It is 1928 Berlin. Fascism is a mere glimmer in Germany's eye and the mood in the Weimar Republic is one of decadence and decay. No, this musical is not Cabaret, but a 1989 Broadway show set in one of Berlin's finest resting houses. Everyone who stays here is rich.
In the Tel Aviv Museum of Art concert hall, a show is being honed before it arrives in London for its West End premiere. It is provocatively called You Won't Succeed On Broadway If You Don't Have Any Jews, a title many will recognise from one of the more outrageous songs in Monty Python's Spamalot musical. Some Israelis didn't get the joke.
In recent times, plays featuring Israel and Jews have tended to come in clusters and usually in the wake of conflict in Gaza. Some of them are Palestinian, as in the case of The Siege, recently seen at Battersea Arts Centre, others are authored by English playwrights. None is Israeli.
Today is the first performance of this year's only Israeli play at the Edinburgh Fringe. It's an hour-long comical whimsy directed with a skilful, light touch by Ariella Eshed whose Tik-sho-ret theatre company nobly exists to stage Israeli plays in the UK. This can't be easy in a country whose arts establishment often sees Israel as the "anti" cause of choice.
I'm a peace-loving soul but whoever invented the musical medley should be forced to wear padlocked headphones through which a never ending silage of song snippets should be fed until they are, well, dead. Perhaps that's a bit strong.
As a child my mother developed an odd theory about boxing. After 12 rounds in which two men knock seven bells out of each other, the winner was not the one who was judged to fight the best fight, but the one who, before the final bell, managed to land the last punch.
There was a time when theatre audiences were as likely to a see a play because of who wrote it as who starred in it. I'm not suggesting that stand-up comedian and The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant is not worthy of top billing. In his West End debut he convincingly conveys the seething resentment of a man who thinks he should be more important than he is.
You have to admire anyone who sets out to make a new musical. The sheer array of skills required boggles the mind. Arguably the most essential of these is not the writing of the music, but the show's book on which everything is built. This one, however, written by composer Eamonn O'Dwyer and Rob Gilbert, is out of balance with too little work on character and too much reliance on mood.