How Broadway’s ‘Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club’ Pulls Off Its Audacious, Sensual 75-Minute Prologue

Jordan Fein, the associate director of Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, is orchestrating a scene of controlled chaos.

Amidst construction crew members hammering and carrying planks of wood, musicians, and dancers poised for rehearsal, Fein seeks order in the preparation for John Kander and Fred Ebb’s iconic “Cabaret” revival.


The production’s innovative prologue invites theatergoers to immerse themselves in a pre-show club experience unlike any other.

Creating a Theatrical Prelude

Rebecca Frecknall, the show’s director, reveals the creative genesis behind the prologue: a bridge between reality and the theatrical realm.

The prologue acts as an invitation for audiences to engage with the Kit Kat Club before the main performance commences.

“We needed something to serve as a bridge between the outside world and the performance of ‘Cabaret,’ so we came up with this idea of a prologue,” explains Frecknall.

This concept breathes life into the space long before the curtain rises.

Rehearsal Insights: Balancing Chaos and Precision

In the midst of rehearsals, the prologue ensemble, led by choreographer Julia Cheng, fine-tunes their performances.

The atmosphere is frenetic yet meticulously planned, with performers like Will Ervin Jr. bringing a unique blend of historical flair and contemporary energy to their routines.

Cheng’s choreography infuses the dances with subversive club culture vibes, evoking a sense of improvisation within a tightly coordinated framework.

Redefining the Entrance Experience

The audience’s journey begins with a deliberate descent into the underground world of the Kit Kat Club.

Tom Scutt, the show’s designer, explains, “I want to challenge the idea of what is an entrance.” Trash-filled alleyways and side doors set the tone for an immersive experience that defies traditional Broadway expectations.

The Prologue: A Multisensory Journey

As theatergoers step inside the Kit Kat Club, they are transported into three distinct spaces: the Vault Bar, the Red Bar, and the Green Bar.

Each area offers a unique ambiance, from the kaleidoscopic, prismatic atmosphere of the Vault Bar to the voyeuristic, sensual allure of the Red Bar.

The Green Bar, with its nostalgic New York gay bar vibe, completes the spectrum, inviting patrons to explore and interact before the main event.

Musical Tapestry of the Prologue

Original compositions by Angus MacRae set the mood for the prologue, blending eerie modern sounds with classical influences.

MacRae’s vision extends beyond mere accompaniment, aiming to create a dreamlike, surreal atmosphere that complements the themes of Cabaret.

Capturing the Spirit of Weimar Berlin

The production team deliberately avoids historical replication, opting instead to capture the essence of Weimar-era clubs in a contemporary setting.

“We were more interested in capturing an atmosphere,” says Frecknall. This approach honors the legacy of lost artists and the groundbreaking spirit of pre-war Berlin.

Choreographic Precision

Cheng’s choreography, influenced by street dance styles like punking and waacking, infuses the prologue with an air of spontaneity.

Despite its apparent informality, every movement is meticulously timed and synchronized, ensuring a seamless transition between spaces.

The Kit Kat Club: A Living Archive

For Fein, the prologue represents more than a prelude to the show; it’s a tribute to the historical significance of the August Wilson Theatre and its enduring legacy.

“I want our performers to almost be like ghosts of the building,” Fein muses, reflecting on the theater’s storied past.

Remembering Lost Artistry

The prologue serves as a poignant reminder of the vibrant artistic scene that flourished in Berlin before the onset of Nazi oppression.

Fein reflects on the tragic loss of queer, Black, and Jewish artists during that era, emphasizing the production’s commitment to exploring similar artistic frontiers today.


Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club redefines the Broadway experience through its innovative prologue, inviting audiences to step into a world where history, music, and performance converge.

This unique approach not only pays homage to the past but also challenges conventional theater norms, creating an immersive journey that transcends time and place.

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