Life Is a Cabaret
In the late 19th century, a new kind of intimate performing arts venue emerged in the bohemian enclaves of Paris that would eventually become known worldwide as “cabarets.” Heralded by intellectuals, composers, musicians, performers, and visual artists, the Parisian trend quickly spread across continental Europe and eventually found its apotheosis in Berlin of the Weimar era, immortalized by Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel and reincarnated years later by Liza Minnelli in Bob Fosse’s Cabaret. This course, taught by the vintage cabaret specialist and New York City cabaret veteran known by his stage name Daniel Isengart, examines how the early European cabaret format borrowed from vaudeville and burlesque as well as much older genres such as the musical and literary salon, infusing it with a critical zeitgeist of modernity that shattered all conventions. Our goal is to understand the specific historical circumstances that created the cabaret genre. We will study its history via archival photographs, vintage film material, excerpts from movies, and literature and map its lasting influence on modern popular culture. Surprise guests from New York’s cabaret world will enliven this online class and demonstrate how life is and will always be a cabaret.
You'll Walk Away with
- Familiarity with influential cabaret shows and venues
- An understanding of how cabarets started and their influence on modern popular culture
- Theatre, art, and music enthusiasts
- All members of the community—working, retired, and in between