Cabaret (Musicals 101): Know the Score
Why everyone should see Cabaret Now more than ever

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You know what they say about those who don't learn from history. Special thanks to Blazerdraws for the title card! Visit Musical Hell at: Support me on Patreon! Follow me! @MusicalHell For more reviews, commentary, and general awesomeness of every kind, visit:


Iris W : In the stage play version I saw, at the end the cast gathered and a gas chamber lifted from the ground, spilling out smoke and it was honestly likely one of the most horrifying things i've ever seen. the fear on their faces, the heartbroken voice of the mc and the emptiness in his face caused everyone in the theater to felt uncomfortable and desperately wanted to look away and ignore it but we couldn't and I think that was perfect for the shows message, that when everyone turned away and ignored the uprising of the nazis in the play we couldn't, we were forced to watch in horror knowing what was coming.

Isaac Thomas : This is my absolute favorite musical. Thank you for this video, I try explaining to people how jarring this musical is and no one really pays me any attention.

Jennifer Schillig : Natasha Richardson, in the revival, played that verse in the title song not as a resigned "carpe diem" moment, but as a horrified realization of her probable demise. "She was the happiest......corpse......I'd ever seen..." There are those that say (not without reason) that Liza Minnelli was actually too GOOD for the movie role. As Sally's supposed to be written, she's a mediocre talent who's deluding herself about her chances in the entertainment world and who's never going to get out of that dingy nightclub. But with a talent like Liza's, you wonder why Sally's still stuck in that fourth-rate dive when she could be headlining in Paris or New York! Jill Haworth in the original cast and Natasha Richardson in the revival are decent singers, but downplay their voices so they don't seem TOO talented.

Talisguy : To talk about an aspect of Cabaret - the film version - that isn't horrifyingly similar to certain real-world current events, the "Sally is a deconstruction of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl" observation and the comments on her last song finally put into words my thoughts on Liza Minelli's performance, why I think it's so good and why I don't agree with the people I've seen criticizing her for being "too happy/vibrant" at all. Thank you. It basically ramps up the "manic" part of the term "manic pixie dream girl" to levels that are both tragic and disturbing. She's not too happy and joyous for her situation, she's deep in denial and seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown during her performance of the title song, and it works beautifully.

Edward Shore : It doesn't help that these dangerous dictators are proficient as selling themselves as "saviors of mankind", turning would believers into cult members. Excellent choice of topic, Diva.

SuperAppleSauce521 : My college is putting this show on next semester for obvious reasons.

Godzillasaur Buttersworth : This is a wonderful review and a wonderful musical The movie itself was first brought to my attention when I was younger and trying to study my own (LGBT+) history I heard about it in the documentary The Celluloid Closet, which examined the roles on gays and lesbians in film This movie is so important Not just for people like me, but for everyone

DieHardAlien : I saw the CABARET revival with Alan Cumming and Emma Stone. It was one of the best experiences I had in my life! The songs, characters, tone, plot/story, acting/performances, score, and set design were beyond breathtaking and perfectly done, especially the second half of the show.

A. Burr : Cabaret is a really good musical. I am a german and in germany we had a huge variety of versions of that show. I saw a version once, where they changed the kitkat club into one of the cabarets that made daily shows against the nazis. German directors change the play to the cabaret History of the town the show is staged. And that's also why the show is so good.

Michael Beaudoin : This is one of my favorite musicals. I have to say that I greatly prefer the stage version though..I agree with you, everyone should see this show.

Terese Sanchez : I remember when I first saw this show last year on the current tour, and it really changed me. When the emcee took off his jacket in the gas chamber I just burst out in tears. Ever since then Cabaret has become one of my favorite shows and I feel everyone needs to see this show. But i do prefer the darker tones of the revival more than the film and the original production.

Dem H78 : What's funny is that even though Diva never names any names, Trump supporters somehow knew it was about him. If the shoe fits.

