Read this interview by Tom Murrin on Paper Magazine!
Berber represented an artistic generation that defied any and all restraints. The wild hedonism and frenetic theatrics of her early post-World War I years seemed to parallel Germany’s descent into communal madness.
Weimaraners were desperate to escape the realities of their time. They pursued glamour and pleasure compulsively, as though excess might grant liberation. Jerry Stahl put it this way: “Even as Death, smiling like a sadistic Domina, lowers her high-heeled boot on your face, you can smile, and grind, and know that, for one tragic and ecstatic moment, release is yours. And you can forget about the obliteration to come … The Girls of Weimar Berlin could make anybody forget.” In a chaotic world where human life had no value, this release represented both protest and surrender.
The piece is conceived and directed by Ildiko Nemeth. Original script is by Ildiko Nemeth and Mark Altman and original music by Jon Gilbert Leavitt (Outmusic Award Nomination). The production uses as a source material the book of "The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber" by Berber's principal biographer, Mel Gordon, which dubs her "Weimar Berlin's Priestess of Depravity."
Choreography is by Julie Atlaz Muz and Peter Schmitz. Lighting design is by Federico Restrepo; Costume design is by Javier Bone Carbone. The cast will include Chris Tanner, Kaylin Lee Clinton, Sarah Lemp, Catherine Correa, Markus Hirnigel, Denice Kondik, Jeanne Lauren Smith, Charles Finney, Florencia Minniti, Lisa Kathryn Hokans, Christine Ryndak, Madeline James and John Rosania.
“This is one terrific show …Well-produced, highly watchable night of indulgence.” -NYTheatre.com, Lisa Ferber
“lldiko Nemeth’s stylishly morbid dance-theater piece is nostalgic for a time when sleaze was decked out in corsets and feathered masks. It is a world of arty death-dances and morphine hazes, of repressed baronesses and their nubile, sexually curious daughters. ..And in the middle of this costume orgy drifts Anita Berber (Lemp), the real-life scandal queen of 1920s Berlin, numb from years of shocking.”
“It bangs for your buck!” -TimeOut NY, Adam Feldman
“Nemeth and Altman’s script cuts straight to the heart of the Weimar period… As Ildiko Nemeth, director of Oh, Those Beautiful Weimar Girls! presents Anita and her circle of dancers, there is an impending orgasm of creativity along with reactionary doom.”
-New York Theatre Wire, Larry Litt
“Anita Berber is played wickedly and tauntingly by Sarah Lemp, who knows how to own this role.” –NYTheatre.com, Lisa Ferber
“Sarah Lemp vividly brings [Anita Berber’s] brash, provocative stage persona to life.” –OffOffOnline.com, Dana Lang
“Oh, Those Beautiful Weimar Girls, is spectacular, lavishly choreographed by Julie Atlas Muz and Peter Schmitz
…Their make-up, wigs, masks even their lightening-quick costume changes, all were impeccable”.OffOffOnline.com, Dana Lang
“Oh Those Beautiful Weimar Girls! written by Ildiko Nemeth and Mark Altman and directed by Nemeth, with the sexiest choreography in town by Julie Atlas Muz and Peter Schmitz, terrific costumes by Javier Bone-Carboné….. It's a powerfully engaging evening. “ -Lively-Arts.com, Richmond Sheppard