Chapter

Casting

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/9780199732494.003.0006
Casting

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Presenting a quick overview of their careers, this chapter reveals how the main performers came to be cast in the show. It begins with Lotte Lenya (Fräulein Schneider), the émigré actress most identified with Brecht and Weill (she and Weill were married at the time of his death in 1950), whose songs in the show were said to be accurate stencils of her life. Jack Gilford (Herr Schultz) came to the show out of American vaudeville and nightclubs. Joel Grey (Emcee), who had made his stage debut at nine, received fifth billing but quickly turned his role into a star attraction. Harold Prince had trouble finding his Cliff and Sally but settled on singer Bert Convy and English nonsinger Jill Haworth. The chapter indicates how these performers' varied personalities, talents, and experiences made for an interesting distribution of roles, with Prince's interest being more in the atmosphere of the show than in any single character.

Keywords: Lotte Lenya; Brecht and Weill; Jack Gilford; vaudeville; Joel Grey; Bert Convy; Jill Haworth

Chapter.  5184 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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