Cabaret is based on John Van Druten's 1951 play "I Am a Camera," which in turn was adapted from the novel "Goodbye to Berlin" by Christopher Isherwood. Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, it is, as Fred Ebb said, "about people dancing on the edge of a cliff and not quite falling over."
Cabaret revolves around Sally Bowles, a cabaret performer in the seedy Kit Kat
Club, Cliff Bradshaw, the young American writer she becomes involved with, and the characters
of the edgy, threatening world they inhabit, including landlady Fräulein Schneider, caught in a
doomed romance with Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. Overseeing the action is the Master of
Ceremonies at the Kit Kat Klub, a decadent and ominous symbol of the era.