Savannah Guthrie is very lucky. She had to the opportunity to interview cast members of the Oscar-winning film, Cabaret, this morning on NBC's "TODAY" show. Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Marisa Berenson and Michael York were present to honor the 40th anniversary of that ground-breaking musical drama directed by the late Bob Fosse. The director took us to 1931 Berlin to meet characters amusing themselves and others in a popular nightclub. They party inside as the Nazi Party gains power outside.
My first TV job in New York City was on WPIX/Channel 11. I loved doing entertainment features on its weekday local magazine show. I had the opportunity to interview Joel Grey live in the studio. His real name is Joel Katz. He's the son of Mickey Katz, a 1940s entertainer called "The Yiddish Spike Jones." Joel won his Oscar for playing the Nazi-friendly Emcee. I asked him how he felt, being a Jew, when he arrived to make a movie such as that in Germany where so many atrocities against Jews had been committed in the 1930s and '40s. The actor appreciated the question and gave me a rich, honest answer. He was quite emotionally moved upon arrival for that very reason.