Warsaw: the cabaret years

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Mercury House, 1992 - History - 284 pages
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Warsaw: The Cabaret Years is the first full portrait in English of Warsaw's cultural life between the world wars. The Golden Era of Warsaw, from 1919 to 1939, witnessed one of the richest cultural and artistic scenes of Europe. Poland's capital abounded with poets, novelists, filmmakers, artists, and architects. Literary magazines, opera, symphonic music, and theater flourished along with audacious cabarets - the Sphinx, Black Cat, Mirage, and the legendary Qui Pro Quo - that rivaled those of Berlin. Foreign journalists called Warsaw "the Paris of Eastern Europe". Among the luminaries living and working in Warsaw at the time were writers Czeslaw Milosz and Isaac Bashevis Singer, pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski (once the prime minister), actress Ida Kaminska, and cabaret star Hanka Ordonowna. Artur Rubinstein performed with the Warsaw Symphony, and George Bernard Shaw premiered some of his plays in Warsaw. Warsaw: The Cabaret Years paints a vivid picture of a city overflowing with champagne, extravagance, and raucous cabarets, a city that boasted over sixty cinemas but still had unpaved roads. This historical narrative explores a society moving ineluctably toward the disaster of World War II, yet leaving a trail of brilliant achievements.

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Warsaw: the cabaret years

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Journalist Nowicki found himself enchanted by a song sung on an old record by Hanka Ordonowna who, he discovered, was a leading cabaret star in Warsaw in the 1920s and 1930s. From such a revelation ... Read full review


PART ONE The Kingdom Regained
Presentiments of Catastrophe
Melody of Warsaw

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