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    Turner Classic Movies (TCM)'s  Road to Hollywood tour will make a stop in Manhattan on January 31st for a free star-studded big-screen presentation of 1972's Oscar-winning Cabaret, based on the Tony-winning musical adaptation by Kander and Ebb and starring Oscar winners Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. With additional sponsors Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Verizon FiOS, the gala event begins at 7 P.M. at the Ziegfeld Theatre, where Cabaret first premiered. Four of the film's stars - Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York, and Marisa Berenson - will join TCM host Robert Osborne to introduce the 40th anniversary restoration of the film.

    To obtain free tickets, beginning January 17, and for more information go online to www.tcm.com/roadtohollywood.

    Cabaret is one of the most acclaimed films of its era, and features Minnelli in her Oscar-winning performance as Sally Bowles, an eccentric American singer looking for love and success in 1930 Berlin. Joel Grey recreated his Tony and Drama Desk-winner portrayal of the Kit Kat Club's narcissistic emcee. Michael York, then at his most dashing, plays a young bi-sexual English teacher whose eyes are opened by his underworld Berlin experiences, not to mention his affair with Bowles. Berenson is a Jewish department store heiress whose love life is affected by the rise of Hitler and anti-Semitism. Elisabeth Neumann-Viertel portrayed Fräulein Schneider.

    On February 5, Warner Home Video will debut an elaborate Cabaret 40th Anniversary Blu-ray with a 40-page book of rarely seen photos. A bonus feature with be a new documentary, Cabaret: The Musical That Changed Musicals, a look at how Fosse and Kander and Ebb's Cabaret brought movie musicals back from the brink of extinction. The Blu-ray will be followed by a standard DVD.

    The film, which was shot in Germany, became a runaway box office smash that grossed more than $44-billion worldwide. It provided a perfect showcase for the unique choreography and imaginative visual style of Bob Fosse, who won the Oscar for Best Director. The film also took home Oscars for Cinematography, Art Direction-Set Decoration, Film Editing, Sound, and Adapted Score.

    Cabaret was based on the semi-autobiographical The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood and the subsequent play I Am a Camera (1951), which starred Julie Harris. It was first and controversially adapted to the screen in the U.K in 1955 [starring Harris, Laurence Harvey (playing Isherwood), and Shelley Winters]. Joe Masteroff wrote the book for the musical adaptation, with Jay Presson Allen penning the screenplay. Veteran stage producer Cy Feuer co-produced the film musical. 

    The film print hasn't been shown in a decade because one of the film's original reels suffered damage in the form of a reel-long vertical scratch. Warner Bros. Studios, which has been at the forefront of restoring films they produced [such as the 1954 A Star Is Born, starring Judy Garland and James Mason] or acquired, corrected more than one million frames by hand. The negative was then scanned to significantly improve resolution, and the sound was upgraded to today's state-of-the-art technology.

    TCM's Road to Hollywood Tour is a buildup to Los Angeles' April 25-28 star-studded TCM Classic Film Festival. The Cabaret tour and stars will hit 10 cities.

    Ellis Nassour is an international media journalist, and author of Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline, which he has adapted into a musical for the stage. Visit www.patsyclinehta.com.

    He can be reached at [email protected]

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