The Wedekind Cabaret

by  Eric Bentley

Musical Revue / Cabaret  /  1m, 1f

"The renaissance of the German playwright Frank Wedekind continues." - The New Yorker
Two cabaret programs, which can be performed together in one long evening or separately: the first program telling the stories of Spring's Awakening and The First Lulu, the second framed by two Wedekind short stories.

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The Wedekind Cabaret

by  Eric Bentley

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 1f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Literature)

Additional Info

For the Wedekind renaissance of the 21st century Eric Bentley has re-arranged the material and added to it. The piece consists of two cabaret programs which could be performed together in one long evening or separately. The first program is framed by two Bentley ballads telling the stories of Spring's Awakening and The First Lulu, respectively. Within that frame is a varied series of Wedekind songs and spoken poems. The second program is framed by two Wedekind short stories, neither of them ever before presented on an American (or any other) stage. Within this second frame come poems and songs in which we meet another Wedekind, a wild poet who also had a tender, even elegiac side. The two-part show ends with a song by Eric Bentley and Arnold Black which celebrates, not Wedekind the rebel, but Wedekind the artist.

Eric Bentley has busied himself with Wedekind's work ever since the 1940's. In the 1950's he translated Spring's Awakening in collaboration with Wedekind's daughter, Kadidja. In the 1990's he did the American version of The First Lulu, Wedekind's other masterpiece. The Applause Books edition of the latter play contains a chronology that ends with this item, "1993: Eric Bentley writes the Wedekind Cabaret, an entertainment made up of approximations in English of Wedekind's poems and songs. Music by William Bolcom and Arnold Black."

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Reviews

"Bentley's pungent translations of Wedekind's lyrics have been set deftly by three composers, Arnold Black, William Bolcom and Peter Winkler... Well performed and invariably fascinating." - New York Daily News

"The renaissance of the German playwright Frank Wedekind continues." - The New Yorker

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Production

Music

  • Orchestra Size: Piano Only

Casting

1m, 1f
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  • Expandable casting

Casting Notes

Expanded to more actors as needed

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3 Piano/Vocal Scores

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Authors

Eric Bentley

Eric Bentley was born in England in 1916, became an American citizen in 1948, in 1998 was inducted into the (American) Theatre Hall of Fame, and in 2011 won a gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Scholar, critic, teacher, performer, translator and, finally, playwright , he has had ...

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A first draft of this entertainment was produced at The Ballroom in New York City in 1994, starring Alvin Epstein and directed by Isaiah Sheffer.

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