Ute Lemper. / EFEPublication: El Correo de Andalucia
Date: 29 May, 2019

Ute Lemper salda una deuda pendienteLa sensacional cantante y actriz alemana regresó a Sevilla con un espectáculo centrado en el arte y la vida de Marlene Dietrich (****)

En una secuencia de La vie en rose Edith Piaf, interpretada por Marion Cotillard, deja caer la silla en la que está sentada en un restaurante de Nueva York cuando Marlene Dietrich se acerca a ella para conocerla. Una diosa presentándose y el impulso nervioso obró el incidente. Es una emocionante escena que explica la merecida fascinación que ejercía la protagonista de Marruecos y Arizona en toda persona que la conocía, en la pantalla que la mimaba y en los registros sonoros que también la inmortalizaron…

Click here for full review online

Publication: Reutlinger General-Anzeiger
Date: 25 May, 2019

Mit Temperament und Stimmgewalt: Ute Lemper gastiert bei der Württembergischen Philharmonie

REUTLINGEN. Ute Lemper bei der Württembergischen Philharmonie: Das ist schon eine Schlagzeile! »Die Lemper«, sie ist eine Legende, sie wird wie eine Diva verehrt, auch wenn ihr das gegen den Strich geht. Eigentlich bräuchte sie sich nur vorne an die Bühnenkante zu stellen, ein bisschen Stimmsamt auszurollen und ansonsten die Aura einer Frau wirken zu lassen, die mit knapp 57 alles erreicht hat im Chanson- und Musicalfach.

Aber Ute Lemper hat ganz anderes vor an diesem Donnerstagabend in der Reutlinger Stadthalle. Sie hat noch keine drei Zeilen von Marguerite Monnots keck neckendem Chanson »Milord« gesungen, da ist klar, das wird hier keine altersweise Weihestunde, da ist eine fest entschlossen, das Bühnentier in sich rauszulassen…

Click here for pdf of full review

Source: PrideLife (Entertainment News)
Date: May 20, 2019

Thirty-one years ago Marlene Dietrich’s life was all but over, writes Cary Gee. She lived alone, apart from her memories of a life that more than rivalled any film script, in Paris where she saw and spoke to virtually no one. All the more extraordinary then, that she should have reached out to a young Ute Lemper, then playing the role of Lola in the Blue Angel, a role that Marlene had made famous 60 years earlier.

The two women, one whose career had ended, one on the cusp of international stardom, spoke for three hours. Their conversation forms the basis for Lemper’s new one-woman show, in which she spectacularly revives Dietrich’s life and legacy for a generation too young to recall the screen legend’s luminosity.

Such is the connection Lemper shares with Dietrich that at times, Rendezvous with Marlene feels less like a tribute, and more like a séance.

Both women left their “Heimat”, albeit under very different circumstances, to pursue an international career. Both returned to a re-unified Germany, although, in Marlene’s case, not until after her death. The emotional toll Dietrich paid for her estrangement has never been satisfactorily explored until now.

Through the candid recollections of Dietrich, by this time too old to care about the effect her words might have on the living, and Lemper’s masterful interpretation of the songs Dietrich made famous, among them gems by Dietrich’s chief collaborator Frederic Hollaender, including Illusions, Boys in the Backroom and Lola, the many layers of Marlene are peeled back: screen siren (or was she in fact a Hydra?), chanteuse and famed cabaret artiste, but also emigrée, a captain in the US army, humanitarian, and rapacious lover of both men and women.

In an exceptional performance and an outrageous act of necromancy Lemper fully occupies Marlene’s complicated femininity and sexuality. Lemper’s only difficulty, as an exceptionally fine and distinct singer herself, is to fully inhabit Dietrich’s limited contralto on songs more associated with male singers, such as One for my Baby (And One More for the Road).

The show, simply staged among packing cases synonymous with a life lived on the move, and backed by Vana Gierig’s excellent band, opens with Pete Seeger’s Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Such is the directness of Lemper’s lament you suspect only she knows the answer, but is at its most moving when Marlene/ Ute sings in her native German, or in her adopted French.

I suspect there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Marlene brought the first half of the show to a close, her face to the wall, as she sang Marie, Marie, although with tears in my eyes myself, I’m probably not the most reliable witness.

Throughout, Lemper directly and indirectly reminds us not just of Marlene’s heroism in standing up to the Nazis, but of the internationalism she shared with Lemper and without which neither star could shine quite so brightly.

On no account, says Lemper, must we allow neo-nationalism to turn the sky black. There is so much more to Rendezvous with Marlene than mere storytelling and songs, but if that’s all you desire then what stories, and what songs they are!

Keep an eye open for the return of Rendezvous with Marlene, planned for later this year, and you’ll be certain to find yourself Falling in Love Again.


Click here to see article online

Publication: The Gay UK
Date: May 18, 2019
By: Sasha De Suinn

‘Falling in Love Again…’ an entranced Sasha de Suinn reviews Ute Lemper’s sold-out cabaret show Rendezvous with Marlene at the Arcola Theatre, London.

Where were you when Princess Di died?

Shocked, indifferent or simply unborn then? Like the Twin Towers, Di’s death instantly branded itself into cultural awareness worldwide, becoming a cultural landmark of collective disbelief. Still – if not quite on such an exalted plane – artistic earthquakes also create an enduring, seismic blip in public adoration and memorable regard. But forget the pointlessly premature – if still shocking – deaths of musical prodigies Prince, Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson; they’re the negative downside of cultural lightning brilliantly caught in a bottle. Ah, but don’t despair – there’s always light in the darkness, a Dumbledore to every Voldemort! Why, given a convenient TARDIS like every cosy, pansexual Time Lord, who wouldn’t want to witness Maria Callas, Judy Garland and Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust shows at their iconic, history-making peak?

