Jewish Cabaret Comes to Chicago | WBEZ
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Eight Forty-Eight

Jewish Cabaret Comes to Chicago

The song “Abe The Pickpocket” is one of more than two-dozen tunes performed by the New Budapest Orpheum Society on their CD Jewish Cabaret In Exile. The New Budapest Orpheum Society an ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago is the brainchild of U of C ethnomusicologist Philip Bohlman. Though not Jewish himself, Bohlman was fascinated by the music of Jewish cabarets in Germany and Austria between World Wars I and II.

This unique music blends traditional folk melodies with more modern forms, and the themes encompass love, loss, humor, and the topical news of the day. The music was so admired that it influenced early talkies and musical theater here in America. Some of the composers, like Darius Milhaud and Kurt Weill, escaped the Nazis. Many, including the man behind this song, Mordechai Gebertig, were murdered. But thanks to Bohlman and the ensemble, the music lives on.

Performance: 
The New Budapest Orpheum Society
Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
Fulton Hall, on the 4th floor of Goodspeed Hall, University of Chicago campus.

Music:  New Budapest Orpheum Society, Avreml der Marvikher (Abe the Pickpocket), from the CD Jewish Cabaret in Exile, (Cedille)

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