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Musical 'Cabaret,' then and now

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13.10.2019

By Chang Se-moon


On Sept. 19, my dear friend Anne Martin took me to the musical "Cabaret," being performed at the very nice Olney Theatre in Olney, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C. As special guests, we sat on the stage, practically a part of talented cast who performed superbly in the show.

The origin of "Cabaret" is a 1939 book by Christopher Isherwood, titled "Goodbye to Berlin." The story unfolds in a night club called the Kit Kat Klub in 1931 Berlin, Germany, when the Nazis are gaining power.

The Kit Kat Klub is a popular place for homosexuals, dancers sleeping with visiting sailors for money, and dancers entertaining customers through singing and dancing. The "Klub" is a seedy place, full of activities that are illegal or morally questionable.

I am writing about "Cabaret" because I find some similarities be-tween Berlin in the early 1930s and Seoul now.

A young American writer Cliff Bradshaw comes to Berlin to gather material for his novel. With help from Ernst, Cliff finds a room at a boarding house run by Fraulein Schneider who asks 100 German marks per month but accepts Cliff for 50 marks per month because that is all he can afford.

When Cliff visits the Kit Kat Klub, the master of ceremonies, called MC, introduces him to the........

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