A ‘Cabaret’ to Believe In

Online.WSJ.com – Terry Teachout

Providence, R.I. – More people, I suspect, know “Cabaret” as a movie rather than as a stage show nowadays. Bob Fosse’s hard-edged, bisexually frank 1972 screen version, in which Joe Masteroff’s book was completely rewritten and all but one of the songs were performed in a more-or-less naturalistic nightclub setting, was the most influential movie musical of the post-“Hair” era. Not only did Rob Marshall’s 2002 film of “Chicago” owe everything to Fosse’s example, but most of the major stage revivals of “Cabaret,” including Sam Mendes’s long-running 1999 Broadway production, have incorporated various elements inspired by or purloined from the Fosse film.