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By the way, has anyone mentioned the UTTERLY STUNNING** news that Joel Grey dropped on the world a few months back by coming out of the closet???

 

 

 

 

 

** and "UTTERLY STUNNING" I mean "UTTERLY STUNNING to anyone who hasn't seen him for about a minute in CABARET."

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By the way, has anyone mentioned the UTTERLY STUNNING** news that Joel Grey dropped on the world a few months back by coming out of the closet???

 

 

 

 

 

** and "UTTERLY STUNNING" I mean "UTTERLY STUNNING to anyone who hasn't seen him for about a minute in CABARET."

 

I was surprised to hear that he was straight, but I guess it turns out he wasn't after all. 

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Isherwood's out loud remark at the screening of CABARET was surely not an expression of surprise that the scene was in the film, just a comment that he wanted to make sure was heard.

 

I don't know if Isherwood ever attended a stage production. On stage the Isherwood-based chartacter was American Cliff Bradshaw. In the movie he was English Brian Roberts.

In the original stage production (I may be wrong about this)  I don't think Cliff was gay or bisexual (at least not explicitly) just as the Isherwood character was not explicitly gay in I AM A CAMERA.

Brian Roberts in the movie was gay (or perhaps bisexual --- although I think his experience with Sally was more of a fluke than anything), and in Sam Mendes's stage revival of CABARET Cliff Bradshaw was explicitly gay (or bisexual). Mendes's revival also added Kit Kat Boys. In one scene Cliff Bradhaw kisses one of them.

Isherwood and Van Druten (who wrote I Am a Camera) were, or became friends. Both were gay. Btw, as I've pointed out before, Isherwood in his Christopher and His Kind clearly brings the character out of the closet, "to set the record straight" as he wrote. Isherwood clearly wrote that he went to Berlin "for the boys," partly at the urging of his (also gay) friend W.H. Auden.

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In the original stage production (I may be wrong about this)  I don't think Cliff was gay or bisexual (at least not explicitly) just as the Isherwood character was not explicitly gay in I AM A CAMERA.

 

In the original libretto for CABARET, Cliff is neither gay nor bi-sexual.  In addition to seeing the original,  I did a production on the show and played Cliff..we did the original musical (as there was no other version at the time), the only thing Cliff is, is stupid.

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I don't understand the defensive nature of your post. I already posted that neither the show nor the film is a favorite of mine, because it contains no characters I like.  I have to like someone, to enjoy a movie, play or book.  Otherwise, I see the time invested, as wasted.  I don't view the film version of CABARET as a musical.  It's a drama where characters in the film are entertainers.  A musical, to my way of thinking, is an art form where song and dance serve to advance the story.  If you don't like people bursting into song, then you don't like musicals.  That's the art form of a musical.  Taking a musical and turning into a drama with music, doesn't make for a great musical.  It might make for a great drama.  That was my only point about my disagreement of CABARET being a great film musical.  Keeping the art form, and improving upon it for the medium of film is different than ignoring the art form for film, which is what CABARET does.  I didn't say someone else shouldn't like it. I said I didn't like it, and why I didn't.  It's not a great musical, to me. It wasn't a great musical to me, when I saw it on Broadway, presented in the proper art from.   If you think WEST SIDE STORY (which is a great musical, to me), isn't, then so be it.  You're entitled to not think so.   I really don't care what a critic of the time called CABARET.  That has no bearing, whatsoever, on my opinion of the film.  I could post, myriad, raves about WEST SIDE STORY, as well, but who cares?

 

I'm surprised that YOU'RE confused or "don't understand" my defense of my opinion and that I respond to yours. (Isn't that the nature of the TCM board? And if we're not having fun what's the point of participating?) i was reacting to your assertion that Cabaret doesn't come "anywhere near a great musical, since the film completely eliminates, what the concept of a musical, as a form of storytelling is" , an opinion which I think is dead wrong.(MY opinion!) The musical numbers in Cabaret, do, in fact tell the story and reflect the character's narrative or the mise en scene. Just one example of many - when Sally sings, "Maybe This Time" in the club, her sheer exuberance in the performance at that moment is a direct response to her new relationship with Brian; it's not just a random club song that she is "selling".. I am certainly not denying your right to not like the musical because you "don't like the characters" and therefore wasted your time, but it is hardly much of an arguement for why it is disqualified from being a great musical or "anywhere near". I have to wonder if your having to "like " the characters applies to nonmusicals - which would certainly preclude you liking many great films.

