Cabaret - changes made for the last revival

Younger Brother
Broadway Star
joined:8/27/12
I was watching, on Youtube, the pro shot recording of the Mendes directed 'Cabaret' in London and was curious to know, how does the Mendes version differ from the original in terms of the material? I believe some songs were re-ordered?

(I tried a search but nothing came up so apologies if there is actually another thread on this topic)
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
In terms of the original Broadway production? I would think the changes are pretty big. Songs added, songs cut, Cliff's sexuality, etc. I'm sure someone can sum it up.

#sadandtransparent
Updated On: 11/16/13 at 04:09 PM
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Dropped:
"The Telephone Song"
"Why Should I Wake Up?"
"Meeskite"
"The Money Song"

Added:
"Mein Herr"
"Maybe This Time"
"Money, Money"
"I Don't Care Much"*

*("I Don't Care Much," though dropped from the '66 score, remains in the extended Entr'acte for the Kit Kat Klub band in the original materials).

Cliff's bisexuality - not mentioned in the original - was first addressed in the 1987 Hal Prince-directed Broadway revival, and then further pronounced in the Mendes/Marshall revival. The Mendes production is blunter, more coarse than the original, I feel, to the material's detriment, but that seems to be a minority opinion.

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Updated On: 11/16/13 at 04:33 PM
Musicaldudepeter
Broadway Star
joined:3/18/10
The original looks like Anything Goes compared to the Mendes revival. After seeing Cumming's portrayal and the entire reincarnation of the Emcee for the '98 revival, I don't know how you could call Joel Grey's performance effective or memorable...
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
^^^^

I don't know where to begin with how many things are wrong with that post.

Apples and oranges. No need to put down Grey for not being Cumming, and visa versa.

Updated On: 11/16/13 at 04:47 PM
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
I'm with you, ghostlight2. Oy.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Joel Grey's stage and screen Emcee has no equal. It remains a unique creation - an ideal combination of concept, writing, direction and performance, for which Grey will always be remembered. I thought Cumming was great in 1998, but he doesn't erase Grey's performance, not by a long shot.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
Although I think Musicaldudepeter's comments probably went too far, I do think that the Emcee as characterised in the original production and movie has been erased - on stage at least - by the revival's take on the Emcee.

I don't think I've ever heard of or seen a production of Cabaret recently that has not adopted the revival take of the Emcee. And if you search google images for "Cabaret Emcee" it is pretty clear what the dominant style is:

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Cabaret&safe=off&espv=210&es_sm=91&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=OfSHUoDSK-T6iQfL8ICAAw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=855&bih=665#es_sm=91&espv=210&q=Cabaret+Emcee&safe=off&tbm=isch

As for my personal opinion, I personally do not find it necessary to listen to Joel Grey's Emcee anymore.

The Mendes Emcee look is pretty iconic I think. As is (was?) Joel Grey's Emcee.



Updated On: 11/16/13 at 05:43 PM
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Note that the pro-shot version is somewhat abridged and does not fully reflect the song list and staging of the full production.
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
And they also made further changes for when the show was brought to New York, so it doesn't really even truly capture what was seen at the Kit Kat Klub/Henry Miller's Theatre and Studio 54.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
"Why Should I Wake Up?" is a wonderful song. Too bad they couldn't fit it in the Mendes version.
#sadandtransparent
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
I don't think Cliff needs to have solo in the work. I like him being just barely musical, as a character.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
The script used in the Mendes production was the same final revision Masteroff did (which is essentially the 1987 revision, at least in terms of dialogue.) As Kad mentioned it was slightly edited for UK TV. Marshall's contributions were mainly choreography and making the show a lot flashier -- the Donmar staging was so bare bones, as most of their productions are.

I go back and forth with Why Should I Wake Up. I think it's a gorgeous song. I also think it's too knowing a song for Cliff at that point. Don't Go (from eh 1987 revival) makes more sense, but has clumsy lyrics (especially when he mentions the guy he's been sleeping with.) There's a fair argument made to not having Cliff sing at all.

