Tomorrow Belongs…

2007.May.28 Monday · 1 comment

in Books & Other Media, Life

 Oh Fatherland, Fatherland,
Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see.
The morning will come
When the world is mine.
Tomorrow belongs to me!

– Chorus from Tomorrow Belongs to Me, Cabaret

Buenos Aires – Recently I’ve decided it’s time to get back into theater mode – I mean going to as opposed to being in. My Spanish has improved enough that I can generally follow all the dialogue, songs still give me difficulty, just generally because songs tend to have their own sense of grammar and rhythm that’s different from regular speech. But, even that’s coming along. So I’ve been to a couple of performances and enjoyed myself – and if they could be any more different, at least in the vein of musical productions, I’m not sure how.

The first, I popped into with my friend Barbara, was called Mish y Gass Variete, and was at the Auditorio Ben Amí in Once, was an interesting combination of Yiddish and Spanish – presumeably the name comes from the Yiddish meshugaas, or crazy. It was, as the name might imply, a bit of mixed of variety show, a cabaret if you will, with a small troupe of actors in their later years. They appeared in various combinations, and the show ranged from songs like “Cabaret” to a dissertation by a guy who looked a bit like Wilford Brimley on just exactly what mate, the national beverage, is all about. It was great fun, a short show – perhaps a little over an hour – and runs a whopping 12 pesos to see. By the way, the site to find out about what’s happening in the “Off-Corrientes” theater world is Alternativa Teatral.

For a completely different experience, I picked up tickets to see the new production of Cabaret here. Henry, his niece, and a friend, and I all headed off – we’d waited too long to get tickets and were only able to get four seats together in the Super Pullman, or nosebleed balcony – but it was actually fine – balconies here seem, in general, to be well designed, with a steeper slope than that that I’m used to from New York, and despite being in the 9th row of the upper balcony, we had an unobstructed view of the stage – it would have required someone well over six feet tall to even start to block the view. The show was well staged, relatively authentic to performances I’ve seen in the past – a little bit here and there was left out, like any explicit reference to abortion, it’s left more implied. Both the dialogue and songs were translated into Spanish – the English parts; the German parts were left in German.

Now, here’s the thing that had me come away from the performance a bit pensive. The last major show I went to here in Buenos Aires was The Producers. There are a few jokes in the show about Nazis in Argentina. I mentioned at the time that when those jokes were uttered, there were scattered gasps around the audience, and I took it to be a bit of embarrasment on the part of some Argentinas about their historical connections. I’m left after the other night with conflicting thoughts about that assessment. Cabaret, of course, includes far more about the Nazis, in fact, the entire second Act revolves around the rise of the Third Reich. There’s a song, Tomorrow Belongs to Me, that’s more or less an anthem for the rise of Aryan nationalism. Now, there’s no reference to Argentina, and when the song was sung, scattered, not many, but scattered audience members, at least in our upper balcony section, were on their feet, singing along, with hands over hearts. That’s a bit scary, and leaves me wondering if the gasps at The Producers weren’t embarrasment, but rather shock that the Nazis would be joked about…

Of course, they could have just been plants and part of the show, after all, the set of Cabaret has the audience as if they’re in a nightclub and part of the show…


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Saratica May 29, 2007 at 08:34

THAT is scary. As the mother of colorful children, it is very scary. Love singing the song (every actor does), but hate what it’s about…

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