Hintergrundgeschichte/The Background

Berlin zu Beginn der 1930er Jahre.


Cliff Bradshaw, ein junger amerikanischer Schriftsteller, reist nach Berlin, um dort einen Roman zu schreiben. Durch die Bekanntschaft mit Ernst Ludwig kommt er in der Pension des ältlichen Fräulein Schneider unter. Über denselben lernt Cliff auch den Kit-Kat-Club kennen, wo er die englische Sängerin Sally Bowles trifft. Sie ist der Star der Show – und dies nicht nur wegen ihres künstlerischen Talents. Als Sally entlassen wird, nimmt sie Zuflucht in Cliffs Pensionszimmer, und die beiden werden ein Paar.


Auch zwei anderen Pensionsbewohnern begegnet, wenn auch spät, das Glück. Herr Schultz nämlich wirbt erfolgreich um Fräulein Schneider. Doch als sich auf der bald folgenden Verlobungsfeier herausstellt, dass Schultz Jude (und der als Gast anwesende Ernst Ludwig Nationalsozialist) ist, kann Fräulein Schneider sich der heraufziehenden vergifteten Atmosphäre nicht entziehen. Die Verlobung wird gelöst, Herr Schultz verlässt die Pension.


Nach diesem Vorfall möchte Cliff Deutschland verlassen, wohingegen Sally weiter von ihrer großen Karriere in Berlin träumt. Als sie dann das gemeinsame Kind abtreibt, hält den Amerikaner nichts mehr. Die Zurückbleibenden aber sehen einer ungewissen Zukunft entgegen.

Act I

At the dawn of the 1930s in Berlin, the Nazi party quietly grows stronger. The Kit Kat Klub is a seedy cabaret, a place of decadent celebration set against the backdrop of growing Nazi terror. The Klub's Master of Ceremonies, or Emcee, together with the cabaret girls and waiters, warm up the audience ("Willkommen"). In a train station, Clifford Bradshaw, a young American writer coming to Berlin in the hopes of finding inspiration for his new novel, arrives. He meets Ernst Ludwig, a German who offers Cliff work and recommends a boardinghouse. At the boardinghouse, Fräulein Schneider offers Cliff a room for one hundred marks; he can only pay fifty. After a brief debate, she relents and lets Cliff live there for fifty marks. Fräulein Schneider observes that she has learned to take whatever life offers ("So What?").

As Cliff visits the Kit Kat Klub, the Emcee introduces a British singer, Sally Bowles, who performs a racy, flirtatious number ("Don't Tell Mama"). Afterward, she asks Cliff to recite poetry for her; he recites "Casey at the Bat". Cliff offers to take Sally home, but she says that her boyfriend Max, the club's owner, is too jealous. Sally then performs her final number at the Kit Kat Club aided by the female ensemble ("Mein Herr"). The cabaret ensemble then performs a song and dance, calling each other on inter-table phones and inviting each other for dances and drinks ("The Telephone Song").

The next day, Cliff has just finished giving Ernst an English lesson when Sally arrives. Max has fired her and thrown her out, and now she has no place to live, and so she asks him if she can live in his room. At first he resists, but she convinces him (and Fräulein Schneider) to take her in ("Perfectly Marvelous"). The Emcee and two female companions sing a song ("Two Ladies") that comments on Cliff and Sally's unusual living conditions. Herr Schultz, an elderly Jewish fruit-shop owner who lives in her boardinghouse, has given Fräulein Schneider a pineapple as a gift ("It Couldn't Please Me More"). However, in the Kit Kat Klub, a young waiter starts to sing a song—a patriotic anthem to the Fatherland but slowly descending into a darker, Nazi-inspired marching song—becoming the strident "Tomorrow Belongs to Me". It is initially a cappella, then accompanied by the rest of the customers and the band.

Months later, Cliff and Sally are still living together and have fallen in love. Cliff knows that he is in a "dream," but he enjoys living with Sally too much to come to his senses ("Why Should I Wake Up?"). Sally reveals that she is pregnant, but she does not know the father and reluctantly decides to get an abortion. Cliff reminds her that it could be his child, and seems to convince her to have the baby. Ernst then enters and offers Cliff a job—picking up a suitcase in Paris and delivering it to his "client" in Berlin—easy money. The Emcee comments on this "Sitting Pretty", or (in later versions) "Money".

Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider has caught one of her boarders, Fräulein Kost, bringing sailors into her room. Fräulein Schneider forbids her from doing it again, but Fräulein Kost threatens to leave. She also mentions that she has seen Fräulein Schneider with Herr Schultz in her room. Herr Schultz saves Fräulein Schneider's reputation by telling Fräulein Kost that he and Fräulein Schneider are to be married in three weeks. After Kost leaves, Fräulein Schneider thanks Herr Schultz for lying to Kost. Schultz, however, says that he was serious, and proposes to Fräulein Schneider ("Married").

At Fräulein Schneider and Herr Schultz's engagement party, Cliff arrives and delivers the suitcase to Ernst. A "tipsy" Herr Schultz sings "Meeskite" (Meeskite, he explains, is Yiddish for ugly or funny-looking) a song with a moral ("Anyone responsible for loveliness, large or small/Is not a meeskite at all"). Afterward, looking for revenge on Fräulein Schneider, Fräulein Kost tells Ernst, who now sports a Nazi armband, that Schultz is a Jew. Ernst warns Fräulein Schneider that marrying a Jew may not be wise. Fräulein Kost and company reprise "Tomorrow Belongs to Me", this time with even more overtly disturbing Nazi overtones, as Cliff, Sally, Fräulein Schneider, Herr Schultz and the Emcee look on.

Act II

The cabaret girls, along with the Emcee in drag, perform a kick line routine which eventually becomes a goose-step. Fräulein Schneider expresses her concerns about her union to Herr Schultz, who assures her that everything will be all right ("Married" (Reprise)), but they are interrupted by the crash of a brick being thrown through the window of Herr Schultz's fruit shop. Fräulein Schneider is afraid that the gesture might represent malicious intent, but Schultz tries to reassure her that it is just children making trouble.

Back at the Kit Kat Klub, the Emcee performs a song-and-dance routine with a girl in a gorilla suit about how their love has been met with universal disapproval ("If You Could See Her"). Encouraging the audience to be more open-minded, he defends his ape-woman, concluding with, "if you could see her through my eyes... she wouldn't look Jewish at all." (The line was intended to shock the audience and make them consider how easily and unthinkingly they accepted prejudice, but protests and boycott threats from Jewish leaders in Boston led Ebb to reluctantly write an alternate final line, "She isn't a Meeskite at all."[10]) Fräulein Schneider then goes to Cliff and Sally's room and returns their engagement present, explaining that her marriage has been called off. When Cliff protests, saying that she can't just give up this way, she asks him what other choice she has ("What Would You Do?").

Cliff tells Sally that he is taking her back to his home in America so that they can raise their baby together. Sally protests, declaring how wonderful their life in Berlin is, and Cliff sharply tells her to "wake up" and take notice of the growing unrest around them; Sally retorts that politics have nothing to do with them or their affairs. Following their heated argument, Sally returns to the club. Cliff is accosted by Ernst, who has another delivery job for him. Cliff tries to brush him off, but when Ernst asks if Cliff's attitude towards him is because of "that Jew at the party", Cliff attacks him—only to be badly beaten up by Ernst and his Nazi bodyguards and dragged out of the club. . Back at the Kit Kat Klub ("I Don't Care Much"), the Emcee introduces Sally, who enters to perform again, singing that "life is a cabaret, old chum" ("Cabaret").

The next morning, the bruised Cliff is packing, when Herr Schultz, who tells Cliff that he is moving to another boardinghouse, visits him but he is confident that the bad times will soon pass. He understands the German people, he says, because he is a German, too. When Sally returns, she reveals that she has had an abortion; Cliff slaps her. Cliff still hopes that she will join him, but Sally says that she has "always hated Paris" and hopes that when Cliff finally writes his novel, he will dedicate it to her. Cliff leaves, heartbroken.

