(CBS) — Its soundtrack has become as iconic as its story. The 1966 groundbreaking show “Cabaret” is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a national tour.

The Broadway production became a hit, inspiring numerous subsequent productions in London and New York, as well as the 1972 film by the same name.

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In 2014, New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company remounted its long-running 1998 revival of “Cabaret,” complete with star Alan Cumming reprising his Tony Award-winning turn as the Emcee.

“This version definitely has some elements that weren’t there before, even in the movie. There are darker elements, more sauciness, raciness to it,” said Shannon Cochran who played Sally Bowles at the Lincolnshire Marriott many years ago. Now she returns to the stage as Fraulein Schneider.

“I did Sally Bowles three times when I was young. I always loved it. I never dreamed in a million years I’d graduate to Fraulein Schneider.”

The musical about Berlin in the 1930s and the rise of the Nazi regime tells a dark tale.

“I saw it on Broadway when I was 12 years old,” said actor Mark Nelson, who plays Herr Schultz. “Herr Schultz is a fruit vendor and he’s the only Jewish character in the cast. He’s convinced that the Nazi’s are just a crazy, fringe element that will pass.”

Shannon Cochran (left) and Mark Nelson (right)  play  Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, respectively. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

Shannon Cochran (left) and Mark Nelson (right) play Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz, respectively. (Credit: Lisa Fielding)

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If the characters of Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz don’t ring a bell, it’s because they were all but cut from the 1972 film version of “Cabaret.” But the relationship between Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz has a more important place in the stage show.

“The two of them discover love late in life but unfortunately the events of history sweep them into it and things don’t turn out so well,” said Cochran.

Nelson says it’s a good time for the world to see Cabaret.

“It’s a deeper, richer, experience than just a fun musical,” said Nelson.

“As long as there is political turmoil in the world, Cabaret will have a place in the popular musical, theater culture,” said Cochran.

 The relationship between Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz has a more important place in the stage show. (Credit: Broadway in Chicago)

The relationship between Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz has a more important place in the stage show. (Credit: Broadway in Chicago)

Nelson says the story has evolved through the years, but the message remains the same.

“We are sharing a real journey in the darkness with this audience and we’re also sharing the light together so I think the message is necessary,” he said.

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Cabaret runs at the Private Bank Theatre through February 21.