Cabaret In Captivity At the Triad Theater

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Photograph by Richard Termine.

Cabaret in Captivity, an annual cabaret produced by Untitled Theater Company No. 61 in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, will perform both live and livestreamed on Sunday, May 1, at 2pm, at the Triad Theater, at 158 W. 72nd Street.

The program includes songs and sketches written in Terezin/Theresienstad. Terezin was located an hour away from Prague, and during World War II it served as both an internment camp and a way station for the concentration camps during the Holocaust. Full of satire, bitter humor, and hope, these pieces demonstrate how art became a vital survival technique for the inmates. Most of these pieces were recently recovered through the efforts of scholar Lisa Peschel, who also translated the majority of the work.

Tickets are $25 for the live show and $20 for the livestream. Masks and vax check will be required, for those who attend live. The tickets can be purchased from the theater company website, www.untitledtheater.com.

This year’s production is dedicated to the memory of cast member Barbara Maier Gustern.

Photograph by Arthur Cornelius.

Conceived and co-directed by Edward Einhorn (NY Times Critic’s Pick for The Marriage of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein) and starring co-director Jenny Lee Mitchell, aka Mad Jenny (“Smart and theatrically savvy,” NY Times review for Love Und Greed), Craig Anderson, Seth Gilman, Jeremy Lawrence, Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld, and Katarina Vizina. Maria Dessano is on piano, Johnna Wu is on violin.

This is the ninth year this production has been presented, having been previously seen last year on the street next to Morningside Park as part of the Open Culture program and previously at the Center for Jewish History, the Bohemian National Hall, Pangea, York Theatre, the Czech Embassy in Washington, DC, and The William Goodenough House in London, England.

Drawing by Terezin inmate F. Block with graphic design by Clinton Corbett.

Some of the authors of the original work, like Karel Švenk and Ilse Weber, were existing stars of the cabaret scene in Prague. Others were compelled by their circumstances to create. Some of the work is now anonymous, as the names of the authors have been lost. All were speaking to a small audience of fellow inmates, in the hope that one day their story would be heard by the world. On this anniversary of Yom HaShoah, we are proud to be able to present that work.

Amy Oestreicher, in her Broadway World review, said “Cabaret in Captivity is a call to action to use hope not as a means of passive daydreaming, but a powerful act of resistance. It has been said that humor equals truth plus distance. Perhaps humor was the most palatable, effective way of sharing the unbelievable creativity, will, and resistance that came from the ‘Chosen’ who ‘had no choice.’

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