Chapter

Sally Bowles and Berlin

Keith Garebian

in The Making of Cabaret

Second edition

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732494
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894482 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732494.003.0001
Sally Bowles and Berlin

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This chapter explains how Christopher Isherwood came to write his Berlin stories, the source of his Sally Bowles novella that became the basis for John van Druten's play I Am a Camera (1951) and then Joe Masteroff's libretto for the musical. The chapter supplies a detailed reading of the theme of reality and unreality that is central to Sally Bowles's story; it also draws comparisons and contrasts between the fictional Sally Bowles and her real‐life counterpart, Jean Ross. Moreover, it analyzes the flaws‐mainly distortions in characterization and politics‐in van Druten's play and the 1956 British film adaptation of it, and it shows how Harold Prince became interested in creating the musical.

Keywords: Christopher Isherwood; Berlin stories; Sally Bowles; Jean Ross; John van Druten; I Am a Camera; Joe Masteroff; Harold Prince

Chapter.  8197 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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