Kabarett Cast


Wed, Nov 16, 8pm

Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th St

Tickets $20-70
Students $10 at 212-501-3330 or at the door

Complimentary post-concert wine reception with the artists included with admission.

Read the program notes

Songs from Berlin’s fabled nightspots during the Weimar era, featuring music by Hollaender, Spoliansky, Bienert, Tucholsky, Eisler, and others. Soprano Sari Gruber, mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell, and baritone Justin Austin join NYFOS’s own Steven Blier at the piano.

Berlin was a hotbed of cabaret nightlife in the 1920s. These nightclubs became the artistic home for some of Germany’s sharpest composers and lyricists, who supplied songs satirizing the tumult of the era. As Europe recovered from the ravages of the First World War, everything was in flux—politics, sexuality, psychology, and science. All of it became fodder for a brilliant repertoire of cabaret songs, whose ironic wit speaks to our current times with uncanny insight. Kabarett will be sung in both the original German and in English translations by Jeremy Lawrence.

“The issues they deal with—the vicissitudes of sexuality and gender, the loneliness and the dazzle of city life, the menace of political despots—could have been ripped from today’s headlines,” said Mr. Blier on curating the program. “The songs have humor, grit, and political insight.” 

“There is something delicious about performing cabaret of the Weimar era: brilliant, incisive text and good tunes with enough room left around the edges for performers to leave their own mark on it,” said cast member Naomi O’Connell. “Reading through songs set to Tucholsky’s writing at the Deutsches Literatur Archiv in Marbach, I was surprised at how the razor-sharp observations of 100 years ago feel eerily appropriate today, as we watch our little world repeat itself. I am looking forward to this program immensely.”