 

BTW, I also think West Side Story IS in fact, a great groundbreaking musical, for reasons similiar to Cabaret. ."Taking a musical, and turning it into a drama with music, doesn't make for a great musical.it might make for a great drama". Sounds like a great musical drama, to me - West Side Story. If I gently mocked the "gangs bursting into song" (a familar criticism from those who don't care for the piece), I was only pointing out that the musicals' conventions can seem rather contrived without our "willing supension of disbelief". Cabaret requires no such suspension of that disbelief during the numbers. I may not be crazy about its characters ( what's so unlikable about Brian, by the way, even if you dislike Sally?), but I certainly enjoy almost everything about the movie ( epecially those numbers) I also love Chicago -the other great Kander and Ebb musical. I doubt that you can like those killer characters either, so that musical may also be a waste of your time. My only point with my critic's quotation was that he was specific to my admiration of Cabaret. (a stunning MUSICAL, brilliantly CONCEIVED) Your statement that Cabaret is NOT a musical would ,no doubt, come as a shock to any who've performed it.

 

Re: Fosse's direction - don't know how it could possiblyhave been improved. Your opinion of his choregraphy -"if you've seen one Fosse you've seen them all" could probably be applied to Kidd, deMille, Robbins, Cole just as easily, if one notes their style and simply don't care for it. Fosse's earlier work (Kiss Me Kate (his numbers), My Sister Eileen, The Pajama Game) is hardly "cribbing from Cole" - it's SO Fosse! But certainly all of them borrow from the best if each others.

 

I think it goes without saying ( though we must sometimes say it) that our opinions are just that - our opinions.

We can at least agree that it is REALLY a terrible loss that we did not get to see Ms.Andrews in the film of She Loves Me. It would have been wonderful. I love that show and its lovely score. Hard to see Julie as Sally Bowles however ( though I realize my opinion is based on her usual screen persona).

My fondness for musicals is pretty all encompassing, but does not include McDonald-Eddy films, or chestnuts like The Student Prince, but hey - to each his own.

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In the original libretto for CABARET, Cliff is neither gay nor bi-sexual.  In addition to seeing the original,  I did a production on the show and played Cliff..we did the original musical (as there was no other version at the time), the only thing Cliff is, is stupid.

When I Am a Camera was made, the topic of homosexuality was pretty much forbidden territory, though based on Berlin Stories, wherein there was no question of that character's proclivity. The filmmakers could probably have suggested it, and maybe gotten away with it, but may have figured - why bother?

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I'm surprised that YOU'RE confused or "don't understand" my defense of my opinion and that I respond to yours. (Isn't that the nature of the TCM board? And if we're not having fun what's the point of participating?) i was reacting to your assertion that Cabaret doesn't come "anywhere near a great musical, since the film completely eliminates, what the concept of a musical, as a form of storytelling is" , an opinion which I think is dead wrong.(MY opinion!) The musical numbers in Cabaret, do, in fact tell the story and reflect the character's narrative or the mise en scene. Just one example of many - when Sally sings, "Maybe This Time" in the club, her sheer exuberance in the performance at that moment is a direct response to her new relationship with Brian; it's not just a random club song that she is "selling".. I am certainly not denying your right to not like the musical because you "don't like the characters" and therefore wasted your time, but it is hardly much of an arguement for why it is disqualified from being a great musical or "anywhere near". I have to wonder if your having to "like " the characters applies to nonmusicals - which would certainly preclude you liking many great films.

