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Ute Lemper: The Bukowski Project
For this inspired pairing, Ute Lemper, the searing siren of Brechtian theater, turns her gimlet-eye to poet Charles Bukowski, the late prophet of skid row. Drawing from books like The Last Night of the Earth Poems, and You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense, Lemper has crafted an evening-length program weaving together songs derived from Bukowski poems set to appropriately noir themes composed by Lemper, drummer Todd Turkisher, and pianist Vana Gierig. One of the most dynamic theatrical singers of her generation, Lemper has built her reputation playing the most vivid female antiheroes in the musical canon, from the irrepressible Sally Bowles in “Cabaret” to the vampy Velma Kelly in “Chicago,” a role for which she won the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Featured as an actress in films by Robert Altman (Prêt-à-Porter), Peter Greenway (Prospero’s Books) and Norman Jewison (Bogus), she has also collaborated with groundbreaking choreographer Pina Bausch. Lemper is probably best known as the foremost interpreter of celebrated composer Kurt Weill, whose songs often blend sensuality and romanticism with biting satire and violence, an ideal preparation for exploring the work of Charles Bukowski.