(Click here to view the video on the NY1 website)

Publication: NY1
By: Frank Dilella

NEW YORK — Songstress Ute Lemper is a celebrated performer who is used to traveling the world, bringing music to the masses. But for the past year, her rehearsal room and stage has been pretty much limited to her Upper West Side apartment.

And of course being home means she wears many hats, including the given “Mom” plus teacher and even gardener.

The actress who has made a healthy living performing in concerts and musical theater here in New York and on the road is now, like many performers, doing the streaming thing.

“I was able to film my Marlene Dietrich theater play,” said Lemper.

Over the years Lemper has been compared to the legendary Marlene Dietrich. She created a piece based on an interaction she had with the actress in the 1980s while performing the role of Sally Bowles in the Parisian production of “Cabaret”.

“I couldn’t believe I was being compared to this legend  with so many careers from Weimar cabaret to this Hollywood diva, she was a chanteuse,” said Lemper.

Ute’s “Rendezvous with Marlene” was filmed for digital streaming at Club Cumming in the East Village. In addition Lemper is gearing up to perform in Carnegie Hall’s “Voices of Hope” festival an online presentation that shines a spotlight on work that was created by artists who were in difficult and often times horrific situations. For her concert  on April 18th “Songs for Eternity” Lemper will sing music created by victims of The Holocaust.

“It is a most precious concert to me, a very difficult concert that breaks my heart to perform it. In the beginning I couldn’t I had a clot of tears in my throat,” said Lemper.

And while Lemper admits she’s itching to be back on a physical stage, she says there is a silver lining to all of this and that this reset of sorts has taught her many things.

“Because the life after the pandemic for me will not be the same as it was before. I will  definitely pick and choose, make clever choices about, maybe a better balance between my life with my family and my life on stage,” said Lemper.

To check out Lemper’s upcoming virtual performances head to CarnegieHall.org.

Click here to view the video clip on NY1

With as long and storied a career as Liza Minnelli’s, there is much to celebrate. This virtual online event features many amazing artists paying tribute to her on the occasion of her 75th birthday.

Ute has a special performance and message lined up for Liza.

Visit www.stellartickets.com or www.clubcummingnyc.com for tickets. 20% of the proceeds of tickets benefits the Actors Fund.


Ihre Liebesbeziehung zu Marlene wird weitergehen, sagt Ute Lemper (Quelle: Getty Images)

Publication: Die Welt
By: Manuel Brug
Date: December 30,2020

Ute Lemper hat aus Klassikern von Marlene Dietrich einen genialen Musikfilm gemacht. Hier können Sie ihn am Silvesterabend exklusiv anschauen. Dazu ein Gespräch über ihre drei Stunden mit Marlene, die Folgen der Pandemie und wann sie zurückkehrt nach Deutschland.

Ute Lempers „Rendezvous with Marlene“ ist auf WELT kostenfrei im Stream zu erleben; am Silvesterabend ab 18 Uhr finden Sie hier den Film.

„Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte, wünschte ich mir Sichtbarkeit.“ So könnte man die Absicht von Ute Lemper mit einem Klassiker von Marlene Dietrichparaphrasieren. Das würde zugleich ihr jüngstes Projekt gut charakterisieren.

Es führt die beiden deutschen Stars zusammen. Denn Lemper hat aus dem Repertoire der Dietrich ein Bühnenprogramm und nun einen dichten Konzertfilm gemacht.

Auch Ute Lemper wurde natürlich durch Coronaausgebremst. Sonst jettet sie, die seit mehr als zwei Jahrzehnten in New York lebt, zwei- bis dreimal im Monat nach Europa, wie sie im Gespräch gleich bekennt. „Das will ich künftig aber nicht mehr in dieser Häufigkeit machen.“

Gegenwärtig wird auch sie in den Staaten festgehalten, nachdem sie im März in Brüssel aufgetreten war, dann aber alles absagte, um hastig nach Hause zurückzukehren.

„Nach Hause, das hört sich immer noch komisch an“, sagt sie. „Ich bin eher ähnlich unbehaust wie Marlene Dietrich.“ Von Münster nach Berlin, Wien, Paris, London und eben New York führte sie bisher der Weg.

Sie möchte durchaus mal wieder nach Deutschland zurückkehren, „dann, wenn die zwei jüngsten meiner vier Kinder aus der Schule sind, aber bis dahin muss ich als Ernährerin noch einiges nach Hause bringen“.

