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„OBSERVEN
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WIEN, I.,
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107.—
**
Qulte different is the situation
withthe Kleines Haus, about a
block off the Great White Way of
Berlin'’s West. Last year, the State
theatre took over this intimate
house in addition to its more expan¬
sive one in the city center which, —
since then, has been almost entire¬
Iy devoted to a program of classics
and earnest plays, designating the#
Kleines exclusively to do homage
to Thalia. Today these two houses
so nearly monopolize what must be
cor.sidered Berlin’s and, for that
matter, Germany's topnotch thea¬
tre, that not until the first pre¬
mière in either one of them can the
(season be said to have really begun.
This time the prerogative was
given to the west end, and the
Kleines started off with an allur¬
ling production of a venerable im¬
ponderability, Die gefesselte Phan¬
tasie“ ("Imagination in Fetters''),
by Ferdinand Raimund, the State
theatre's contribution to the cen¬
Itenary of this Viennese author’s,
death.
The comedian-playwright, Rai¬
mund, is, like his contemporary,
Nestroy, unmistakably the fore¬
father of. Schnitzler and Bahr.
Viennese melanchöly, served with a
light-hearted charm and scoffed at
with the gentlest of irony, marks
this allegoric fable about the island
Jof Flora, its beautiful Princess Her¬
mione who loves Amphio, the poet¬
shepherd, and the witches, Vipria
land Arrogantia, who manacle Imag-
ination so that she cannot inspire;
Amphio to the poem which is to win
the Princess’s hand for him. From
a Vienna beerhouse the witches im¬
port the harpist, Nightingale, a
lovable toper who, as a couplet
singer, needs no imagination. The
Princess is to marry him. Aroused!
by this to a godiy wrath, Zeus
breaks Imagination’s fetters amid #
thunder and lightning and just in
time for her to inspire Amphio to
the prize poem. For the apotheosis
the cloud scrim lifts and discloses
the Olympian Apollo on high,
draped in Roman style, sitting in a
rococo library, sounding the lyre.
Played in wings and flies, de¬
signed by the imaginative Rochus
Gliese, and in the costumes and
scenic draperies of the baroque Bie¬
dermeier stage in Raimund’s time,
this fairy tale, superbly played, rose
to onc of the most amusing traves¬
ties. Under Jueigen Fehling’s face¬
tious direction It quips and quirks
sparkle merrily and occasionally
even dart out with pointed sharp¬
ness. Kaethe Gold’s alluring Imag¬
ination, in pink tights and ballet
skirt, bounded leaps ahead of the
others. She had fairy music in her
voice and an eerie charm in her
CLAIRE TRASK.
manner.