In 1911, the Admiralspalast on Berlin’s legendary Friedrichstraße first opened its doors as a ‘metropolitan’ centre for top entertainment. This vibrant venue quickly gained an enviable reputation, and its opulent revue shows in the 1920s came to symbolise the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. Today, the magnificent main auditorium, which seats 1700, and the Studio stage are home to a premium programme ranging from theatre to concerts, and musicals to comedy. The front building also houses the cabaret theatre Die Distel, renowned for its biting and witty political satire.
A glittering season with Caveman and Shadowland
The Admiralspalast’s Grand Hall, its main auditorium, has hosted a string of outstanding musical successes – a tradition the stunning Shadowland show is sure to follow. Over the last years, one landmark was the Dreigroschenoper, Bertolt Brecht’s famous version of the Beggar’s Opera, staged by Klaus Maria Brandauer and with Campino, singer of the punk band Toten Hosen, in a lead role as Mackie Messer. True to its motto of providing the best in a range of entertainment, the main theatre also hosts such popular children’s shows as Bibi Blocksberg about the adventures of a young and mischievous witch.
The Admiralspalast is also an acclaimed comedy venue – and now hosting, for example, the laugh-out-loud show Caveman. This hysterically funny play, directed by actor and director Esther Schweins, is the German version of Broadway’s smash hit Defending the Caveman, and casts a hilarious light on the way men and women relate.
The main stage also presents a great series of concerts and comedy shows. Regular guests presenting their latest shows to thrilled audiences include Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester, renowned for their take on 1920s and 30s music, and eccentric German musician Helge Schneider.
The Admiralspalast programme is also increasingly focusing on music – from soul legend Solomon Burke to the funk vibes of Jan Delay or the fresh talents on the local scene. At some events, the seating in the main theatre is packed away so visitors can dance and party until the early hours.
Helping to create Berlin’s cultural history – for over one hundred years
As one of Berlin’s oldest theatres, the Admiralspalast’s long tradition of variety entertainment is intimately linked to the city’s political and social changes down the years. When it originally opened in 1911, the Admiralspalast housed an ice rink, luxury baths, skittle alleys and an impressive cinema. Through to the late 1930s, it was also renowned for its extravagant light entertainment and revue shows.After the Second World War, the main auditorium was used for the political party conference where East Germany’s SED – the Socialist Unity Party – was founded under Otto Grotewohl (SPD) and Wilhelm Pieck (KPD). Renamed as the Metropol-Theater in the Admiralspalast during the years of East Germany, the stage here presented classical operettas as well as Broadway musicals.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Admiralspalast was extensively refurbished and reopened in its present form in 2006.