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The Making of Cabaret$
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Keith Garebian

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732494

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732494.001.0001

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Curtain of Light, Tilted Mirror

Curtain of Light, Tilted Mirror

Chapter:
(p.38) Chapter 3 Curtain of Light, Tilted Mirror
Source:
The Making of Cabaret
Author(s):

Keith Garebian

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732494.003.0003

Because of an epiphany he experienced in Moscow's Taganka Theater, Harold Prince was able to find his central metaphor that was appropriate not only to German society in the Third Reich but to America in the sixties as well. This chapter explains how Prince was able to achieve the physical look of his musical through the lighting design of Jean Rosenthal and the set design of Boris Aronson. Rosenthal's clever lighting demarcated two worlds: the real world (the cabaret scenes and the book scenes), and the limbo area (the mind). The Emcee's material was divided between scenes in the cabaret and metaphorical numbers representing changes in the German mind. Aronson extended Prince's central metaphor by a mirror tilted over the stage to reflect both the performers and the audience. This was the greatest visual coup because it forced audiences to interrogate their own relationship to the play's political and moral significance.

Keywords:   Harold Prince, epiphany, Taganka Theater, lighting and set design, Jean Rosenthal, Boris Aronson, Kit Kat Klub, real and limbo areas, tilted mirror

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