Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene

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Ute Lemper

Rendezvous with Marlene

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, November 28, 2018

Reviewed by Candace Leeds for Cabaret Scenes

Ute Lemper

She sashayed on to the stage, a beautiful, stately figure, bedecked in black with a white fur stole, and began talking softly to the audience. She was the legendary actress/singer Marlene Dietrich speaking through one of today’s great interpreters of German song—Ute Lemper.

“I sing for you one of my most important songs. It talks about the senselessness of war and death,” she said, as she began to sing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

” (Pete Seeger) in a slow and emotional manner, with her lovely, rich, deep-toned quality.

Throughout most of the 90-plus-minute show, Lemper performed as Dietrich, channeling the famed chanteuse’s aloof persona, telling her tales, recounting her life and loves as well as her dedication to America and the troops during the World War II.

Lemper explained that the show was inspired by a three-hour telephone conversation she had with Dietrich, who was replying to a postcard she had sent in 1988, apologizing for the media attention that compared her to the legendary performer.

Each song brought forth another part of Dietrich’s life: her brief marriage; her many affairs; her love/hate relationship with Germany; and “the love of her life,” the French actor and military hero, Jean Gabin, who inspired Lemper’s emotional renditions of “La Vie en rose” (Edith Piaf/Luis Gugliemi) and “Ne me quitte pas” (Jacques Brel). “The Boys in the Backroom” (Frank Loesser/Frederick Hollaender) added a little punch to the show, which seemed a bit long and heavy on dialogue.

Lemper concluded with Dietrich’s signature song, “Falling in Love Again,” which characterized the audience’s reaction to this unique presentation.

Candace Leeds

Candace Leeds has been steeped in the world of music since the age of twelve, when she enrolled in Juilliard to study voice and prepare for a professional career. After 15 years of music studies, she moved into entertainment management at New York's Town Hall, where she produced concerts and served as Associate Director. Her writing and marketing skills led to senior positions in major public relations firms, including the PR arm of Grey Advertising and The Rowland Company, which became part of Saatchi and Saatchi. For the past two decades, she served as Vice President of Public Affairs at the multi-billion dollar conglomerate, Loews Corporation, and now has her own marketing consulting company. While pursuing her business career, she continued her music involvement, studying cabaret and occasionally performing in local New York venues. Candace is an accomplished writer whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News, TV World, and many others.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jay Tanenbaum

    Wonderful wonderful

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