Inside the Kit Kat Club of 1931 Berlin, American singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) celebrates "divine decadence" with songs like "Mein Herr," "Money, Money" and "Cabaret" while the impish emcee (Joel Grey) mocks the Nazis. Offstage, the promiscuous Bowles seduces gay Brian Roberts (Michael York) and both have intimate encounters with a rich playboy (Helmut Griem).
The sexual exploits come to an end as the playboy abandons both of them and Bowles aborts her baby with Roberts to pursue her singing career and carefree lifestyle.
The conventional liberal interpretation of Cabaret is that Bowles and her coterie of performers and lovers are creative free spirits who are bravely standing up against the brutish fascists. However, another interpretation is that the Kit Kat Club and its denizens represented all the filth, corruption and anarchy that plagued the Weimar Republic. The Germans gave power to Hitler to “restore morality.”
The true lesson of Cabaret, that decadence provokes fascism, has been lost on Hollywood because the cultural revolution that began in the mid-1960s seems unending as performers and producers “push the envelope” to bring new levels of depravity to the media. The pushback may bring fascism to America.