C5b: “Amusing” Anti-Semitism

“It was good this time, but it was TERRIFYING AND AWFUL.”

David Kelly who plays Herr Max Schultz

The first recording of “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” is a boy soprano on the radio and it is quite haunting. The second time it is sung is during an engagement party between Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz who happens to have Jewish ethnicity. Unfortunately, it is a highly aggressive version with most of the ensemble joining in the emerging Nazi political party at the Act I finale. It is difficult to watch this as a Jew.

The blog title originates from the different definitions of “amusing” in the scene: Fräulein Kost says, “They have all the money – the Jews” in a funny, cheerful, and optimistic manner; Ernst is angry, aggressive, and pessimistic that Fraulein Schneider is engaged to a Jew, who is not a real German in the Nazi racist perception: “Fräulein Schneider – I must speak to you…let me urge you – think what you are doing. This marriage is not advisable. I cannot put it too strongly. For your own welfare…I do not find this party amusing.” His conviction is chilling and caused me goosebumps. It seem like some of the actors need to dance or humor or to laugh out of this depressing scene.

Act II finale is a broken, deconstructed, and an uncomfortable “Willkommen” with an unstable note to end “Life is a Cabaret”. The ensemble used to be a glorifying memory of the cabaret lifestyle, and this seems to be the beginning of the end of the world. The ending visual is “Don’t forget me. I hope that really heard me and what I said”, while Emcee wears a concentration camp uniform before the final blackout.

Last note, I see that Sara Bruner is quiet, perceptive, interactive, respectful, private, and a real leader. I really keep admiring her, and I can tell that her ensemble does.

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