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The "Buntes Theater" ("Überbrettl") on Köpenicker Street (1901)

The rapid success of his variety theater "Buntes Theater," initially housed in the Secession stage on Berlin’s famous Alexanderplatz, left Ernst von Wolzogen (1885-1934) with enough money to purchase his own building on Köpenicker Street and to commission the famous Jugendstil architect August Endell (1871-1925) to remodel it. The new theater opened on November 28, 1901, with a performance of Ludwig Thoma’s (1867-1921) The Medal. Wolzogen’s personal role in the management of the "Buntes Theater" was ultimately short-lived. As a result of quarrels with investors and an increasingly mediocre and low-brow program that alienated critics, he was forced to cede the directorship in 1902. Nonetheless, he had launched a trend: between 1901 and 1906 alone, 32 cabarets in the same style opened in Berlin, thus making clear that cabaret, as the anti-thesis of established art forms, had grown considerably more popular with the public.

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© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Original: Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin