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Cabaret: When we say “never again,” we mean it

September 28th, 2010 No comments

“They were so willing to go to a place that they knew was theatrically so dangerous.  They couldn’t get there fast enough.” David Thompson on Kander and Ebb*

Professor Oja and moderator, Professor Bhabha

A lively connection between the performing arts and the life of scholarship has been forged in the first segment of the partnership between the Humanities Center at Harvard and the American Repertory Theater. A full-house audience gathered on September 20 at Club Oberon, seated at small, round tables in a cabaret atmosphere, to hear a remarkable panel discuss the A.R.T. revival of Cabaret, as well as the musical’s history and setting in 1931 Weimar Republic Berlin, with the looming tragedy of the rise of the Third Reich.

The profound discussion was driven by the insights of stars in the firmament of the Harvard faculty: moderator and director of the Humanities Center Homi K. Bhabha, history professor Charles Maier, music professor Carol J. Oja and professor of English and comparative literature Martin Puchner. Amanda Palmer, of The Dresden Dolls, also joined the forum to discuss her role as Emcee, a deeply dark role she described as the “human embodiment of the ultimate party and the ultimate tragedy.” Read more…