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HIRSCH: Setting the scenes.

Growing up in postwar England as the son of German-Jewish refugees wasn’t always easy for Robin Hirsch. He remembers standing in line at the school cafeteria at the age of 6 with his fellow students, when his best friend — of all people — proclaimed, “Hirsch is a Nazi. I’ve been to his house, his parents speak German; they’re Nazis.”

In his stage show “Kinderszenen: Scenes From Childhood,” Hirsch treats his audience to an 80-minute monologue about his family life, beginning with his parents’ first meeting at a costume ball in 1920s Berlin. Hirsch, who now lives in New York and runs the Cornelia Street Café cabaret, described “Kinderszenen” as “a stand-up version” of his 1995 memoir, “Last Dance at the Hotel Kempinski.”

“The thing that probably distinguishes this from any other Holocaust-related story is there are bits of it when people have been known to actually laugh, sometimes uproariously,” Hirsch said. “Some of it is the absurdity in growing up with this complex heritage and trying to piece together your life. There is an archaeology of irony, which I think is inescapable.”


Emanuel Arts Center, Temple Emanuel, 8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills; Nov. 30, 5 p.m.; $15, reservations strongly recommended. (310-471-3979)

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