by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Joe Masteroff
Berlin. New Year’s Eve. 1928. The air is full of sex, champagne, drugs, and jazz as aspiring American novelist Clifford Bradshaw’s train pulls into town. As midnight approaches, Cliff moves into a marvelous, decrepit boarding house and makes new friends unlike any he’s ever met before. Before he can even unpack, they whisk him away to the Kit Kat Klub, where girls dance for him – and boys dance for him! – and the seductive, mercurial Sally Bowles seduces him into a life of joyful sexual freedom. Within days, Cliff abandons all pretenses of naiveté and starts raking in money on the black market, but he soon learns that no windfall comes without a price. As Germany grows politically stratified, the Nazis consolidate power, and violence erupts on the streets, Cliff and Sally must decide how much they can bear to witness. A searing critique of the silent bystander, Cabaret portrays the dangers of a hyper-polarized society in a fast-changing world.