Performers include: Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey.
All songs written by John Kander and Fred Ebb.
Lyricist: Fred Ebb.
Personnel: Liza Minnelli (vocals); Greta Keller, Joel Grey, Marisa Berenson, Mark Lambert, Michael York (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Max O. Preeo.
Director: Bob Fosse.
Even though he came from the theater himself, Bob Fosse, when he came to make a film of Harold Prince's musical Cabaret, did what most movie directors do, taking the 15-song score and cutting two-thirds of it to leave five songs -- "Wilkommen," "Two Ladies," "Tomorrow Belongs to Me," "If You Could See Her," and "Cabaret." (In addition, "Sitting Pretty" was performed instrumentally and "Married" in German.) He then allowed the show's songwriters, John Kander and Fred Ebb, to add material to emphasize the film's two musical stars, "Mein Herr" and "Maybe This Time" for Liza Minnelli and "Money, Money" for Minnelli and Joel Grey. ("Maybe This Time" was a Kander-Ebb song Minnelli had been singing since 1964.) The film was even more successful than the show, and the soundtrack album went gold, outselling the original Broadway cast album. It is not the record you want to buy to get the complete score, of course, and even at its 38-plus-minute running time it's padded. But it contains some definitive Minnelli performances, particularly her rendition of the title song. In the show and film, the song's upbeat, devil-may-care mood is in stark contrast to the downbeat conclusion of the plot, which finds lead character Sally Bowles stranded in Nazi Germany. Coming from Minnelli, there is an added subtext, as the performance can be read as a tribute to her mother, Judy Garland. And Grey is equally impressive, particularly in "Wilkommen" and "If You Could See Her." Cabaret won Academy Awards for Minnelli and Grey, but lost the Best Picture award, and a similar judgment can be made about the soundtrack album. Their performances are outstanding, but the album as a whole is a bit skimpy. Subsequent stage productions tended to incorporate the new film songs. (The 1996 CD reissue re-sequences the songs.) ~ William Ruhlmann