Restaurant that serves liquor and offers light musical entertainment. The cabaret probably originated in France in the 1880s as a small club that presented amateur acts and satiric skits lampooning bourgeois conventions. The first German Kabarett was opened in Berlin c. 1900 by Baron Ernst von Wolzogen and accompanied its musical acts with biting political satire. By the 1920s it had become the centre for underground political and literary expression and a showcase for the works of social critics such as Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill; this decadent but fertile artistic milieu was later portrayed in the musical Cabaret (1966; film, 1972). The English cabaret derived from concerts given in city taverns in the 18th–19th centuries and evolved into the music hall. In the U.S. the cabaret developed into the nightclub, where comedians, singers, or musicians performed. Small jazz and folk clubs and, later, comedy clubs evolved from the original cabaret.
I’ve noticed more and more artists that seem to be picking up on the picaresque fascinations of stage show.
- The Decemberists ( with their record entitled Picaresque ): The singer, Colin Meloy sings “We Both Go Down Together” or 16 Military Wives
- The Ditty Bops Your Head’s Too Big and Wishful Thinking
- Gogol Bordello Not a Crime
In sum, this shows MTV ( in it’s much smarter MTV Overdrive incarnation ) tapping into a desire in the masses for cabaret.
I ask myself, why is yesteryear’s generational barometer serving this type of entertainment up.
The last time picaresque cabaret was served up was under the authoritarian eras of the Weimar Republic or Mussolini.