André Hartmann Tickles Funny Bone of DC Audience
Enlarge image (© germany.info) André Hartmann, an exceptionally gifted musical cabaret artist from Munich, made his debut performance at the Riot Act Comedy Theater in downtown Washington, DC last night. The audience of well over 200 people was captivated by his incredible ability to slip from one character into another, adapting expressions, gestures, and dialects seemingly without effort, and his humorous references to contemporary German pop culture and politicians.
Enlarge image André Hartmann performing at the Riot Act Comedy Theater (© germany.info) Walking his audience through a string of international celebrities such as Angela Merkel and Udo Lindenberg as well as a variety of comedy sketches and puns, he made his listeners break out into fits of laughter. The audience was not only treated to a display of Hartmann’s superb piano playing and singing, but also received an amusing lesson on some of the world’s national anthems, along with their respective composers.
The artist, who in his day job works as a music teacher in Munich, offered a completely new take on the theme music of “Titanic” and managed to alter it to different styles such as swing, jazz, or pop. Hartmann’s alter ego, former chancellor Gerhard Schröder, occasionally popped up to comment on his personal career after politics.
Enlarge image (© germany.info) The highlight of the evening was the spontaneous musical game he played with members of the audience. Anyone present could request that he play a musical piece by their favorite composer, which Hartmann would then play for a while before suddenly switching gears to play the same piece in the style of Bach, Mozart, or another composer of the audience’s choosing.
André Hartmann is, as we learned during the show, not only a master of several languages, but has also been fostering a very ambitious humanitarian project in Nepal. For almost 14 years, he has been supporting a school for 150 children there, paying for running costs and funding the attendance of the poor and least fortunate.
The Embassy would like to thank André Hartmann, who will also perform at the Sweet Briar College in Virginia on April 5, for his magnificent one-man show at Riot Act. We hope to see him again in the future.