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‘Blue Flower’ blooms in Cambridge

December 6, 2010
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Published by Metro

When Jim Bauer and his wife first envisioned “The Blue Flower,” they saw a film — one put on for audiences with a live orchestra on stage.

“It all started with music,” says Bauer, the show’s writer, composer and lyricist. “We never set off to do musical theater, but that’s what we have.”

The Dada art movement-inspired show is set in Germany after World War I, post Belle Époque, during the beginning of the Weimar Republic. But audiences need not worry if they don’t know what any of those phrases mean.

“Oh, it should make no difference,” Bauer says. “They don’t need any knowledge of any of the things we’re talking about. It all has to do with feelings, not knowledge.”

The story — part love entanglement, part history ride — revolves around four characters: German artists Max Beckmann, Franz Marc and Hannah Höch, as well as French chemist Marie Curie.

“Historical figures provide inspiration for the characters, but they’re just based on them,” explains Bauer. “We took great liberties with their actual personal history. It’s fiction.”

The show includes live action, pre-recorded silent film and Berlin cabaret music mixed with American country by an eight-piece band. The collage of media should be a sensuous experience, says Bauer. He collaborated with his wife, Ruth — an artist, writer and videographer — to create the production.

“We have never considered ourselves avant garde artists,” says Bauer. “It has not been our ambition to create something obscure, difficult for people to understand. It’s just the opposite. We want it to be embracing and accessible to people.”

Day job

When Jim Bauer isn’t perfecting “The Blue Flower,” he’s out on the streets of Boston and Cambridge performing with his band, a free-folk duo called Dagmar.

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