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Nightmare Fuel / Cabaret

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Stage musical

  • The Emcee is a walking embodiment of this trope from his introduction. Oh, sure, he opens the show with "Willkommen", a song sung in German, French and English (in that order), welcoming everyone to the Kit Kat Klub (and the show by extension). It's a fun, boisterous and even paced jazz standard, something the actors playing him often play up (a good example is the original performer for the role, Joel Grey). You should feel welcome, right? Well...not quite. His makeup design from the original production is unsettling to say the least; foundation at least one shade too light, a good layer of pink greasepaint on his cheeks, garish eye shadow, long fake eyelashes and an uneasy Stepford Smiler look on his face showing bright white teeth, almost animalistic. This is a good indicator that things in 1930's Berlin are not as joyous and cozy as they appear.
  • The reprise of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me," when just about all of the guests at the engagement party begin singing along. As Fraulein Schneider later says, "I can no longer dismiss the Nazi Party. Now they are my friends and neighbors."
  • The Sam Mendes production has the Emcee repeating his assurance that, "Life is beautiful... the girls are beautiful... even the orchestra is beautiful...", but when the orchestra is revealed, music is heard playing but the musicians aren't there.
  • The ending to the 2012 London revival has the Emcee, Sally and the Kit Kat Klub boys and girls being herded into gas chambers by Ernst Ludwig. Because clearly the original ending wasn't enough of a downer.

1972 film

  • The movie version of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" starts off disarmingly pleasant, but swiftly becomes horrifying when the audience of common, ordinary people begin standing up and singing along and become swept up in the nationalist fervor, and it becomes obvious to the audience that these ordinary people are the grassroots support that allowed the Nazis to rise. There's even a deliberate shot of a child who can't be any older than three starting to sing along with the adults.
    • The camera slowly panning down to reveal the singer's swastika armband. Even when you know it's coming, it's chilling.
    • There's a brief shot of an elderly man drinking his beer. He doesn't stand or sing along. Instead, he just looks completely disgusted. The most chilling part? A good number of Germans didn't support the Nazi party at all...but stood by and did nothing for various reasons.
    • Even scarier near the end of the scene it cuts to the Emcee who looks up toward the viewer then smiles an eerie smile and nods his head slowly at the viewer as if telling the viewer that yes, they can still control the people.
  • The film's ending. It's revealed many members of the audience are wearing Nazi uniforms, a foreshadowing of what's to come for the country and, by extension, for the world. Even creepier, the credits roll over a freeze frame of this scene, in complete silence.
    • Readers of the original Isherwood stories could relate the scene to the last story's final sentence:
      Even now I can’t altogether believe that any of this has really happened.