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If You Could See Her 
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Post If You Could See Her
Okay, me and my friends were debating this earlier.

The common view of "If You Could See Her" is that it is anti-Semetic, but does anyone think it's possible that it could be anti-anti-Semetic? i.e. that it is making fun of the Nazi's anti-Semetic views?

Please feel free to shoot this idea down in flames (but give some explanations. i can't stand flamers)

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Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:09 am
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
I don't see how people get the idea that the stuff in the show is "anti-semitic." I mean, the writers are Jewish.

Context and satire.


Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:44 am
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
I guess it's just the fact that it's a guy dancing with a monkey who then turns round and says "If they could see her through my eyes she wouldn't look Jewish at all". Implying Jewish people look like monkeys is bound to cause people to see it as anti-Semetic.

But yeah i see your point. that's why i find it strange that so many "White Pride" groups have "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" as their 'anthem'. :?

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Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:18 am
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
At the risk of sounding redundant.

I believe on the Original Cast Recording he says 'She isn't a meeskite at all', too. I'm not sure if this was censorship for the recording or if the 'She doesn't look Jewish' line came later for the movie, but either way I think people read too much into the intention. People who listen to it out of context may think it's anti-Semitic, but anyone who's finished watching the film or the stage play can attest to the fact that it's supposed to be satirical.

This is just another example of the awkward situations that can come out of making a decision on a song without knowing its full meaning. This show in particular is full of those songs; I think of all the male jazz singers or preteen girls blissfully belting a song about whether to have an abortion or not. :roll:

Also, when I went to see the show, they sang the song in a club full of Nazis. At the end of the song, the MC took the mask off of the monkey and revealed a girl with bright blond hair and blue eyes. Then one of the Nazis stood up and clapped his hands, not the appreciative kind of clapping, but the brisk 'enough' sort of clapping. The way they staged it, the gesture was obviously not appreciated.


Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:39 am
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
Canadian Drama Geek wrote:
Also, when I went to see the show, they sang the song in a club full of Nazis. At the end of the song, the MC took the mask off of the monkey and revealed a girl with bright blond hair and blue eyes. Then one of the Nazis stood up and clapped his hands, not the appreciative kind of clapping, but the brisk 'enough' sort of clapping. The way they staged it, the gesture was obviously not appreciated.


Just wondering, what production was this? It sounds very interesting. i've never heard of anyone staging it like that before. kinda adds a whole new level to the song.

i agree with you though. to me, the song is more making fun of the Nazis. but my friend (who's a Cabaret-freak) disagrees... i just like knowing other people's opinions :)

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Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:25 pm
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
I strongly disagree it is in any way anti-semetic...it is anti-anti-semetic (if there is such a thing :P) because it is satire aimed towards Nazis!!

I'm almost shocked people would think that it is anti-semetic....


Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:49 pm
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
That was the Stratford Festival's production two years ago, LaVieBoheme, with Trish Lindstrom as Sally, Sean Arbuckle as Cliff, and Bruce Dow as the MC. Amanda Dehnert directed.

I suppose though, that the song's context changes with one's perception of the MC, and whether he's a Nazi sympathiser or not. With the revival and the Stratford production, that's obviously not the case, and so the song takes on a satirical edge. The productions with a different, less sexual interpretation of the MC give the song a very different function. In a regional production I went to recently, the MC served as a sort of metaphor for Germany. In the beginning he was free-spirited and what have you, but as the show progressed, he lost those characteristics and eventually wore an armband. 'If You Could See Her' became the crux of that transformation.


Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:35 pm
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
Canadian Drama Geek wrote:
I believe on the Original Cast Recording he says 'She isn't a meeskite at all', too. I'm not sure if this was censorship for the recording or if the 'She doesn't look Jewish' line came later for the movie


I've thought about this too. I think they changed it to 'Jewish' for the film because the "Meeskite" song from the stage show isn't in the movie, so including the original lyric would have been obsolete.

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Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:44 pm
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
dolbinau wrote:
I strongly disagree it is in any way anti-semetic...it is anti-anti-semetic (if there is such a thing :P) because it is satire aimed towards Nazis!!

I'm almost shocked people would think that it is anti-semetic....


That's exactly what i thought ...

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Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:02 am
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
I was just reading an article in the New York Times that discusses similar issues in Kander and Ebb's latest show, The Scottsboro Boys, and I found a little tidbit in there that I thought you all might find interesting:

Quote:
Theatergoers do receive an insert in their Playbills that recounts the history of the Scottsboro incident and describes the minstrel tradition. Still, Mr. Domingo said he understood how some people might initially be thrown off balance in the first minutes of the show. He remembers Mr. Kander telling him how his “Cabaret” team ended up cutting a derogatory reference to Jews in the song “If You Could See Her Through My Eyes” after out-of-town audiences reacted negatively in 1966. (The full lyrics were restored in the 1972 movie and subsequent revivals.)


There you have it.


Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:44 pm
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
I still stand by what I said: If Herr Shultz's "Meeskite" song was in the movie, the line would have stayed 'meeskite'.

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:51 pm
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Post Re: If You Could See Her
Well, apparently it wasn't even supposed to be 'meeskite' in the first place. Though it would have been nice if Fosse had decided to keep any of Herr Schultz's songs. :D


Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:06 pm
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