The little red haired girl from across the street : I _really_ wanna see this now

2010Wilde : You can't help but see a connection to Trump in this. Funny enough, Americans aren't the only one dealing with the rise of evil. Down here in Australia, our Right-wing and far-Right government is doing whatever they can to pick on the innocent. Our current Prime Minster #MalcomTurnball and his cronies are trying to hinder the rights of our Aboriginal community and gay community. And our major newspapers are all Pro-Conservative pieces, and often used to belittle refugees, human rights activist and feminists. The vulnerable down here in Australia have nearly no voice whatsoever. The only media outlet that does give our outcasts a voice is the #ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and #SBS -- and even then, our government and newspapers are trying to have those outlets shut down unless they broadcast Right wing values. We have fuckwit people like politician #PaulineHanson, ex PM #TonyAbbott and journalists like #AndrewBolt, #MirandaDevine, #PiersAckerman and #RitaPanhai (just to name a few) accussing ABC and SBS of being biased just because they're letting kids with Down's syndrome have a voice or for having a Muslim news presenter. Even though the Right have more than 20 different news programs and channels to spread their hate, they keep trying to take over anyone's else chance to have a voice. They have the nerve to say that ABC and SBS are biased and fascist, even though they do not acknowledge the plight of the Aborigines or handicap or such like (other than to demonize them) and they are the ones commiting the acts of fascism by trying to silence anyone who doesn't agree with them. It's absolutely frustrating and scary living in a country where only the able bodied white men and women are given endless attention while the rest of us do not! Every day I literally break down in tears for as I am a guy with Autism, and I have to put up with people like #Hanson or #Bolt trying to take away my only means of sharing my story and calling it how it is. I have to put up feeling like I did something wrong just because I disagree with conservative values -- the same narrow-minded values that have ruined my life since the day I was diagnosed with my condition. Everytime I pick up a newspaper and hear news of more attempts to shut down the ABC, I always get that feeling that any day now, I'll be taken away to a mental institution as punishment for not qualifying for the title of ideal Australian. That I might locked away for saying that the disabled need better treatment in Australia. I recently saw Cabaret down here in Melbourne, and it reminded me so much of where which path we might be heading to, if we keep letting idiots like #PaulineHanson stay in power, or #AndrewBolt and #RitaPanhai continue using the press to demonize our disabled people, gay people and black people. 😭😭😭 #FuckOffPaulineHanson #SackAndrewBolt #SackRitaPanhai #SackMirandaDevine #SackPiersAckerman #FuckOffTonyAbbott #LeaveABCAlone #LeaveSBSAlone #RightiesAreBullies

Stefan Filipovits : Excellent choice, I love Cabaret. As you said Cabaret is truly topical given what's going on in America right now. (Especially as president elect scar and his hyenas march into the pridelands as we speak)

Marc Allan : I love cabaret it is my favourite musical of all time. I'm actually doing a production of it at my school because it affected me so much when I first saw it. And the members of the musical understand how important this musical is. This video will help a lot when I try to get the okay from the parents association. Thank you so much.

Hannah Montgomery : Cabaret is one of my absolute favourite musicals! And you're so right about the history side of things. Terrifying really.

peter patzig : I saw it 10 years ago in Berlin. The movie is great but live its brilliant!

Will D. : forever torn between my love for "tomorrow belongs to me" and the knowledge that it's a nazi anthem

Day2DayWithMcK : Cabaret is an INCREDIBLE musical.... the movie is fair (at best) compared to the actual stage version. If fact, if the movie is all you know of this gem .... it's sad. Next time you see that it's at a live theater...RUN to see it.

Cure Hana : Can you do a Musical 101 on Heathers the Musical?

Will Lyon : Are you planning to do the new Anastasia musical for Musicals 101?

Pr0gram McSynth : Yeah, I've been thinking about Cabaret a lot the last year...

Blondegenius3 : I watched this video before and love it. And there is an explanation for "If you could see her"- it's satire. German cabaret was filled to the brim with political satire. Sally Bowles is the one who hid in the cabarets and partying but the cabarets of the time were very political. Even the Kit Kat Club was political too. (The MC's drag dance that becomes a lockstep march.) The last line of "If you could see her" was probably tongue-in-cheek and the whole act was talking about how German anti-Semites saw Jewish people. The anti-Semites saw the Jewish people as less than human. There were "Aryans" who loved Jewish people and it became a crime to fall in love with them. Hitler made it that way. I suggest watching "The Real Cabaret" with Alan Cumming. It's a great documentary about cabarets during the 30s in Germany- the time period in which "Cabaret" is set.

monolith94 : This isn't really about the score, it's just about the theme. I was hoping you were really going to dig into the music and lyrics, as I really adore the original broadway version and mourn the loss of songs in the film version.

