History

SPIELPALAST or SPIEL PALAST (n.)

a palace of games, drama and theatre. [spiel= game + palast= play] At the end of the wild whirlwind between WWI and WWII, The Depression (known for it's loose morals, prohibition, unemployment), The Roaring Twenties (re: hair bobs, jazz, bathtub gin) and the Weimar Rebublic (don't forget dadism, montage and rebellion), European and American ex-patriates flocked to the literary cabarets and burlesque entertainments. These feateured a wide range of scandalous and subversive performance, including political satire, nude dancing, gender bending and elaborate avant-garde nonsense spectacles. In the increasingly oppressive atmosphere of facisct nationalism, brutality, censorship, and restricted civil liberties, these cabarets and burlesque shows served the purpose of transgressive dis-ordering radical internationalism and a much needed release from the rigidity of "family values." Performed in local clubs and cafes the cabaret celebrated the unstompable resilience of the individualistic and alternative human spirit in a time of mass propaganda, blind patriotism and military frenzy.