’33 (a kabarett): a One-Man Weimar Musical.
Please note, this show involves adult themes and is recommended for audiences aged 16 and up.
Bremner will be teaching a free “Creating Cabaret” workshop on 10/10. Find more details here.
“An incredible one-man show…. brilliant acting.” – PBS America
“He will have you close to tears one moment and laughing the next – an absolute joy to watch” – New Orleans Defender Magazine
’33(a kabarett) is not set in 1933. It is a show that, sadly, could be set in many periods, about choosing to speak up in the face of censorship and oppression. As Martin Niemöller said “they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
’33(a kabarett) speaks to the past and present. Performed and written by Bremner Duthie, the darkly humorous monodrama is based directly on texts of survivors and oppressors from the 1930’s, and also on texts from periods of cultural repression up to the present day. ’33 offers a hopeful and realistic insight into the struggle against censorship and repression. It speaks to the challenge of honoring the memory of the disappeared. It says we must grieve in sorrow, but we can choose to fight back with energy, humor, laughter, and life.
“In 2012”, says Bremner, “I heard the remarkable song ‘Unsrer Shtetl Brent‘ (Our Town is Burning) by Mordecai Gebertig. Mr. Gebertig wrote the song in 1936 following a Pogrom in a Polish village. The song speaks of the need and difficulty to speak up and take action against oppression. Before his murder in 1942, Mr. Gebertig said he wanted this song to be an inspiration to all movements against repression. It became an anthem of resistance. I wanted to work with this powerful song. At the same time, I was reading about 1933, when Hitler took power, and though he did not have the strength to attack the communities he really hated, he did have enough power to attack artists. He ordered the brutal repression and closure of theatres and cabarets across Germany. Many of the writers and performers were arrested and taken to the first concentration camps, others fled the country. Finally I found the story of the Eldorado Cabaret in Berlin, which featured regular performances by Marlene Dietrich. When Hitler ordered the closure of the Berlin Kabaretts, the Nazis raided the Eldorado. They took it over and transformed it into the local Nazi headquarters. This material wove itself into ’33(a kabarett), which speaks to the events in Berlin in 1933, but also to acts of repression and censorship throughout the 20th Century and into our times. ’33(a kabarett) asks the question; if the voices of those around you have been silenced, will you continue to speak up. “
In the ruins of a Cabaret theatre, an actor tumbles onto a darkened stage. When the lights come up he finds himself alone. His friends and colleagues have disappeared, arrested by the authorities. Only their glittering, torn costumes remain. In order to escape the same fate and survive, the actor should run and vanish into the night, but an audience has slipped through the broken door. So, in tribute, he uses all his talents to joyously recreate the acts of the missing company. The Funnyman, the Showgirl, the Song and Dance Man and the rest of his troupe spring to life as the actor pays homage to his disappeared friends. ’33 (a kabarett) features 9 songs with new arrangements by Bremner’s jazz trio. ’33 (a kabarett) is highly imaginative, imagistic, explosive and full of surprise. Inspired by the true story of the fallen Eldorado Club in Berlin.
Bremner Duthie (PERFORMER)
Bremner was born on Long Island, NY, and grew up first in New York, then Northern Scotland and Vancouver, Canada. He has performed in every type of ‘singing theater’. He studied at McGill Opera Performance program, continued his studies at the Centre for New Opera at Banff, and finally in New York City with acclaimed voice instructor Cornelius Reid. In his career he has sung operatic roles, been the artistic director of contemporary music theater company, performed in musical theater and worked at Disneyland. Now he performs mostly in the intimate performance space of Cabaret and in Jazz clubs and performs his award winning one-man musical theatre shows around the world. He has performed in venues that vary from 3000 seat arenas in Tokyo, to improvised atelier loft theaters in Paris and Edinburgh. Most of his shows fit into a suitcase.
Over the past decade, Bremner has been exploring New Cabaret, creating performance pieces that are an emotional collage of ideas and songs. These pieces have been performed across North America and Europe to critical praise: “A stunning theatrical achievement”—Edmonton Journal. “Duthie brings passion, power and conviction to the songs”—The Stage. “Captivating performances of Kurt Weill’s songs… beautifully delivered with power and emotion“—Edfringe Review. “Duthie is a baritone with operatic scope; instead of mere interludes, the songs become weapons”—See Magazine, Canada. “And my god, does he ever sing. Bremner’s performance is jaw-dropping-my jaw literally dropped”—View Magazine.