PRESS: Suzanne Petri conjures Marlene Dietrich at Millennium Park
“She torched the place.”
“You might think there was nothing left to be done with tunes such as "See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have," "Lili Marlene" and "Falling in Love Again" after Dietrich branded them her own. But in each case, and many others, Petri found her own entryway into these pieces, while simultaneously evoking Dietrich's classic renditions.
A savvy stage performer, Petri knows how to conjure drama with an expression of sorrow on her face, how to raise spirits by strolling exuberantly through the crowd. As a musician, Petri can arch a phrase for poignant effect or bend a pitch downward to evoke a touch of pathos.
Rather than make this an evening of Dietrich's greatest hits, however, Petri aspired higher, telling the remarkable story of Dietrich's transformation from German movie actor to Hollywood icon, from stage star wooed by the Nazis to American citizen risking her life to entertain U.S. troops during World War II.
To hear Petri's Dietrich discuss her revulsion at Hitler, then sing songs that Dietrich sang in that era, evoked the terror of those times with irresistible force. To her credit, Petri sang much of this repertoire in German, the very sound of that language helping place listeners inside Dietrich's psyche...”
Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
“Petri, served so finely by musical director Bob Moreen’s expert settings, delivers a tour de force program on Das Grand Tour. One of her greatest strengths as a performer is as a storyteller…Petri and her cast of characters make us want to take the this tour over and over.”
Jeff Rossen Cabaret Scenes