I've said it before, but I do think, as much as I loved the Mendes/Marshall version on tour (I saw it with Kate Shindle, I think aspects of it are overated, especially in concern to seeing the Prince version as too much of its era. I've only seen the '87 tour from the pro shot video, but much of that staging and design is stunning, even if they skimped on the Aronson designs, and some elements of the Mendes/Marshall version (like the final reveal) are striking when you see them, but don't really make much sense with the text in the end.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
I think it's fairly safe to say that it's Cabaret that made the darker, edgier, and cheaper musical revival trendy.
JohnyBroadway
Broadway Star
joined:4/10/12
I prefer the song " don't go" from the '87 revival.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Kad, I completely agree. I think there's a lot of great stuff in the Mendes/Marshall version, but I don't think it deserves to be worshiped, as it seems it is by some, as the "ultimate version." And it undoubtedly lead, for better or worse, to things like the Chicago revival.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
I'm not so sure it led directly to the Chicago revival. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Broadway production really what made the Mendes revival cement itself as groundbreaking/influential?
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
I would agree with you there, Kad. I don't think the Donmar production really would be remembered much if not for the subsequent Broadway production, and I really don't think it had much influence on the revival of Chicago. I find it hard to think that Walter Bobbie and Ann Reinking had been thinking of the Donmar production of Cabaret when planning out the Encores staging of Chicago and subsequent move to Broadway.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Also of note, that pro-shot video of Mendes' Donmar production is NOT the same production that played on Broadway. The Broadway production added Rob Marshall as co-director and choreographer and it completely changed the entire production for the better.

If you watch this pro-shot video of the Donmar production, there is barely any choreography. The Broadway incarnation featured choreography throughout - even during the extensive dialogue sequences at the end of Act 1.

So, word to those watching that Donmar video -- that is NOT a video of the production that played at the Kit Kat Klub (Henry Miller Theatre)/Studio 54. Same book, completely different staging.
So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
"Cliff's bisexuality - not mentioned in the original - was first addressed in the 1987 Hal Prince-directed Broadway revival, and then further pronounced in the Mendes/Marshall revival."

Of course Cliff's bisexuality is very important in the 1972 movie as well.

"Why Should I Wake Up?" isn't a bad song but I don't miss it. I agree that Cliff's role as an outsider - a camera - works well with him not having a number.
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Cliff as a bisexual is downplayed in the 1990s version as opposed to the 1987 version, primarily by cutting his conflicted love song to Sally and chopping off the ending of "Perfectly Marvelous." Now, we hear that Cliff and Sally have had sex, as he worries that the baby could be his, but the intimation that he is equally interested in men and women, with his love affair with Sally being a genuine attraction and not what now appears to be a one-time fluke, is gone.

On the one hand, this reeks of bi erasure, which is still plaguing the arts despite gay-rights advances. On the other hand, it arguably brings Cliff more in line with author and memoirist Christopher Isherwood, whom Cliff Bradshaw is a creation and ultimately an avatar of.
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Is it really erased though? His prior experience with Bobby was definitely played up in the Mendes revival. If anything I felt those script revisions played up Cliff far more as a homosexual who was trying to pass as opposed to bisexual, which of course would make sense for an American from that time period.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
That's what I am saying- I may have phrased it poorly. Cliff is straight in the sixties, bi in the eighties, and probably gay in the nineties, based on which cuts are made and how explicitly the gay flirtation scenes are staged.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
"Of course Cliff's bisexuality is very important in the 1972 movie as well. "

Except there is no Cliff in the movie...
ljay889
Broadway Legend
joined:8/4/04
I gave "Don't Go" another listen and like it a lot as well.
#sadandtransparent
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
I see what you meant now, darque. When I read it earlier I thought you were saying they removed any trace of Cliff being anything other than straight, which of course confused the hell out of me because it was pretty clear that in the Mendes revival he was gay and partially in the closet.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?

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