The first musical ever to be given an X certificate, Bob Fosse's "Cabaret" launched Liza Minnelli into Hollywood superstardom and reinvented the musical for the Age of Aquarius.
Following in the wake of the radical sexual politics of the 60s, Fosse's adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's autobiographical "Berlin Stories" focuses on singer-dancer Sally Bowles (Minnelli) as she struts her stuff on the stage of the Kit-Kat club - a place where absolutely anything goes.
While the decadent partygoers of 30s Berlin experiment with song, dance, and all manner of sexual couplings, Germany's going to rack and ruin as a bunch of thuggish political heavies known as the Nazis turn the city's streets into a violent arena of hate-crimes and political propaganda. The champagne may still be flowing at the Kit-Kat club, but how long will it be before the brown shirts fulfil the promise of the song "Tomorrow Belongs to Me"?
Contrasting the perverse stage show with the terror engulfing the streets, Fosse turns "Cabaret" into a dark yet gaudy snapshot of an era of the relentless pursuit of pleasure. As the sexy, but none too bright, singer Minnelli (in bowler hat and stockings) dominates the stage, squeezing Michael York's shy gay Englishman out of the frame and only meeting her match in Joel Grey's overblown and completely unforgettable Master of Ceremonies.The songs all take place on the stage, so as not to disturb the sexual shenanigans between Minnelli, York, and Helmut Griem's bisexual, and include "Money, Money", "Mein Herr" and, of course, "Cabaret". All are guaranteed to leave Sally Bowles' words ringing in your ears as the credits roll: "Divine decadence, darling!"