“Come to the Cabaret”

There is a song called “Cabaret” from the 1966 musical of the same name.  In 1972, the movie Cabaret came out, depicting the whole cabaret scene.  This movie is quite famous and the Director, Bob Fosse, won an Academy Award in 1973.  Bob Fosse also directed Pippin and Chicago.

The incredible music and song from this movie made Liza Minnelli a true star.  She won an academy award for Best Actress in her role as Sally Bowles and Joel Grey also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in his role as Master of Ceremonies in both the stage and film productions of Cabaret.


Cabaret is a form of entertainment that features music, songs, dance and theater.  It can be done in a restaurant, pub or a nightclub


on a stage.  The key word here is entertainment that supposedly captures the audience in an up close and personal way.  As the years go by, Cabaret seems to be more historical than present day.   It originated in France in the 1800s.  It was a platform of expression for poets, artists and composers.  Theater productions of today are mostly done as huge stage productions in large venues.

Other countries in Europe loved the Cabaret concept and developed it as well.  Dutch Cabaret started in 1885, German Cabaret

in 1901, Polish Cabaret in 1905, British Cabaret in 1912 and Swedish Caberet in the 1970’s.  America embraced Cabaret in 1911.

You may have heard of the famous Moulin Rouge that opened in Paris in 1889.  The Moulin Rouge was famous for the CanCan.  The CanCan is a rather provocative dance done in a chorus line with many girls or ladies lifting their skirts in unison with very precise dance steps.  Also at that time the famous French painter Toulouse-Lautrec became famous for his now considered art deco posters of the CanCan dancers and scenes of people from the Cabaret experience.

Coincidentally, on May 1, 2017, our director, Marilyn Fordney, and her husband, Alex Havasi, were invited by the American Film Institute to attend an event with Joel Grey. This featured a conversation with him and to view a screening of Cabaret. The film was shown at Sony Pictures Studio in the Rita Hayworth Dining Room and Backstage Theater in Culver City. As a memento, they received a copy of his new book Master of Ceremonies published last year. It

is a treasure and they enjoyed this wonderful experience to see and hear Joel Grey in person.  That’s what I call meeting a living legend!

I’m not sure when, if ever, I have sat at a table and been entertained by an emcee, live music, professional performers in lavish costumes and dancers while sipping wine and having dinner.  Maybe what is old, can be brought back, to be new again, you know what they say, “life is a cabaret old chum.”

Thought Of The Week:

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new  –  Socrates


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Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website https://slowmotiondancevideos.com/