Kander and Ebb

Keith Garebian

in The Making of Cabaret

Second edition

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732494
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894482 | DOI:
Kander and Ebb

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This chapter provides a detailed examination of the show's music and lyrics (including material cut from the final version) by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The examination includes potted biographies of the composers as well as an account of their collaboration on this musical, with details about the problems linked to characterization and incident. The main argument is that the songs comment on the book scenes but without being limited to commentary. They are in the mood of the story, and their primary purpose is point of view. They are entertaining even as they reflect the moral decline of Germany and many of the characters, and they draw attention to their theatrical artifice (including camp, which is examined in a historical gay context). Accordingly, the four basic elements of camp (irony, aestheticism, exaggeration, and humor) are analyzed as found in the musical

Keywords: John Kander; Fred Ebb; music and lyrics; libretto; German and American jazz; point of view; camp and theatrical artifice

Chapter.  10631 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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