In the words of the Herald-Tribune, the play "looks at life in a tawdry Berlin rooming house of 1930 with a stringently photographic eye. For the most part, it concerns itself with the mercurial and irresponsible moods of a girl called Sally Bowles. When we first meet her, she is a creature of extravagant attitudes, given to parading her vices, enormously confident that she is going to take life in her stride. She is fond of describing herself as an 'extraordinary interesting person,' and she is vaguely disturbing. As we get to know her, as we watch her make frightened arrangements for an illegal operation, seize at the tinseled escape offered by a rich and worthless American playboy, attempt to rehabilitate herself and fail ludicrously, we are more and more moved, more and more caught up in the complete and almost unbearable reality of this girl. [The author has] placed a character named Mr. Isherwood on the stage…He serves both as narrator and as principal confidant to Sally Bowles. He is the camera eye of the title, attracted to Sally, yet dispassionate about her." Though Sally is the chief point of interest, the plight of the Jew in Germany in the early thirties is brought within focus in a few touching scenes.