Sven Ratzke's 'Where Are We Now' Comes to La MaMa
Tony Award-winning La MaMa proudly presents the U.S. premiere of WHERE ARE WE NOW, conceived and performed by Sven Ratzke, with Christian Pabst on grand piano, directed by Dirk Groeneveld, running December 11 - 21, 2019 in a limited engagement at La MaMa's Downstairs Theatre, located at 66 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery in New York City. Opening night is slated for December 12.
Press and audience agree: no other artist comes as close to David Bowie as Sven Ratzke. In an intimate setting of only piano and voice, Ratzke unravels the songs of the master in all their beauty and pureness, and takes you to another universe with his poetic and unique storytelling. Ratzke arrives in NYC with WHERE ARE WE NOW after capturing the hearts of audiences in Berlin, Amsterdam and London.
Additional text written by Philippe Claudel. Costume Design by Thierry Mugler and Armin van Zutphen. Shoes by Jan Jansen.
Performances are Wed 12/11 at 8:30pm, Thu 12/12 at 8:30pm, Fri 12/13 at 8:30pm, Sat 12/14 at 8:30pm, Sun 12/15 at 3pm, Thu 12/19 at 8:30pm, Fri 12/20 at 8:30pm and Sat 12/21 at 8:30pm. Tickets are $25 and $20 for students and seniors (plus $1 facility fee). Purchase online at http://lamama.org/where-are-we-now or by calling 212-352-3101. The running time is two hours including one intermission.
Sven Ratzke is that rare thing: a cabaret superstar. He has appeared at many prestigious venues around the world including Lincoln Center, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Bertolt Brecht's Berliner Ensemble in Berlin, the Sydney Opera House and Arts Center Melbourne. Ratzke's most recent show, Homme Fatale, toured internationally to critical acclaim. His show Starman, which featured the music of David Bowie, was a smash hit at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival (winner best festival show), toured around the globe and was nominated for the Australian Helpmann Award. Ratzke starred as Hedwig in the Dutch/German production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and was hailed by the show's creator, John Cameron Mitchell, as "the best Hedwig I've ever seen!" Ratzke has worked with many legendary performers and orchestras including Nina Hagen, Fassbinder muse Hanna Schygulla, Grammy-nominated opera singer Claron McFadden, Dutch singer Ellen ten Damme, cult band The Tiger Lillies and NYC icons Justin Vivian Bond and Joey Arias. Find out more at http://sven-ratzke.com.
Dirk Groeneveld has been active since the 1980's as a theatre director, playwright, actor, multi-media artist and dramaturg. He graduated in 1982 as a director from the Amsterdam theatre school and joined the avant-garde theatre company Onafhankelijk Toneel, inspired by American companies like Mabou Mines and the Wooster Group. He's worked with the artist Jeffrey Shaw, a pioneer in the virtual reality arts. Their interactive video-works were on exhibit throughout the world, including Nagoya, Boston, Frankfurt and New York (Guggenheim). His collaboration with Sven Ratzke started in 2009 with the show Debut, and was followed by Dreigroschenblues, Starman, Homme Fatale and Where Are We Now.
German pianist and film composer Christian Pabst is a true storyteller with an original and genre-transcending musical voice. "I want to create music that speaks to the heart and the mind alike," says Pabst. He studied piano and film-music at the conservatories of Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen. His debut album "Days of Infinity" was hailed by the international press for its lyricism. His piano playing "is connected to the greats, yet original and personal," says Downbeat. For the last two years Christian has been playing and arranging for Sven Ratzke, performing in many international tours, recording two albums together, and collaborating on TV shows in Germany and Holland.
La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's 58th season celebrates the centennial of its founder, Ellen Stewart, whose vision of nurturing new artists and new work remains as strong today as it was when she first opened the doors in 1961. La MaMa has presented more than 5,000 productions by 150,000 artists of all nations, cultures, races and identities. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity are inherent in the work created on their stages. Here, artists find a supportive environment for artistic exploration, and audiences are part of the development of an artist's work over time.
A recipient of the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award, and more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie and Villager Awards, La MaMa has been a creative home for thousands of artists, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Ping Chong, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Warren Leight, Michael Mayer, Tadeusz Kantor, Bette Midler, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Photo Credit: Hanneke Wetzer