 

BTW, I also think West Side Story IS in fact, a great groundbreaking musical, for reasons similiar to Cabaret. ."Taking a musical, and turning it into a drama with music, doesn't make for a great musical.it might make for a great drama". Sounds like a great musical drama, to me - West Side Story. If I gently mocked the "gangs bursting into song" (a familar criticism from those who don't care for the piece), I was only pointing out that the musicals' conventions can seem rather contrived without our "willing supension of disbelief". Cabaret requires no such suspension of that disbelief during the numbers. I may not be crazy about its characters ( what's so unlikable about Brian, by the way, even if you dislike Sally?), but I certainly enjoy almost everything about the movie ( epecially those numbers) I also love Chicago -the other great Kander and Ebb musical. I doubt that you can like those killer characters either, so that musical may also be a waste of your time. My only point with my critic's quotation was that he was specific to my admiration of Cabaret. (a stunning MUSICAL, brilliantly CONCEIVED) Your statement that Cabaret is NOT a musical would ,no doubt, come as a shock to any who've performed it.

 

Re: Fosse's direction - don't know how it could possiblyhave been improved. Your opinion of his choregraphy -"if you've seen one Fosse you've seen them all" could probably be applied to Kidd, deMille, Robbins, Cole just as easily, if one notes their style and simply don't care for it. Fosse's earlier work (Kiss Me Kate (his numbers), My Sister Eileen, The Pajama Game) is hardly "cribbing from Cole" - it's SO Fosse! But certainly all of them borrow from the best if each others.

 

I think it goes without saying ( though we must sometimes say it) that our opinions are just that - our opinions.

We can at least agree that it is REALLY a terrible loss that we did not get to see Ms.Andrews in the film of She Loves Me. It would have been wonderful. I love that show and its lovely score. Hard to see Julie as Sally Bowles however ( though I realize my opinion is based on her usual screen persona).

My fondness for musicals is pretty all encompassing, but does not include McDonald-Eddy films, or chestnuts like The Student Prince, but hey - to each his own.

My issue isn't your opinion.  I said you were allowed to like it.  I didn't take issue with your liking it.  You took issue with my not liking it.  You also chose to bash other shows to support it.  Shows that are, actually, musicals in the context of the art form of musicals, and, if I liked those shows, then your were bashing me.  I never did that to you, regarding your opinion.   My comment about it being a drama with music was, clearly, about the film version of CABARET.  I have performed in it, eight show per week, for approximately 6 months.  The show as originally written IS a musical, so people would very much be surprised to have someone say it wasn't.  I never said that.  The show also contains the element of the songs, as performed in the Kit Kat Klub, as commentary on what is happening, so that isn't unique to the film.  So, yes, by all means, you are more than entitled to you opinion, and it requires no defense, but it shouldn't have to be supported by belittling musicals and those who may like them.

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When I Am a Camera was made, the topic of homosexuality was pretty much forbidden territory, though based on Berlin Stories, wherein there was no question of that character's proclivity. The filmmakers could probably have suggested it, and maybe gotten away with it, but may have figured - why bother?

Wasn't he bi in the film?  The show could have made his character homosexual, and gotten away with it, more than the film.  Broadway had dealt with that years before.  I think for the musical, they were trying to break new ground (which they did- Sally has an abortion!), while still keeping some semblance of traditional musical structure, which includes a straight leading man. 

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Wasn't he bi in the film?  The show could have made his character homosexual, and gotten away with it, more than the film.  Broadway had dealt with that years before.  I think for the musical, they were trying to break new ground (which they did- Sally has an abortion!), while still keeping some semblance of traditional musical structure, which includes a straight leading man. 

I haven't seen the film in ages, but I do recall that it was pretty clear in the film that he was gay -- even if it was unspoken. 

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From Cabaret the movie:

 

Sally:    Well, listen, we're practically living together, so if you only like boys...
...l mean, l wouldn't dream of pestering you.

 

[pause]


Well, do you sleep with girls, or don't you?
 
Brian: You don't ask questions like that.
 
Sally:   l do.
 
Brian:   All right. lf you insist. l do not sleep with girls.
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I haven't seen the film in ages, but I do recall that it was pretty clear in the film that he was gay -- even if it was unspoken. 

 

I've only seen the movie I AM A CAMERA once (were  you referring to I AM A CAMERA or CABARET?), but I don't think Isherwood was explicitly gay in it although perhaps it could be implied.

 

In the movie CABARET Brian Roberts (the Isherwood character) was gay (athough some will say he's bisexual because of his experience with Sally I say that his "fling" with Sally was a fluke).

