Magic, illusion unite at Stuttgart Varieté theater

By Carola Meusel
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

At the internationally acclaimed Varieté-Theater (Variety Theater) in downtown Stuttgart, theatergoers can enjoy performances of magic, fantasy and illusion.

“Varieté” stands for a impressive program combining artistic and acrobatic performances with dance, music, magic and comedy.

“The purpose of a variety theater is to offer culture and entertainment for everybody’s taste,” said Dorothee Belser, a spokesperson for the Friedrichsbau Varieté in Stuttgart.

In Germany, Varieté theaters became popular in the late 19th century and peaked during the 1930s in larger cities throughout the country.

The Friedrichsbau Varieté in downtown Stuttgart currently features a show called “Varieté Royal,” which runs until Feb. 12. Performances are offered  Monday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., and Sunday at 6 p.m.

“This is just a wonderful and sparkling white winter show. Fairies and mythical creatures are dancing across the stage in white costumes and there is this special magical atmosphere,” Belser said. “The show meets its concept of creating a theatrical vision between innocence and desire.”

The “Varieté Royal” show features breathtaking acrobatic and artistic acts, to include an artist who juggles with her feet, and live music.

The international group of artists gives the audience the illusion that they are travelling, with presentations that play on the senses.

“The winter show led me directly into a dream world,” said a spectator at a recent Varieté Royal show. “I was fascinated with the multifaceted program and the artistic skills of the performing artists.”

One of the artists is Rosiris Garrido, a dancer from Brazil, who performed an aerial dance number called “PapieRock.” Garrido’s only tool is a hula hoop, and her costume paper skirt is designed to change during her show.

At each of the Varieté performances, audience members can order meals from a special menu.

The “Varieté for Tea” program, which features parts of the current show on Thursday afternoon with coffee, tea and cake, is also available.

A highlight of the Varieté theater is that the stage extends out into the audience.

“Due to the seating arrangements in a varieté, the separation between the stage and the audience is taken away,” Belser explained. “Almost everybody has seen a magician or an acrobat on TV before. However, at the varieté, visitors will find themselves in front of the artists. They hear them breathe; this creates a special atmosphere.”

The Friedrichsbau Varieté Stuttgart was founded in 1898 in an art nouveau building and was one of the most popular variety theaters throughout Germany, featuring international stars such as Josephine Baker.

In 1944, the building was completely destroyed in a bombing, leaving Stuttgart without a Varieté until 1994, when the Friedrichsbau Varieté opened its doors to the public.

Today, the Stuttgart Varieté has regained its reputation as one of the best international Varieté theaters in Germany.

The Varieté will also feature a “Magic De Luxe” show Feb. 18 through April 9, featuring Kevin James, a magic superstar from the U.S.

For more information, visit Tickets can be purchased by calling 0711-225-7070 or online at