Bisher kein Problem, die 57-jährige Sängerin, Schauspielerin, Entertainerin ist viel gebucht. 2021 steht der 100. Geburtstag von Tango-Legende Astor Piazzolla an, da ist sie als versierte Sängerin seiner Werke gefragt. „Aber auch meine Love-Affair mit Marlene soll weitergehen.“

1921 trat die Dietrich erstmals, als Dritte von links, auf den Berliner Varietébühnen auf und tingelte anschließend durch Deutschland. Lemper will ihr Dietrich-Programm unbedingt fortsetzen, bei den großen Sommerfestivals, vom Rheingau bis Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, die ihre Konzerte verschieben mussten.

Doch schon vorher gibt es diese eigenwillige Mischung aus Chansons und Spielszenen, aus Ute und Marlene, Berlin, Hollywood, Paris als Konzertfilm zu sehen. Denn Ute Lemper hat auch im Covid-Sommer nicht gerastet.

Ihr „Rendezvous with Marlene“ hat sie in New York, wo alle Theater und Clubs seit März zu sind, mit vier Musikern im East Village im „Club Cumming“ aufgezeichnet. Das ist die kaschemmenartige, durchaus weimarverruchte Schwulenbar von Schauspieler und Sänger Alan Cumming, der selbst im ehemaligen Studio 54 als dämonischer Conférencier im Musical „Cabaret“ brillierte. Der komplette Film ist heute exklusiv per Stream auf welt.de zu erleben.
„Wir mussten gar nichts verändern, das sieht so aus und passt total“, erzählt Ute Lemper von den Dreharbeiten. „Nur eng und stickig war es, aber auch das passt wunderbar zu dieser Geschichte.“

Auch Lemper wurde in „Cabaret“ zum Star, 1987 in Paris. Sie schrieb damals eine Karte an die dort in ihrer Matratzengruft in der Rue Montaigne Nummer 12 lebende, aber mit dem Telefon weltweit kommunizierende Marlene Dietrich, mit der Lemper damals dauernd von der französischen Presse verglichen wurde. Dietrich rief interessiert zurück. Drei Stunden dauerte das Gespräch der beiden, das Ute Lemper tief prägte.

Aus der Musical-Actrice Ute Lemper wurde eine weltweit gefragte Entertainerin, die ihr Repertoire auf ebenjener Musik der Weimarer Republik aufbaute und Lieder der Emigranten, der als „entartet“ Verfemten und teilweise im Holocaust Ermordeten sang – mit ihrer mal schmeichelnden, bisweilen schneidenden Stimme.

Mit Marlene Dietrich, die 1992 in Paris starb, hat sie nie wieder gesprochen. Aber ihre Lieder begleiteten sie weiter. Dieses „Rendezvous“ ist langsam gewachsen.

Jetzt hat sie diese musikalische Fernbeziehung in einen ganzen Abend verwandelt, der die Dietrich als launisches Wundertier zeigt. An der Strippe hängend, mit Berliner Kodderschnauze, giftig, zärtlich, bitter, großzügig sich an ihr Leben und ihre Lieben erinnernd, an Männer wie Frauen.

„Eine unangepasste Diva der Zukunft, so sehe ich sie“, sagt Ute Lemper. „Und mit einem sentimentalen Heimwehgefühl nach Berlin, das sie dann erst mit Koffer beziehungsweise Coffin – also Sarg wieder betrat, nachdem man sie in den Sechzigern auf ihrer Konzerttournee als Vaterlandsverräterin geschmäht hatte.“

Eine ambivalente Frau. Wie Ute Lemper. „Ein Name, der wie ein Streicheln beginnt und wie ein Peitschenhieb endet“, meinte Jean Cocteau einmal über seine Freundin Marlene.

So wird sie auch von der Lemper interpretiert, aber zugleich als einsame Frau, verloren wie die Protagonistin in Cocteaus „Die geliebte Stimme“, die sich an die Telefonhörermuschel klammert und dann umso befreiter singt. Das muss man gehört und gesehen haben.

Click here to read article on welt.de

As a special holiday gift with most of the theaters worldwide closed, ‘Rendezvous with Marlene’ will be streamed two more times in December.

I wish you all happy and quiet holidays and I miss you so very much. It seems like a long stretch of darkness. But lets find the little simple human treasures every day by spreading the love and care for each other and please keep music in the heart.

