin and meets Ernst Ludwig. He also meets Sally Bowles, an English singer. They become a couple and live together. The political situation changes in Berlin and Ernst becomes a Nazi. Because of Ernst´s political opinion he and Cliff end their friendship. Meanwhile Sally gets pregnant and does not know who the father is, but Cliff wants to keep the baby, because it could be his child. But after Cliff´s break-up with Ernst he wants to leave Berlin to America with Sally. She, however, decides to stay in Berlin to follow her career as a singer and actress. In the end she has an abortion and Cliff leaves Berlin alone.

First of all, it was the first musical I went to and I really enjoyed it. I would also watch it again because I am really fascinated by the story and the performance. The teen musical “High School Musical” is nothing compared to “Cabaret”, which is the perfect combination of history, music and pleasure. Almost all the songs are quick and dynamic and really well-performed, so it fits to the portrayed scene.  The musical is set in the golden 20s, so the musical type is Jazz and really cheerful. The only aspect I could criticize is that the dancers were half naked and danced really offensively, but in my opinion it is an important aspect of the golden 20s. The actors spoke English but I understood everything. It was only a little bit difficult for me to understand the Germans, because they had an awful accent while talking English. They also talked German but also with a terrible English accent. One song is also in German, or better: in very lousy German.

I would recommend the musical to everybody who is interested in German history and also in English literature, because the musical is based on the book “Goodbye to Berlin”, which was written by Christopher Isherwood (1939). The spoken language is also very easy to understand, so I think for high school students with knowledge of English it would not be difficult to understand. Musicals also give us the chance to enjoy literature in another way than the “typical” way we are taught in school. In other words I am very overwhelmed of this brilliant musical and I can only say “Come to Cabaret”.

 Lejla Omerika, English class E1 MOH

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