Publication: iWorld Travel, so should you!
Date: September 12, 2019
By: Michael Reubens

Mention the name Ute Lemper to some people and you may get a shrug of shoulders but to the discerning followers of worldwide talent the same reaction will definitely not occur.

After one sees her one-woman show coming soon to a theatre near you, I, for one am happy to set the record straight that henceforth Ms. Lemper will be on everyone’s radar. Her Bio includes award-winning roles in Chicago, Cats and Cabaret and her love of the more intimate global cabaret circuit in which she is truly more comfortable.

Rendezvous with Marlene, written and performed by Ms. Lemper and described as “a personal homage to Marlene Dietrich” on a recent telephone conversation in which all was revealed about the legendary actress including some fascinating secrets and anecdotes.

Ute Lemper initially got the revelatory idea to document and therefore stage this show when both U.L. and M. D. lived in Paris . The year was 1988 and U.L. spent three hours on the phone with M D., exploring her career and revealing some of her most intimate secrets. What U.L. got from that call was amazing comparisons between both women: M.D. was 87 at the time and U.L. a mere 24 which left a profound and everlasting emotional impact to this day. Channeling M.D. but certainly not imitating her.

U.L. is also quick to point out that the show chronicles the glamorous star without doing a complete impression. More a retrospect as seen through the eyes and vision of U.L. focusing on highlights from her cabaret days, Hollywood movies, her relationships with composer and mentor Burt Bacharach, chanteuse Edith Piaf, Bio Doc with Actor/Director Maximilian Schell and so on.

M.D. loved her native Germany however she was saddened by the fact that she felt punished to the end of her life mostly due to negative rumours that she was a traitor. She had a love affair with France, the UK and USA and love affairs with both men and women. Ahead of her time she wore men’s apparel, had an open marriage, was abandoned by her daughter who wrote a damming biography filled with negativity yet adored by her fans through films and stage appearances worldwide.

Ute Lemper comes to New York for 5 performances from 18 September only following a sold out run in London . She will then reprise her show throughout Europe and hopes to mount the production with a fresher perspective sometime in the near future.

* The York Theatre Company, New York.

Click here to read on the iWorld Travel blog.

Date: August 22, 2019
By: Paulanne Simmons

Preview: Ute Lemper’s Rendezvous with Marlene

August 22, 2019: This September, internationally renowned singer and actress Ute Lemper will perform her solo show, Rendezvous with Marlene, five nights at The York Theatre. But the beginnings of that show go back thirty years. The story includes Lemper’s fascination with the music of the Weimar Republic and her admiration for one of its greatest composers, Kurt Weill.

In 1987, Lemper’s portrayal of Sally Bowles in the original Paris production of Cabaret had already earned her the Molière Award (the French equivalent of the Tony Awards) for Best Newcomer. But after her album Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill became a huge success, her career took a dramatic turn.

“This was during the Cold War and two years before the fall of the Berlin wall,” Lemper says. “Thoughts of World War II were still alive, but at the same time Germans were looking toward the future. They needed and wanted to look back and see a more progressive time.”

Soon, Lemper was spending much more of her time on tour. One of her most “unbelievable moments” on tour came when she appeared in Tel-Aviv, before an appreciative and enthusiastic audience that included Holocaust survivors, many of whom were German speakers who remembered Kurt Weill and the Weimer Republic.

Eventually, thanks to the album, people began calling Lemper “the new Marlene Dietrich.” Lemper found this so embarrassing she wrote Dietrich a letter of apology. After receiving the letter, Dietrich, who at the time was living in Paris as a recluse, called her by phone. Their conversation lasted three hours.

It took thirty years for Lemper to have the maturity to “truly empathize” with Dietrich. But eventually, that “long, intense phone call” (plus a bit of research) became the basis for her Rendezvous with Marlene, which Lemper calls a play with music.

Lemper found Dietrich somewhat “sad and bitter.” During World War II, Dietrich, who had refused to make films for the Third Reich, became an American citizen, sold war bonds and entertained American troops. In 1960, when she returned to Germany on a concert tour many people called her “traitor.”

According to Lemper, Dietrich not only talked about the “complicated story” of her life; she also revealed a few secrets. Thus, Lemper was able to “go into Marlene’s brain” exploring not only her career but also her personal life, through both dialogue and Dietrich’s iconic songs, from Berlin cabaret to Bacharach collaborations.

But Rendezvous with Marlene is, in many ways, as much Lemper’s story as it is Dietrich’s. Lemper regards bringing back the music of Berlin cabaret as her personal mission. She considers this effort even more important these days as right-wing populist governments threaten democracy in the United States and abroad.

Lemper believes the seeds the Nazis sewed in the last century are sprouting today in these governments. But she also hopes Dietrich can provide us with a role model of moral courage.

“Marlene Dietrich is not only contemporary,” Lemper says. “She’s a woman of the future. She was bisexual and gender challenging. She had an open marriage. She took a moral stand.”

Click here for the full article online, including a video promo.

Publication: Woman Around Town
Date: September 2, 2019
by: Alix Cohen

Ute Lemper moves like a dancer. As she gracefully folds herself into a chair, one can almost see attention and intellect snap to order. The multifaceted artist was raised in Munster, Germany, by music-loving parents. She successively took dance, voice, and briefly, piano lessons. “I can only find my emotions reflected in this universe called music.”

Like many teenagers, Lemper turned up the volume on her record player and sang along. Her choices featured Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, and Joni Mitchell. Apartment neighbors pounded in objection. Lemper, an admitted libertine, looks mischievous when she tells me this. “No German vocalists?” I ask. “There was a cultural vacuum in the 60s and 70s. Music was superficial, easy listening.” The burgeoning performer also fronted several jazz/rock bands.

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Foto: stefanotis
Publication: Thüringer Allgemeine
By: Esther Goldberg
Date: 24 June, 2019

Ute Lemper ist im Weimarer Spiegelzelt die gefeierte Interpretin Marlene Dietrichs.

„Liebe hält ja nicht. Aber die Freundschaft, die kann halten.“ Worte einer verlassenen Frau? Ja. Oder doch nicht? Nein. Vielleicht stimmt ja beides. Ihr Name: Marlene Dietrich. Sprecherin: Ute Lemper. Ort: Spiegelzelt Weimar. Zeit: Juni 2019…

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