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In the movie CABARET Brian Robets (the Isherwood character) was gay (athough some will say he's bisexual because of his experience with Sally I say that his "fling" with Sally was a fluke).

 

It's actually GAY LAW you know,

 

Article III, Paragraph IV:

Should CONTRACTEE encounter, at any time, one LIZA MINELLI, who in turn, requests sexual services from CONTRACTEE, CONTRACTEE is legally bound to provide sexual services for the duration of time requested by Miss Minelli, not exceeding a period of eighteen (18) months.

 

(They can kick you out if you don't comply.)

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I've only seen the movie I AM A CAMERA once (were  you referring to I AM A CAMERA or CABARET?), but I don't think Isherwood was explicitly gay in it although perhaps it could be implied.

 

In the movie CABARET Brian Robets (the Isherwood character) was gay (athough some will say he's bisexual because of his experience with Sally I say that his "fling" with Sally was a fluke).

I was referring in that comment to the movie Cabaret -- that's why I quoted from the film script in my next post. I don't remember the play, though I cast scenes from it once. Of course we need to remember that films are more than scripts/words, and it is possible -- and likely -- that much will be expressed in other ways.

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It's actually GAY LAW you know,

 

Article III, Paragraph IV:

Should CONTRACTEE encounter, at any time, one LIZA MINELLI, who in turn, requests sexual services from CONTRACTEE, CONTRACTEE is legally bound to provide sexual services for the duration of time requested by Miss Minelli, not exceeding a period of eighteen (18) months.

 

(They can kick you out if you don't comply.)

 

I never knew it was an actual law.

I've been schooled.

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Btw, I want to add something that I'm not sure I mentioned on the Board before. I worked with Joe Masteroff, who wrote the book (libretto) for Cabaret. He said that Boris Aronson's wonderful set was quite complex and that it took time for each set piece to move into place. They realized that they needed to do something for the audience during those times. The answer was "Let Joel do something." And so a part that was originally much more of a supporting role grew into a more major one, as extra bits and pieces were added for that character. But Joel had already been billed as supporting, and that's how he won the Featured Actor Tony Award that year. In revivals, based on how the role grew because of the scenery in the original production, the emcee was elevated to billing which befitted the expanded role.

 

[btw, Jack Gilford (Herr Schultz) and Lotte Lenya (Fraulein Schneider) were nominated in the Best Actor and Actress category for the Tony Award that year, probably due to their stature in the business rather than the size of their roles. Peg Murray (Fraulein Kost) was nominated for Featured Actress]. 

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Btw, I want to add something that I'm not sure I mentioned on the Board before. I worked with Joe Masteroff, who wrote the book (libretto) for Cabaret. He said that Boris Aronson's wonderful set was quite complex and that it took time for each set piece to move into place. They realized that they needed to do something for the audience during those times. The answer was "Let Joel do something." And so a part that was originally much more of a supporting role grew into a more major one, as extra bits and pieces were added for that character. But Joel had already been billed as supporting, and that's how he won the Featured Actor Tony Award that year. In revivals, based on how the role grew because of the scenery in the original production, the emcee was elevated to billing which befitted the expanded role.

 

[btw, Jack Gilford (Herr Schultz) and Lotte Lenya (Fraulein Schneider) were nominated in the Best Actor and Actress category for the Tony Award that year, probably due to their stature in the business rather than the size of their roles. Peg Murray (Fraulein Kost) was nominated for Featured Actress]. 

 

Here's a clip of Liza Minnelli singing "So What," which was sung Lotte Lenya as Fraulein Schneider in the original stage production of CABARET. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZc2fUqmaXE

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Here's a clip of Liza Minnelli singing "So What," which was sung Lotte Lenya as Fraulein Schneider in the original stage production of CABARET. 

 

Nice!  Actually, Lenya had several songs in the show -- four, plus a reprise of "Married" and as part of the cast in "Tomorrow Belongs to Me." So it was a pretty big role in the original. The character had more songs than Sally Bowles, though of course we remember the title song best.

 

I should point out to Johnm001 that all of Fraulein Schneider's songs are in the tradition of modern musical theater, i.e. they are NOT songs sung in performance settings by a character who is a singer but are rather used to tell something about character and move the plot along.

