What happens to culture, when you have to flee your country? What do you take with you? What is left behind? How does the culture of the place you are leaving change and how do you build yourself a new cultural home? Johannes Müller and Philine Rinnert ask those questions in their new music theater hybrid by taking a historical detour: Hardly anyone knows that the legendary revue Im Weissen Rössl (1930) was not only performed in Berlin, but also in New York in absurd miniature versions created by Europeans fleeing the Nazis regime. One of those examples of cultural transformation is Jimmy Bergs’ adaptation “Das Weisse Rössl am Central Park – In bad German and bad English”, which was played at New Yorks emigrant meeting point “Café Vienna”. The entire room of the café was transformed by Berg and his ensemble, the head waiter turned into the Emperor (the Deus-ex-machina figure of the original revue), who not only served the audience, but also awarded medals to everyone. In their project of the same name Johannes Müller / Philine Rinnert search for traces of those long forgotten miniatures in places like Vienna, Berlin and New York. Archival artifacts, biographical fragments, interviews with Bergs friends and family and the music of the famous revue are intertwinded into a mixture of music theater and lecture performance. In collaboration with author Daniel Sauermilch and the artist Leila Hekmat Johannes Müller /Philine Rinnert take the audience on an excavation field – a space of lost entertainment history, refugee experience and the sparkling reinvention of Heimat.
WITH Paul Hübner, Sarai Cole, Misha Cvijovic, Hauke Heumann, Sabrina Ma, Jördis Richter, Shlomi Moto Wagner, Lixue Lin-Siedler, Jochen Carls
CONCEPT, DIRECTION Johannes Müller CONCEPT, SCENOGRAPHY Philine Rinnert ARRANGEMENT, MUSICAL DIRECTOR Misha Cvijovic ADDITIONAL TEXTS Daniel Sauermilch COSTUMES Leila Hekmat ASSISTANT SCENOGRAPHY Maria Gamsjäger PRODUCTION ehrliche Arbeit – freies Kulturbüro
A production by Johannes Müller / Philine Rinnert in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE. Supported by the Senate Chancellery for Culture and Europe and the Performing Arts Fund with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Media partner: taz. die tageszeitung
Courtesy of the Austrian Exile Library in the Literaturhaus Wien and Trude Berg and using lyrics from Das weisse Rössl am Central Park, The White Horse Rides again (lyrics by Jimmy Berg) and individual song poems from Berg’s estate. With the kind permission of the Exile Library Vienna and Trude Berg and using excerpts from Im weißen Rössl – Singspiel in three acts freely based on the play by Blumenthal and Kadelburg by Hans Müller and Erik Charell, vocal texts by Robert Gilbert, music by Ralph Benatzky, six musical interludes by Robert Gilbert, Bruno Granichstaedten and Robert Stolz. Rights: Verlag Felix-Bloch-Erben