The Deutsches Theater München presents
(Self-)portraits of women with bad qualities
(Self)-ironic portraits of women – Munich premiere
That there is a lot of (self-)irony involved in this evening is already revealed by the subtitle of the programme: “(Self) Portraits of Women with Bad Qualities”. The fact that the protagonists themselves call it “old-fashioned” is due to the fact that the authors of the texts used were almost all active in the golden twenties and in the genre of (Berlin) cabaret. But the Weibsbilder prove that all this is still highly topical today at their Munich premiere on our stage.
Hollaender, Kästner, Kreisler and many more
What is the Mona Lisa laughing about? What is Iphigenia’s problem? Is the Loreley even naturally blond? Or is it all just a mirage? Why do men become pigs, and what is Circe supposed to have to do with it? What does the Maid of Orleans wear underneath? How does a woman steal a Bechstein grand unobtrusively? What do men and cigarettes have in common? And why shouldn’t a woman have an affair? These and other burning questions will be answered – maybe! – Singer Karola Pavone and (freshly stolen) pianist Nadine Schuster answer these and other burning questions with the help of collected theses from the last 5,000 years of cultural and musical history. And in doing so, they invoke great connoisseurs of the feminine, the masculine, the human. This great revue with texts and sounds by and after Hollaender, Kästner, Benatzky, Kreisler, Tucholsky, Oscar Straus, Irmgard Keun, Madame du Chatelet, Pavone, Schuster and others who need to know can be experienced on our stage for the first time in Octobre.
Fine irony and biting comments
The works range from Madame du Chatelet, Voltaire’s long-time partner, to Franz Schubert and Georg Kreisler’s chanson from the 1970s. What these works have in common is the fine irony, the sarcastic tone with which social and political phenomena were received and caricatured 100 years ago – the absurd humour with which the educated bourgeoisie was mocked (Hollander’s “Circe”, Straus’ “Cleopatra”, Benatzky’s “Maid of Orleans”, etc.) also opens the door to the new generation. …) also opens the door for more biting commentaries on the political situation and on sometimes precarious social conditions, as in Künneke’s “Song of Europe”, Kästner’s “Handstand on the Lorelei” or Hollaender’s “Take Your Clothes Off, Petronella”.
Female key figures
The common thread connecting themes and authors is, as the title suggests, the “female image” – in this case not only to be understood ironically, but also in a multi-layered way: after all, it is (also) about images, about the perception and portrayal of various key female figures, sometimes historically authenticated, sometimes imagined and anchored in art and cultural history. In addition, two females sing and play who could not be more different, and these legendary ladies ultimately describe themselves in their capacity as musicians and theatre actresses.
Sissi has the last word
The fact that an evening about women is mainly composed of works from male pens is not merely due to the lack or lack of visibility of female authors. Here, too, the creation of certain fantasies is reflected in a multifaceted and symbolic way. However, three prominent but underrepresented females have their say. The highly educated Madame Emilie du Chatelet, who as Voltaire’s companion probably made a decisive contribution to the Enlightenment, set up a small but fine monument for herself with her essay “Rede vom Glück” (Talk of Happiness); Irmgard Keun characterises herself in her “Self-Portrait of a Woman with Bad Qualities” in a very subtle way, and last but not least, Empress Elisabeth also has a brief word to say; people (images) of all sexes know that even the framework in which one decoratively positions oneself does not always mean great happiness.