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Nice!  Actually, Lenya had several songs in the show -- four, plus a reprise of "Married" and as part of the cast in "Tomorrow Belongs to Me." So it was a pretty big role in the original. The character had more songs than Sally Bowles, though of course we remember the title song best.

 

 

 

Yes, I love Fraulein Schneider's songs in the stage musical CABARET (none were sung by the the character in the movie).

 

Here's one of my favorites "It Couldn't Please Me More" as sung by Mary Louise Wilson and Ron Rifkin in the Sam Mendes revival on Broadway.

 

 

An instumental version of "It Couldn't Please Me More" is heard playing on Sally Bowles's victrola in the movie CABARET.

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Yes, I love Fraulein Schneider's songs in the stage musical CABARET (none where sung by the the character in the movie).

 

Thanks -- I hadn't heard that before. When I saw that production at the Donmar in London, the role was played by Sara Kestelman.  Mary Louise Wilson is one of our enduing stage actresses, most recently on Broadway in the revival of On the Twentieth Century, playing the role originated in the musical by Imogene Coca. The character (the religious fanatic "Repent" character) is based on Etienne Girardot's role in the 1934 film Twentieth Century (which he also played in the original Broadway play).

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Thanks -- I hadn't heard that before. When I saw that production at the Donmar in London, the role was played by Sara Kestelman.  Mary Louise Wilson is one of our enduing stage actresses, most recently on Broadway in the revival of On the Twentieth Century, playing the role originated in the musical by Imogene Coca. The character (the religious fanatic "Repent" character) is based on Etienne Girardot's role in the 1934 film Twentieth Century (which he also played in the original Broadway play).

 

Yes, Mary Louise Wilson was also good as Big Edie in the second act of GREY GARDENS THE MUSICAL.

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Nice!  Actually, Lenya had several songs in the show -- four, plus a reprise of "Married" and as part of the cast in "Tomorrow Belongs to Me." So it was a pretty big role in the original. The character had more songs than Sally Bowles, though of course we remember the title song best.

 

I should point out to Johnm001 that all of Fraulein Schneider's songs are in the tradition of modern musical theater, i.e. they are NOT songs sung in performance settings by a character who is a singer but are rather used to tell something about character and move the plot along.

What does she sing in the movie?  I don't recall her singing.  I only saw it, once, when it was in theaters.

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What does she sing in the movie?  I don't recall her singing.  I only saw it, once, when it was in theaters.

 In the show, Fraulein Schneider sings "So What," "It Couldn't Please Me More," "Married," "Married" (reprise), and "What Would You Do?"  Not "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" -- I mis-wrote that. She does sing in the Finale.

 

Sally is made a much more central character in the movie.  Fraulein Schneider's songs were cut from the film, although they appear as background music, when people are listening to recordings, etc. Liza and Joel have almost all of the songs in the movie, making it at least in one sense (as you say) a kind of old-fashioned showbiz musical; although the stage show was much more than that.

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 In the show, Fraulein Schneider sings "So What," "It Couldn't Please Me More," "Married," "Married" (reprise), and "What Would You Do?"  Not "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" -- I mis-wrote that. She does sing in the Finale.

 

Sally is made a much more central character in the movie.  Fraulein Schneider's songs were cut from the film, although they appear as background music, when people are listening to recordings, etc. Liza and Joel have almost all of the songs in the movie, making it at least in one sense (as you say) a kind of old-fashioned showbiz musical; although the stage show was much more than that.

I am very familiar with the show.  I played Cliff in a production, for 6 months.  My comments about not moving the story forward were regarding the film.  Cliff's songs are dialog-driven, as well.  The original musical has both.  The film only goes with the performance songs.

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I am very familiar with the show.  I played Cliff in a production, for 6 months.  My comments about not moving the story forward were regarding the film.  Cliff's songs are dialog-driven, as well.  The original musical has both.  The film only goes with the performance songs.

In the BBC's recent non-musical Christopher and His Kind, the Sally Bowles character's night club song is used very effectively in a montage which includes the heartbreaking abortion scene. 

 

 

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