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Cabaret is a form of entertainment having comedy, song, dance, and theatre. Cabarets are mostly performed in a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance. The venue itself can also be called a "cabaret."
The term is a French word for the taprooms or cafés where this form of entertainment was born, as a more artistic form of café-chantant. It comes from Middle Dutch cabret, through Old North French camberette, from Late Latin camera. It essentially means "small room."
Cabaret also refers to a Mediterranean-style brothel – a bar with tables and women who talk, arouse, and entertain the clients. Traditionally these can also have some form of stage entertainment: often singers & dancers – the bawdiness of which varies with the quality of the place. It is the classier, more sophisticated cabaret that eventually engendered the form of place and art form that is the subject of the remainder of this article.