I Am a Camera
|I Am a Camera|
|Written by||John Van Druten Adapted from the Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood|
|Characters||Christopher Isherwood |
|Date premiered||November 28, 1951|
|Place premiered||Empire Theater, New York City|
|Subject||An English writer living in Berlin before the rise of the Hitler regime|
|Setting||A room in Fraulein Schneider's flat in Berlin 1930|
I Am a Camera is a 1951 Broadway play by John Van Druten adapted from Christopher Isherwood's 1939 novel Goodbye to Berlin, which is part of The Berlin Stories. The title is a quote taken from the novel's first page: "I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking." The original production was staged by John Van Druten, with scenic and lighting design by Boris Aronson and costumes by Ellen Goldsborough. It opened at the Empire Theatre in New York City on November 28, 1951 and ran for 214 performances before closing on July 12, 1952.
The production was a critically acclaimed success for both Julie Harris as the insouciant Sally Bowles, winning her the first of five Tony Awards of her career for Best Leading Actress in a play, and for Marian Winters, who won both the Theatre World Award and Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Play. The play also won for John Van Druten the New York Drama Critics' Circle for Best American Play (1952). It also earned the famous review by Walter Kerr, "Me no Leica".
Original Broadway Cast (1951)
- Christopher Isherwood – William Prince
- Fraulein Schneider – Olga Fabian
- Fritz Wendel – Martin Brooks
- Sally Bowles – Julie Harris
- Natalia Landauer – Marian Winters
- Clive Mortimer – Edward Andrews
- Mrs. Watson-Courtneidge – Catherine Willard
- Film – I Am a Camera (1955) – screenplay by John Collier, music by Malcolm Arnold, starring Julie Harris, Laurence Harvey, and Shelley Winters.
- Broadway Musical – Cabaret (1966) – directed by Hal Prince, book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, starring Jill Haworth, Bert Convy, Lotte Lenya, Jack Gilford, and Joel Grey.
- Film Musical – Cabaret (1972) – directed by Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, starring Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, and Michael York.
- Van Druten, John (1951). I Am a Camera. Random House, Inc.
- Van Druten, John (1998). I Am a Camera. Dramatists Play Service, Inc. ISBN 0822205459.
- Isherwood, Christopher (1963). The Berlin Stories: the Last of Mr. Norris and Goodbye to Berlin. New Directions. ISBN 0811200701.
- Playbill Vault. "I Am a Camera on Broadway". Retrieved October 27, 2013.
- Botto, Louis."Quotable Critics" Playbill, May 28, 2008
- Friedman, M. (1989). "Commercial expressions in American humor: an analysis of selected popular-cultural works of the postwar era". Humor – International Journal of Humor Research. 2 (3): 265–284. doi:10.1515/humr.1918.104.22.1685. ISSN 1613-3722.
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