With love ❤️
– Ute

Click here to get your tickets:
https://www.stellartickets.com/events/club-cumming-productions/ute-lemper-in-rendezvous-with-marlene

Publication: Broadway World
By: Stephen Mosher
Date: December 4, 2020

My heart was racing while I watched the Ute Lemper film RENDEZVOUS WITH MARLENE. I was only five minutes into the two-hour program and already I knew that I was in for one of the great rides of entertainment. It was clear that Ms. Lemper had a vision when she devised this show, and that her vision was going to be carried out and carried through: this was going to be a story personal, engaging, and thrilling. Only five minutes in, I knew this.

I was not mistaken.

An iconic performer of great stature, Ute Lemper has proven time and again that she can do anything; there is a role that she has played for a long time, though – that of an actress constantly compared to a legend. From early on in her trajectory, Ms. Lemper has been compared to Marlene Dietrich – obviously, the fact that they are both strong German women with blonde hair, high cheekbones, and definitive performing styles plays into that, but it cannot be denied that there is a spiritual kinship between the two women. As it happens, those comparisons from early on in Lemper’s career led her to pen an embarrassed note to Dietrich, apologizing for the media attention on their similarities; that postcard led the legend to phone the up-and-comer and three hours later Ute Lemper had an amazing story to tell… thirty-five years later.

The number of biographies of Marlene Dietrich is overwhelming. With books, plays, nightclub acts, documentaries, and recordings, there is certainly plenty that has been said about the legend in the name of telling her story. What sets the magnificent Rendezvous With Marlene apart is that this is actually Ute Lemper‘s story. Certainly, Marlene’s history plays into the show significantly, with Lemper acting as Marlene in the storytelling, but what Lemper shows the audience is that which made Marlene Dietrich important to her. These aren’t just Marlene’s words and they aren’t just Ute’s words – these are the words of both women, the story of both artists, the life of both ground-breakers. Much of Lemper’s life as a woman and as an entertainer has been informed by the path lit by Dietrich before her, and seeing how those lives come together in one two-hour play caught on film is as glorious a part of the history of show business as either Dietrich or Lemper could have hoped for.

Singing the songs made famous by Dietrich (as Marlene and as Ute), telling classic tales as well as stories Marlene shared directly with her on that memorable day in 1988, Ms. Lemper brings the theatrical journey to the intersection where the lives of two extraordinary women met and became parallel lines. Providing a wealth of opportunities both musical and thespianic, this opera is one befitting both of the women to whom it pays homage. This is not just theater supreme by an artist well-versed in the act of performing – this is theatrical writing with incomparable structure and protracted vocabulary. Rendezvous With Marlene is a new piece of theater ready-made for any actor of substance and talent to take and make their own, though they would have to be prepared to take on the roles of not one but two great ladies of show business. Ute Lemper has given a gift to the actors of the world, a world where a one-person show can become an immediate source of income, any time that the actor would wish it. One can’t help but think that the fiercely independent Marlene Dietrich would have approved.

Rendezvous With Marlene is intensely epic theater that is contained in one woman and the nightclub she is playing, and audiences given a chance to see the show live should do just that. This, though, is a film of a theater piece, created to conform to the time in which we find ourselves, a time when live performance is not possible. If there is a happy byproduct to the show business shutdown, the film Rendezvous With Marlene is it – or at least it is one of them. No mere video capture of a club act is this, this is a breathtaking example of fine filmmaking for which Evan Quinn is given credit as director and editor (in collaboration with Ute Lemper). Had the show played Club Cumming, where the film was shot, one wonders where the audience would have sat. The club is intimate, at best, cozy, at least, and crowded, at worst; Lemper and her extraordinary band of musicians (hot bartenders, too!) make use of the entire space for the film, with the diva moving about the playing area freely, as any prudent actress would. Lemper leaves no amount of square footage unoccupied in her quest to bring to life her show, and director of photography Scott Mason is with her every step of the way, making sure that the documentation of this show so personal is precise and perfect. Lemper and co-producers Alan Cumming and Daniel Nardicio would do well to slap this film onto DVD discs and sell them or get it sold to a streaming platform like Broadway HD so that audiences around the world can luxuriate in repeated viewings of their scrupulous cinematic storytelling. Just as Rendezvous With Marlene brings together Misses Dietrich and Lemper into one story, the film that has been created in the time of coronavirus has brought together the art forms of cinema, theater, and Kabaret in a divinely decadent (yeah, I did it) film representing such fascinating and important parts of history, both show business and world, that it becomes one of the most exciting and important pieces of performing arts to come out of the year 2020.

Ute Lemper Rendezvous With Marlene has one more live stream on Saturday, December 5, 2020, at 2:00 pm (EST) and December 15, 2020, at 8:00 pm (EST). Tickets may be purchased here.

Click here to read the review on Broadway World