On the train to Paris, Cliff begins to write his novel, reflecting on his experiences: "There was a cabaret, and there was a master of ceremonies... and there was a city called Berlin, in a country called Germany...and it was the end of the world." ("Willkommen" Reprise). In the Kit Kat Klub, the Emcee once again welcomes us (in the 1998 revival, he strips off his overcoat to reveal a concentration camp prisoner's uniform marked with a yellow Star of David and a pink triangle, and the backdrop raises to reveal an electric fence). The cabaret ensemble reprises "Willkommen", but it is now harsh and violent as the Emcee sings, "Auf Wiedersehen...à bientôt..." followed by a crescendo drum roll and a cymbal crash (In the 1998 revival, the Emcee violently raises his arms at the crash, signifying he has thrown himself upon the fence).

Die 32.000€ Frage oder was ist ein Kabarett

1896: Werbung für eine Tour der ersten, französischen Kabarettshow
1896: Werbung für eine Tour der ersten, französischen Kabarettshow


Dank dem allwissenden Internet und allen voran Wikipedia könnten wir Euch diese Frage bis ins kleinste Detail beantworten-könnten. Zur Erleichterung aller werden wir aber nur an der Oberfläche kratzen und die wichtigsten Details nennen. Wer aber doch mehr erfahren möchte...Hier geht es zu Wikipedia.


Kabarett ist eine Form der Unterhaltung mit Musik, Comedy , Gesang, Tanz, Rezitation oder Drama und wird oft gleichbeteudend mit Revue verwendet. Hauptsächlich unterscheidet es sich im Aufführungsort (ebenfalls als Kabarett bezeichnet), dazu können Restaurants, Kneipen oder ein Nachtclub mit Bühne für die Aufführungen zählen. Das Publikum sitzt meist an Tischen, an denen man sich auch dem leiblichen Wohl zuwenden darf. Die Aufführungen werden in der Regel durch einen eingeführten Zeremonienmeister oder MC (in den USA manchmal auch als emcee geschrieben ) eingeleitet. Die Unterhaltung ist oft (aber nicht immer) auf ein erwachsenes Publikum ausgerichtet.


Anfang der 1880er Jahre wurde in Paris mit dem cabaret artistique von Rodolphe Salis das erste Kabarett eröffnet. Am 18. November 1881 erhielt es den Namen Le Chat Noir und es sollte „politische Ereignisse persiflieren, die Menschheit belehren, ihr ihre Dummheit vorhalten, dem Mucker die schlechte Laune abgewöhnen.“ Es wurde schnell auch zu einer Stätte, in der die Artisten, damit waren im Paris des 19. Jahrhunderts sämtliche Künstler gemeint, ihre Nummern ausprobierten und sich gegenseitig vorführten, bevor sie dem Publikum vorgestellt wurden.


Wetten, dass Ihr sogar ein berühmtes Kabarett kennt?! Richtig, das "Moulin Rouge" in Paris!


The 32.000$ question or what is a Cabaret

1896 advertisement for a tour of the first French cabaret show
1896 advertisement for a tour of the first French cabaret show


Blessed with the omniscient Internet and the frequently asked Wikipedia we could answer you this question to the smallest detail-could. To facilitate all we just gonna scratch on the surface and mention the REALLY important details. But if you wanna go all nerdy...here you can go to Wikipedia.


Cabaret is a form of entertainment featuring music, comedy, song, dance, recitation or drama. It is mainly distinguished by the performance venue (also called a cabaret), such as in a restaurant, pub or nightclub with a stage for performances. The audience usually sits at tables, often dining or drinking. Performances are usually introduced by a master of ceremonies or MC (sometimes spelled emcee in the U.S.). The entertainment is often (but not always) oriented towards adult audiences.

The word cabaret was first used in 1655. It is derived from tavern probably from M.Du. cambret. The word cabaret came to mean "a restaurant or night club" by 1912.


The first cabaret  was opened in 1881 in Montmartre, Paris: Rodolphe Salis' "cabaret artistique." Shortly after it was founded, it was renamed Le Chat Noir (The Black Cat). It became a locale in which up-and-coming cabaret artists could try their new acts.


And we bet...you know a famous cabaret as well?! Exactly the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris.