Publication: Gscene

Date: 22 Dec 2019
By : Brian Butler

Brian Butler looks forward to one of the performance highlights in Brighton 2020 – international sensation Ute Lemper revealing her career-long connection with diva Marlene Dietrich.

Put third February in your diaries now if you love the unique style of that great performer Marlene Dietrich as she is brought to life in Brighton for one night only. In 1987 Ute Lemper opened on stage in Paris as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and was immediately hailed by critics as “the new Marlene”.

This comment led to a 3-hour phone conversation between the newcomer and the old reclusive superstar. Some 30 years later Ute now recreates that conversation – about love, life, bitterness, anti-Nazism but above all the magical musical repertoire Marlene created from her signature Lil Marlene to the anti-war song of the 60’s Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

In an exclusive glimpse Ute told Gscene : “The show is deeply tragic, but also comic – Marlene claimed to have slept with everyone she worked with – some 50,000 lovers, she said.”

“I am channelling the pain of her life – it’s not a romantic version . I aim to get to the core of her life.”

That said, the show which starts with the phone chat but in a time warp has Marlene taking over the stage, is full of humanity, respect and pure love of a genius at her art.

The show is at the Old Market, Hove, on 3 February. Ticket information at the old

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Ute will be performing a special program at the Met Museum in New York City at 7pm.

“This German artist brings a depth of intelligence, a sense of history, a political and social awareness, a knowing irony to her material few can match. She is the benchmark for singers.” —West Australian Review

When Ute Lemper takes the stage, we are instantly transported to the fleeting moment of wild experimentation born of the short-lived progressive culture that bloomed in pre-war Germany. Songs by Weill, Brecht, Hollander, Spoliansky, and others will receive the passionate and acerbic interpretation that is Ms. Lemper’s signature style.

Bring the Kids for $1 (ages 6–16).

Tickets include same-day Museum admission.

Enjoy a pre-performance drink in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. Wine, prosecco, and water are available for purchase. Doors open approximately one hour prior to the event.

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Publication: Town & Country
Date: December 2019 / January 2020

Marlene Dietrich was once asked by an interviewer about her style. She was in her late fifties at the time, entering her emeritus years but still revered as one of the last greats from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Her Teutonic sense of humor, needless to say, remained intact. “I dress for the image,” she declared. “Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion.” And, she stated definitively, “not for men.” Dietrich was speaking as a movie star who had long ago made peace with the professional burden of always having to look the part. She was also acutely aware of her own agency in the act of dressing up….

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November 9th, 2019 was the 30 year anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. With that in mind, I am very excited to take you to Berlin on a musical journey through time and history.

Berlin has had so many faces and chapters through the years. In this special program at the Met Museum, I will lead you through the turbulent years of the Weimar Republic, its music, cabaret and political satire, from the ‘Three Penny Opera’ of Brecht/ Weill to the wild ‘Berlin Cabaret Songs’ by Hollaender, Schwabach and Spoliansky. This ‘Dance on a Volcano’ with the Theater Songs ‘Bilbao Songs/ Pirate Jenny/ Salomon Song, and Moritat of Macky Messer’ and Cabaret Songs like ‘Life’s a Swindle/ the Lavender Song/ I am a Vamp, and Liar, Liar’ represented the climax of the Weimar culture, but was utterly shattered after 1933 as the Nazis censured and eliminated every creative and progressive force. After 1933 Eisler and Brecht had created a ‘Cabaret in the Exile’, that existed only in the not Nazi occupied territories and only for a very brief time. After 1938 everything was shut down and most of the artists were in exile or had been incarcerated in the ghettos and camps. The ‘Cabaret in the Exile’ presented a collection of highly political songs, including the ‘Water Wheel’ and ‘The Ballad of Marie Sanders’.

Following the timeline of history, I include some songs written in the Ghettos, especially Theresienstadt that incarcerated the Jewish composers and poets.

The next chapter is equally haunting, as it brings us to the utterly destroyed Berlin of 1946, with songs written for the movie ‘A Foreign Affair’. It was filmed in the ruins of Berlin. Marlene Dietrich sang these songs written by Friedrich Hollaender in this very movie directed by Billy Wilder.

I often thought that if the Nazis would not have shattered the Culture of Weimar after 1933, the 60’s would have happened already in the 40’s and right there in Berlin!

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