Joseph Schmidt

Tenor and actor Joseph Schmidt was born in March 1904 in the Austro-Hungarian village of Davideny, which became part of Romania after WW1 and is now in Ukraine.


His mother encouraged him into a career in music despite objections from his farm-worker father.

He began singing at the Czernowitz Synagogue and by the age of 20 had featured in his first solo recital, performing the works of Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and Bizet alongside traditional Jewish songs.

In 1928 his uncle, Leo Engel, encouraged him to come to Berlin and his concert career began to flourish. He had also become an accomplished pianist .

He soon found that his diminutive stature – he was just 1.5 metres tall – effectively barred him from performing opera on stage but his voice was in great demand both on the radio and on recordings.


By 1930, he was living at Nürnberger Strasse 68 in the west of the city, opposite the famous Eden Hotel and overlooking the Elephant Gate of Berlin Zoo.

Over the next 6 years he appeared in 9 films and made numerous recordings for Ultraphone and Parlaphone, and in 1937 undertook a tour of the United States culminating in an appearance at the Carnegie Hall.

Under the National Socialist regime, restrictions on Jewish artists and performers were becoming increasingly harsh and he concentrated on touring in Belgium and the Netherlands where he was extremely popular.


When war broke out in 1939 he fled initially to France and then onto Switzerland, arriving penniless and in poor health. Despite being well-known and in possession of a US visa, he was interned in a camp for illegal immigrants at Girenbad, close to Zurich.

His health continued to deteriorate and despite his complaints of a throat infection and chest pains, medical attention was almost non-existent.

He died on November 16th 1942, aged 38.

In defiance of authority, all 350 inmates of the camp attended his funeral.


Posted in People | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anita’s Anniversary

Anita Berber

June 10th 1899 – November 10th 1928

Anita Berber, the 29 year old dancer, actress and ‘wild-child’ of the Weimar cabaret era, died on this day in 1928. She was buried in a paupers grave in St. Thomas Friedhof in the Neukoln district of Berlin. The cemetery is now disused and her grave, gone.

” Only thrill-seeking transvestite couples from the Eldorado nightclub, some sombre journalists and intellectuals in top hats, a couple of film directors, the German sexolologist Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, and immediate relatives from the Berber clan attended. Henri Chatin-Hoffman…. and his latest dance partner watched from afar. The intimate and bohemian ceremony that was planned had to be curtailed due to a nonstop rainfall”

The Seven Addictions and Five Professions  of Anita Berber – Mel Gordon

Posted in History, People | Tagged | Leave a comment

Britain’s Best season at Bar Jeder Vernunft

Driven by Instinct – An Evening with Dillie Keane.

28th to 30th September 

If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing one of Britain’s top cabaret trios Fascinating Aida since their debut in 1983,  then you will need no introduction to Dillie Keane.

Actress, singer, writer, composer and all-round theatrical powerhouse, this new one-woman show marks a welcome return for Dillie Keane to Berlin’s beautiful Bar Jeder Vernunft.

(Pic: Steve Ullathorne)


28th to 30th September

20:00 (entry from 18:30) 

Tickets €23,80 to €27,00

Concessions €12,50


A Bit of a Mouthfull – An evening with Ian Shaw

1st to 2nd October

This is, surprisingly, a Berlin debut for the enduring talent that is singer-songwriter Ian Shaw.
Twice winner of Best Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards, Ian is a regular at renowned London clubs such as Ronnie Scott’s and Crazy Coq’s and at festivals around the world.
In this new solo show he will be presenting a repertoire of work by Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits in his own, very personal, style.
(Pic: Bob Barkany)

1st to 2nd October

20:00  (entry from 18:30) 

Tickets €23,80 to €27,00

Concessions €12,50

Arthur Smith sings Leonard Cohen – the extended remix

 4th to 5th October


Londoner, Arthur Smith was at the forefront of the ‘alternative’ comedy boom in the early 1980s and, 30 years on, his work today is a fresh and challenging as ever. This new musical show explores the work of Leonard Cohen and has been performed at the Edinburgh Festival and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.  Support come in the form of the uniquely talented trio, The Smithereens.


(Pic: Steve Ullathorn)


4th October  19:00 (entry from 17:30)

 5th October 20:00 (entry from 18:30)

Tickets €23,80 to €27,00

Concessions €12,50


Barb Jungr
Hard Rain – The songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen
6th to 7th October

One of Britain’s finest ‘chansonniéres’ Barb Jungr has toured the world, playing to packed-out houses and winning numerous awards.  She has played residencies in New York and London cabaret clubs with critics drawing comparisons to Nina Simone and Peggy Lee.