Still, those moments, if rare, continue to persist as thrilling possibilities. And culturally – right here and right now – we’re incandescently privileged to witness Ute Lemper’s totally game-changing Rendezvous With Marlene. The work of a simply superlative artist at the top of her game, it’s a fearless exploration of Dietrich’s doubts, regrets and shockingly raw humanity.

Like the finest, vintage Krug champagne – with all its’ attendant depth, resonance and complexity of flavour – Rendezvous has intensely benefitted from its’ long, thirty-year gestation in Ute’s mind.

While playing Sally Bowles in a stage version of Cabaret in Dusseldorf back in 1992 when she was 24, Ute wrote a postcard to the 88-year-old Dietrich apologising for the constant barrage of spurious comparisons lazy journalists were drawing between the two artists. To call those journalists merely misguided would be ridiculously kind; they were wildly inaccurate. Where Dietrich was breezily, bisexually promiscuous, Ute was married with children; where Dietrich barely strayed beyond performing a narrow repertoire of expected classics, Ute’s range – including tackling songs by Nick Cave and Tom Waits – was eclecticism personified; and finally, while Dietrich stage’s act and barely-passable ‘singing’ remained essentially static and she explores no other creative pathways privately, Ute was a first-class chanteuse, actress and dancer, painting and song-writing in her precious downtime.

Very different women, then, despite the most blatantly obvious, shared physical characteristics; blonde hair and shapely bodies. Still, both had a shrewd grasp of the human impact of restrictive politics – as in Dietrich’s profound disgust towards the Nazis, while Ute – pleasingly in an era of blanket, Trump idiocies – comes across as an electrifying, pro-choice Valkyrie at the Arcola, sharing Dietrich’s passion for strong, female self-determinism.

Framed as a post-modern metafiction – Ute switching characters back and forth between herself and Dietrich, and exploring Dietrich’s memories in character en route – Rendezvous is almost an act of secular worship in performing, spontaneously eliciting an aura of hushed, quasi-religious devotion from the audience. Faultlessly exhibiting the high-functioning playfulness of an Alpha-class empath, Ute is so sensitive to nuance she virtually leads the audience en mass to the emotional mountaintops of Dietrich’s revelations. Throughout, Ute exhibits two exceptional qualities wholly lacking from the frenzied, truncated idiocy that passes as modern stage direction; dignity and restraint.

Surely a reigning role-model of liquid-boned finesse, Ute’s slightest, rippling gesture speaks emotional volumes, and she has the incalculable, expressive gift of making even the most chronically over-exposed lyrics imaginable –Blowing In The Wind, anyone? – resonate with the shocking, public poignancy of Christine Blasey Ford testimony against the vile Brett Kavanaugh.

A sheer master-class in memorial intimacy, stagecraft and the taut, emotional fury of suppressed pain and regret, Rendezvous With Marlene is an astounding instance of spiritual ventriloquism, of one acclaimed performer so prepared to relinquish egotism she’ll voluntarily become the mouthpiece of another.

Utterly in tune with our present, diversity zeitgeist, Ute’s tribute is not only pansexual, acknowledging Marlene’s female and male lovers, but also – going even further than Russell T. Davies’ Years and Years– transageist, as a youthful, ebullient Ute assumes the serene gravitas of Dietrich herself. Masterly? Of course; and – by a huge margin – simply the finest act of sustained, emotional intensity and fearless self-revelation I’ve ever seen. Ute – like Bowie, Callas and Garland before her – is in an unprecedented class of her own.

Click here to read this article on The Gay UK website.

Photo Credit: Roy Tan

May. 17, 2019  

Olivier Award-winning Ute Lemper will bring her one woman show Rendezvous with Marlene, celebrating the life of Marlene Dietrich, to Arcola Theatre. The show runs 14-19 May, and marks Ute Lemper‘s first major London performance since Cadogan Hall in 2017.

Ute Lemper said today, “I know that London loved Marlene! She said ‘my soul goes to France, my heart to England and to Germany goes my dead body.’ The British had an open loving heart for Marlene Dietrich. Rendezvous with Marlene means a lot to me – it is my personal homage to that great lady. There are many portraits of Marlene out there, but this one is coming from my heart. Audiences are in for an incredible story; history, fate, courage, style, politics, glamour and sex, talent and a huge career.”

Arcola Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen said, “This is a rare opportunity see Ute Lemper, my all-time cabaret artist in her most intimate performance in her most natural environment- the unique, distressed space of the Arcola. This is an amazing opportunity to witness Ute and Marlene close-up, and one that Arcola are proud to offer.”

Ute Lemper‘s career is vast and varied. She has made her mark on the stage, in films, in concert and as a unique recording artist on more than 30 CDs over 30 years of career. She has been universally praised for her interpretations of Berlin Cabaret Songs, the works of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and the Chansons of Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Jacques Prevert, Nino Rota, Astor Piazzolla many others and also her own compositions, as well as her portrayals in musicals and plays on Broadway, in Paris, Berlin and in London’s West End.She won Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Velma Kelly in Chicago in 1998, and the 1987 Molière Award for Best Newcomer for her performance as Sally Bowles in the original Paris production of Cabaret.

Click here to read the article online, and see some extra photos.