What is Cabaret?

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard the word, but maybe you didn’t fully understand what it was. What is New York City cabaret? Is it comedy or dancing or upscale entertainment? The slightly complicated answer is that it is all these things while simultaneously being none of them. Read on to find out exactly what that means.

New York City cabaret

Cabaret is an art form, and there aren’t many rules that apply to it. In fact, some have suggested cabaret was developed to ditch the strict rules of the golden days for something more freeing and flexible.

There are a few ways to define cabaret, despite the apparent lack of rules, however. This helps to show us what is or isn’t included in this eclectic entertainment form.

The most important thing to know is that cabaret takes place in a restaurant or dining establishment. People enjoy cabaret while they eat food. The food does not necessarily have to be fancy, contrary to widespread belief. It just simply has to food.

The second most important thing to know is that this form of entertainment has no ‘fourth wall.’ For those who don’t already know, the fourth wall is the illusionary wall between the entertainers and the audience. It tells us the actors are in the setting of their story, not speaking directly with us.

With no fourth wall, cabaret performers can engage with the audience. In fact, this is the only major trait spanning this form of entertainment. Performers not only can but definitely do interact with the audience on a large scale.

Besides these two defining facts, cabaret can be nearly anything. It can encompass comedy, tragedy, acting, singing, dancing. It also encompasses the risqué art forms like drag queens and can-can dancers. With such a diverse population, New York City’s cabaret scene is a cut above the rest.