Jimmy Wallace : You always have the best look on musicals and I love hearing it! It always makes me feel smarter! Well said!

Gabriela Torrellas : Cabaret is my favorite musical ever!❤️❤️❤️ Love this review.

Megan Milligan : Cabaret is awesome-more people in this day and age (and nation) should watch this. God, my heart breaks every time I see Alan's Emcee revealing his prison attire and his face becomes forlorn.

That Ozian : I saw cabaret live and had a panic attack because of its relevance

Tristan Horta : I just recently discovered Cabaret. Hopefully this sheds some light in some questions I had.

C Hendrix : This gave me chills - in a good, and not-so-good way. EXCELLENT!

Jose Pablo Martinez-Rendon : Yes!!! Thanks so much for doing this!!!!

aleister crowley : 2:38 and on: "MAKE GERMANY GREAT AGAIN!" See, isn't that a great idea? It will be beautiful and powerful and yuuuuuge! Our Orange King can build great walls! Who doesn't want a job (conscription and a good war makes everybody happy!!!)?! That aside, thank you, Diva, for posting another excellent review of my all-time favorite musical. I have very mixed feelings about the film version as (like so many others) I hate the very American Liza as the very English Sally Bowles (both real and imagined Sally). I am still hoping that you'll do a review of the Kevin Kline/Cole Porter film -- Porter's songs are so very, very marvelous! I'd love to hear your take on what worked in De-Lovely and what didn't work in the film (in your demoniacal opinion). Thanks again!

shaetasstic : My university is doing this in the fall and auditions are coming up in a few weeks. Our campus really needs to see this show so I'm very excited and hope to be a part of it.

Amelia Doubleyou : Even as a self-described musical theatre geek, CABARET remains one of those few [well known] musicals that I don't know very much about. I think it's because I was a kid when the famous 1998 Alan Cumming revival hit Broadway and therefore was kept far away from any references to it (because 'tacky' and 'hypersexualized'). Apparently the movie is way different...? Still, I can't help but wonder how many more people would be interested in the musical's depth and message but can't get past the sexual content... (I mean, seriously! the choreography alone is like...I can't believe they can show that on TV! :D)

crystal deer : Is there a way i could watch cabaret the musical? Preferably the one that Barrett Wilbert Weed starred in.

Ms. Moe : I don't like the movie version as much but the stage version is AMAZING

Michael Beaudoin : So weird! I just randomly watched this movie on Sunday night and then you posted this video!

ShanteYouStay : I've never watched one of these Know the Score vids. Usually it's just Musical He'll vids. This was Terrific! Super informative and really thought provoking.

Zoey2070 : The commentary is good and makes excellent points, but the video production quality is kind of low and amateurish. Cabaret is one of my favorite musicals tbh

loveheart : This is one of my favorite musicals of all time, I love the oddity and message of the film and stage production. I think it’s amazing

Hannah Fuller : I'm currently doing this show. I have to play a nazi officer in the final scene and I just end up sobbing everytime

Young MC : “You still think you can control them?” Is such a simple yet powerful line in the Tomorrow Belong to Me segment. Just completely destroys the idea that passive indifference is a good response to political movements with destructive agendas.

Mbunnyj : How about a "Know The Score" for Carrie The Musical? Even if you can't see it live, the soundtrack is up on youtube, and it's TOTALLY worth the listen!

artistphx : Thank you for some hard hitting thoughts that need to be considered.

AxelXionSora : Whoa I never knew Cabaret was so dark

JohnnyChicago : This was one of the creepier yet most on point reviews of this film, especially post-Orange One winning. The rise of fascism, racism, xenophobia, nationalism and created fear only makes a stronger argument that we as the audience will suffer under the "leadership" of the bloated pig until a bullet or the people (yeah, right) rise up to stop him. Kind of like Hitler, but with Twitter instead of Himmler. Great review!

Ariella Kahan-Harth : Amazing video. I saw the movie about three years ago and it confused me. I'll probably give it a rewatch.

Pinkinizer Pug : I absolutely love Cabaret. I saw it in May with my family. The message is stunning and I would love to see it again. I hope it comes back even though it would be no longer it's 50th anniversary