The Decadent Berlin Revue
The Decadent Berlin Revue is an outrageous, sexy, funny, and wickedly satirical 75-minute cabaret of over twenty authentic, but until now neglected songs from the Berlin cabaret of 1932. These brilliant songs are performed in superb English translation by four outstanding performers including Lyne Tremblay, Rita di Ghent, Mitchell Smolkin, and Master of Ceremonies, John Evans. Musical accompaniment is provided by The Tingeltangel Klub Orchestra, an all-star 6 piece jazz band, playing 1930's period arrangements by Tony Quarrington; Music Director is Jordan Klapman and direction is by John Evans.
The Decadent Berlin Revue contains songs that pull no punches while they lob musical grenades at corrupt politicians and the indifferent bourgeoisie; celebrate sexual freedom and gay, lesbian and women's emancipation; and rejoice in the bohemian life and artistic freedom that briefly flowered during the last democratic days of Germany's Berlin Republic.
After Hitler's rise in 1933, most of these audacious, jazz-flavoured songs (virtually all written by Jews) were branded and outlawed by the Nazis as "Entartete Muzik" ("Degenerate Music"). As "subversive" material, these satirical songs were repressed; their audience, composers, and performers subjected to intimidation, and their public performance forbidden. The subsequent forced removal of Jews from Germany's cultural landscape by the Nazis then effectively killed the astoundingly creative Berlin cabaret scene until after World War II, and these wonderful songs were seemingly lost to us forever. Until now.
The Decadent Berlin Revue is a celebration of some of the most intriguing cabaret entertainment ever produced, in Berlin or anywhere else. It amazes in several ways: as nostalgia, offering a glimpse into another time of great social and political upheaval; as a testament to the great artists who created and performed it under increasingly difficult conditions; as pure entertainment of the highest calibre. The songs of The Decadent Berlin Revue cover many universal concerns of the Twentieth Century: accelerating change, moral corruption, popular culture, consumerism, nonconformity, eroticism and love — and they have as much resonance for us today as they did for Berliners on November 12, 1932, the mythical night on which this show takes place.
Filled with humour and contemporary relevance, The Decadent Berlin Revue features everything from hot jazz instrumentals, including Tiger Rag and Exactly Like You, to attacks on societal greed and dishonesty in Life's A Swindle. It demands bungling politicians step aside and give women socio-political equality in the flag-waving Chuck Out The Men and then takes a wistful look at unfulfilled love in I Don't Know Who I Belong To and A Little Yearning. The songs, written by some of the greatest German songwriters of the Twentieth Century, are extremely tuneful and their lyrics (in superb English translation) are witty and powerful.