She comes to Berlin to perform her highly-acclaimed latest album Hard Rain – The songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

(Pic: Steve Ullathorne)


Bar Jeder Vernunft

Schaperstr. 24 
10719 Berlin

Tickets: 030.883 158 2

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kakadu Bar and Barbarina Cabaret

Kakadu Bar & Barbarina-Cabaret 1920-1936

On completion in the late 1800s, the area around Joachimstaler Platz on the corner of the Ku’damm resembled an open-air arena with tiered bleacher-style seating for 10,000 spectators. In July 1890 it played host to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, featuring 200 cowboys, indians and horses.

The Kakadu opened at the corner of Joachimstaler Straße and the Ku’damm in 1920 and consisted of a bar, a vegetarian restaurant – unique for the time-  a dance floor and the Barbarina Cabaret. It was taken over by well-known cabaret entrepreneur Georg Tichauer in 1923 and became a huge success. It was open until 3am, did not charge admission and after a 1928 refurbishment boasted the world’s longest bar.

One of the more colourful stories about the venue is that above each table in the restaurant sat a cockatoo in a cage – the Kakadu of the name. When diners were ready to leave they would tap a glass on the table, which signalled the trained birds to call for the bill.

The Barbarina-Cabaret presented a five-act programme every night, with a jazz band accompanying the dancing before and after the show. One of the highlights of the repertoire during the early 1930s was the mirror-dancing duo of Eva von Sacher-Masoch and Hede Merman. Their provocative performances played with ideas about gender and sexuality and, in response to current events, had become increasingly political. Forced to flee Berlin for Austria in 1934, Eva von Sacher-Masoch eventually married a British army officer Major Robert Glynn Faithfull and settled in the UK. They had one daughter, the 1960s pop icon Marianne Faithfull.

The Kakadu survived the early years of the National Socialist government and was a big hit during the Olympic Games in the Summer of 1936 but, like so many other establishments, was forced to close soon after.

Posted in History, Shows, Venues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Briefs – Excentric Body-Circus at The Tipi


If Chancellor Merkel was working late in her office on Thursday night, then she may have wondered about the noise coming from the Tipi am Kanzleramt, but a packed house had just seen a spectacular show from Australian burlesque troupe, Briefs, and wanted them to know it!

It’s almost impossible to describe this full-throttle show without spoilers, but expect very high-heels, very fit bodies, very ‘Aussie’ humour and breathtaking circus spectacle. It’s definitely not suitable for children, but all the better for that.

Hailing from Brisbane, this immensely talented all-male septet have only been together for six years but compliment each other perfectly in both their solo acts and well-drilled group routines.

Having first seen this show a year ago, it has grown and matured into something very special and thoroughly deserves this five-week run at The Tipi.

And one tip: if you are sitting near the front and are offered a waterproof cape – take it, you’ll need it!


Louis Biggs

Evil Hate Monkey

Thomas Worrell

Fez Faanana

All Pics:Xamax


Briefs Excentric Body-Circus

May 7th to June 10th

Tuesday to Saturday at 20:00 (entry from 18:30)

Sunday at 19:00 (entry from 17:30)

Tickets 030 390 665 50 or

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Early-Bird discount for Cabaret, 2015 season


(photo – Jan Wirdeier)

This spectacular production of Cabaret returns to the Tipi am Kanzleramt this summer and you can get 25% off tickets prices if you book by June 1st.

Based on the novel Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood and the stage adaptation I am a Camera by John van Druten, Cabaret takes you directly to the last years of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the fascism that ended the ‘golden twenties’.

“The year 1929 is drawing to a close as the young American writer Clifford Bradshaw arrives in Berlin, in search of material for his new novel. He rents a cheap room in Fräulein Schneider’s guesthouse. He spends his first evening in one of the many temples to pleasure that Berlin had to offer in the 1920s – The Kit Kat Klub, where he meets Fräulein Sally Bowles…… “ 

(photo – Jan Wirdeier)

Cabaret – Das Musical

June 20th to September 20th 2015

Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm (20:00), Sundays at 7pm (19:00)

Tipi am Kanzleramt

Große Querallee, 10557, Berlin-Tiergarten

030 39 06 65 50

For discount, book tickets under the keyword “Early-Bird”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment