Goodbye Berlin, Aloha Hawaii!

April 14 at 2 PM

The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts


The Penthouse
915 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637


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Limited street parking is available around the Midway Plaisance and all
around campus.

Parking Garage
The preferred visitors parking garage is located at 
Drexel Avenue and 61st Street.
The garage opens at 9 am on weekdays. The parking rate is $4 per hour.

Parking Lot
The parking lot at the corner of 
Drexel Avenue and 60th Street is free
on weekends and after 4 pm on weekdays. 

Starring Alison Kelly, Katherine Petersen, Matthew Carroll, Gerald Frantzen and Anatoliy Torchinskiy.

Join us on a journey across the globe as Folks Operetta presents “Goodbye Berlin, Aloha Hawaii.” This exciting new concert, part of our Reclaimed Voices series, will explore the music of Paul Abraham, the tragic crown prince of 1930s Berlin operetta. Abraham combined operetta with jazz, and the result was a string of hugely popular shows, from Viktoria and her Hussar (1930) to the exotic Flower of Hawaii (1931) to Ball at the Savoy (1932). Ábrahám’s unique blend of European waltzes and American jazz idioms changed the course of operetta and will present audiences with a musical experience like none other. 

Paul Ábrahám’s rise to fame and fortune was swift. Between 1929 and 1932, while living and working in Berlin, he wrote three of the most successful operettas of all time, as well as numerous film scores and popular songs. His music was heavily influenced by the touring African-American jazz bands that had taken Berlin, and the rest of Europe, by storm. As a Jewish composer with a passion for jazz, he embodied everything the Nazis hated. When they came to power in 1933, he had to flee the country overnight. He continued to work in Vienna and Budapest, composing three more operettas. One of the them, a parody of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, was one of the first sports operetta ever written and featured an entire soccer team! With the annexation of Austria, the rise of fascism in Hungary, and the threat of war, he finally was compelled to leave for America. Like many other exiles, Ábrahám had trouble finding meaningful work in his new country. Suddenly impoverished, out of work and unknown, he succumbed to serious mental health problems and spent 10 years in Creedmoor Mental Hospital in Queens, New York. After the war, he returned to Germany, where he reunited with his wife after 17 years apart. He lived in Hamburg, Germany until his death in 1960.

Abraham’s life was a tragic descent from the pinnacle of success to exile, illness, and obscurity. He took operetta in a new direction, but his career could not survive persecution and war. His life is thus also the story of what might have been if his art had continued to develop without interference.

Come hear the whole story – and enjoy the irresistibly catchy melodies of a forgotten operetta master.

Featuring singers Alison Kelly, Gerald Frantzen, Katherine Petersen, Matthew Carroll and pianist Anatoliy Torchinskiy. You won’t want to miss this breezy, jazzy, and poignant show.