When she received much acclaim for her 1988 performance in the Paris staging of Cabaret, including some comparison to Marlene Dietrich, German actress/singer UTE LEMPER felt embarrassed by this, and wrote a note to Dietrich apologizing for the comparison. She received a phone call from Dietrich in return, and during their lengthy conversation, Dietrich recalled much of what had occurred in her life. It was an occasion of great significance for Lemper. A few years ago, Lemper created Rendezvous With Marlene (Jazzhaus – 184). This show, originally done as a cabaret performance, provided an overview of Dietrich’s life and career, with Lemper performing 20 songs associated with Dietrich. I saw the show at the York Theater last year, and greatly enjoyed it. Lemper does an effective job of capturing the Dietrich persona, but also brings much of her own performing personality to the production. She is an accomplished actress and singer, who moves easily between being herself and channeling Dietrich. The recording contains only the musical portion of the show, but stands nicely on its own.
Review by Joe Lang