Cabaret was a very successful Broadway musical that was made into a very different, but even more successful, Hollywood film. Set in the dark days of Weimar, Germany, the musical told the stories of several people connected with a rundown cabaret, with songs deriving from the plot and from the club's shows. The film focused on two of the characters and built up the part of Sally Bowles as a star vehicle for Liza Minnelli, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress. When producer John Yap got around to the work in his series of studio cast recordings for That's Entertainment Records (TER) in 1993, he (as usual) made the longest recorded version yet, beginning with the songs originally written for the stage production and adding on at the end the new songs written for or interpolated into the film, such as "Money, Money" and "Maybe This Time." (The album was reissued in 1999 on Jay Records.) The result was a 32-track, two-CD set running over 110 minutes. This highlights disc, initially released on Showtime and then reissued on Jay Records' Curtain Call subsidiary, cuts that down to one 12-track, 411/2-minute disc that eliminates whole characters (Judi Dench's Fraulein Schneider is gone) and moves a couple of the film songs up in the set list. As with the film, the result tends to focus attention on the Sally Bowles character, here flamboyantly portrayed by Maria Friedman. Jonathan Pryce is an appropriately seedy MC, and Gregg Edelman is appropriately shallow as Clifford Bradshaw (called Brian Roberts in the film). This is an inexpensive way to hear some of the score, but you'd still be better off with the full-length version, the original Broadway cast recording, or the original soundtrack.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann