Arts and Culture | Local

Orchestra to play Weimar era music at Fox

Singer Max Raabe, in white tie, with the Palast Orchester [Frank Eidel)

Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester will play the Fox Tucson Theatre on March 15.

Raabe founded the Palast Orchester in 1986 in Berlin, with fellow music students who loved to play music from Germany’s Golden 1920s. Their style and showmanship struck a chord with the public and their popularity increased quickly, first in Germany, then Austria and Switzerland, and soon they were touring worldwide.

Raabe told the Washington Jewish Week that the music he loves “comes from a very short period of time during the Weimar Republic, beginning in 1926 when a lot of fantastic composers and talented lyric writers came together to create wonderful songs in the late ’20s and early ’30s. There was a special kind of humor, a kind of black humor, elegant and very sophisticated.”

That golden age of German music came to end with Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 when he outlawed Jewish and other “degenerate” artists. But, says Raabe, in that brief period, “the films and the radios had wonderful songs, pieces you could compare to the lyrics of Cole Porter and Noel Coward, and other American standards.”

The impeccably tailored Raabe is described as “more Fred Astaire than Joel Grey,” with a light but wide-ranging baritone voice. The Palast Orchester’s concerts also include American classics such as Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek” and Porter’s “Ms. Otis Regrets.”

For tickets, $29-$74, or more information, visit www.foxtucson.com or call the box office at 547-3040.

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