Sponsored by Asbury and the Randy Hostetler Living Room Music Fund
Theo Bleckmann, voice
Rob Schwimmer, piano/arrangements
This concert program is a two set journey starting in war-torn Berlin and taking refuge in glamorous Las Vegas. Bleckmann’s concert focuses on the edgy cabaret music of 1930s Berlin, including moody songs penned by Hanns Eisler, Kurt Weill, Bertold Brecht and others — music that got several of those composers in trouble with Nazi authorities. Bleckmann recorded much of this material (including the famous tune “Lili Marleen”) for his 2008 album Berlin: Songs of Love and War, Peace and Exile. Bleckmann will mix the “Berlin” material with American popular standards of roughly the same era from his 2007 album Las Vegas Rhapsody — the common thread being that both the Las Vegas and Berlin songs are frequently concerned with forgetting the past and leaving history behind. Tunes on the “Las Vegas” album include “The Night They Invented Champagne,” “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.” Delivered with moving tenderness and care, Bleckmann breathes delicate life into these classic, almost haiku-like songs, reminding us of the immediacy and relevance of their personal and political implications today.