Marlene Dietrich is back. And on her way to Off Broadway.
A new one-woman show about the life, love, songs, successes and sorrows of Marlene Dietrich titled Dietrich Rides Again is gearing up to open for a three week run.
The show, co-written by Oliver Conant and Justyna Kosteck who is also playing Dietrich, is slated to run Aug. 31 to Sept. 8 at the Medicine Show Theatre, 549 West 52 Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. Tickets are available by clicking the Tix. link.
Dietrich Rides Again is being directed by Conant and choreographed by Madeline Jaye with costumes by Derek Nye Lockwood and musical direction and arrangements by Jono Mainelli.
A mix of her music and biography, from Germany to Hollywood to performances on the front lines for the U.S. Army during World War II, the show portrays Marlene Dietrich as a sometimes heroic, sometimes tragic, enchanting, exciting figure who went on to inspire affection that lasts today.
The show’s score features classics such as “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, “The Laziest Gal In Town”, “You’re The Cream In My Coffee”, “Falling In Love Again”, “Look Me Over Closely”, “Lili Marlene”, “Hot Voodoo”, “The Boys In The Backroom” and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”.
It also seeks to return to stage a woman the show describes as “a European film sensation, Hollywood’s highest paid actress, a lifelong fashion icon, an unceasing USO entertainer, an awarded humanitarian, an international philanthropist, a Medal of Freedom recipient (and) a Légion d’Honneur honoree.”
“In 1929 she landed the coveted role of ‘Lola Lola’ in Josef Von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel, one of the first truly successful talkies and a kind of culmination of German expressionist film style,” according to the production.
In Hollywood,Marlene Dietrich signed a contract and made six more films with Von Sternberg as she became known as a fervent opponent of the-Nazis.
If Hollywood meant glitz and glamor, Dietrich never forgot her friends and co-workers, often from Germany, who had not yet left that nation.
She gave away money from films like Morocco, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus and others to help technicians, actors, composers and writers get out of Hitler’s Germany.
Marlene Dietrich also performed many shows for the U.S. Army on or near to the front lines and gave “Victory Concerts” in London, Paris, Berlin and Salzburg, where she was heckled by Germans who supported the Third Reich.
After the war ended, she returned to stage, where she performed a one woman show including songs from her films such as “Falling in Love Again” from The Blue Angel and “The Boys in the Backroom” from Destry Rides Again,
“She died almost penniless in a luxurious apartment on the Avenue de Montaigne provided for her by the French state,” according to the show.
Dietrich’s coffin was draped with the French flag and then with the flag of the Federal Republic of Germany in that nation, when she was lowered into a grave beside her mother.
“In her public utterances and in her autobiography Dietrich declared that her participation in World War II was the most important thing she ever did,” according to the show. “It won her the United States Medal of Freedom, the first woman to receive the honor. “
Justyna Kostek, who portrays Dietrich, was born and raised in Poland, where she began her work in theater at a very young age.
An actress who has some of the look and allure of Dietrich, she established the successful and award-winning theater company, Atelier Teatral, in Denmark., and is now making her mark on Off Broadway with this show, which may also launch a national tour.