I just recently saw this filming of the rough cut of the stage play. I loved it! It was raw and edgy, and had enough atmosphere to give you an idea of what Berlin was like in the 1930's. People have said that the stars couldn't sing. BALONEY! Sally Bowles couldn't sing, she was hired to bring in business to the Kit Kat Klub. Jane Horrocks is a fantastic singer in other productions...but the character in Cabaret requires a horrible or mediocre singing ability! She wasn't supposed to be Liza. If you don't believe me check out LITTLE VOICE! Alan Cumming isn't Joel Grey. He wasn't trying to be. But Cumming added a sinister spin to the Emcee that wasn't in the 1972 film. Joel Grey was comic relief in the movie. In this production, Alan Cumming just added a foreshadowing dread to what was happening to Berlin at that time.
Sara Kestelman was also wonderful and convincing as Frauline Schneider. Torn between her love for Herr Schultz, and what would happen to her if she went ahead with her marriage. She reminded me of Lotte Lenya when she sang SO WHAT.
This filmed staging was directed by Sam Mendes who brought it to the stage in the mid 90's. There were songs added and scenes deleted. But all in all, it really give the viewer a look at what Christopher Isherwood had in mind when he wrote it. Don't get me wrong, I love the 1972 film, but this is world's away from that story. This shows the viewer the sleazy side of Berlin, without the glitz and gloss.
If you get a chance to see this depiction, be prepared to be shocked! The ending will blow you away!