Volume 78 - Number 41 / March 18 -24, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


THEATER

Interview with Anna Krämer

How do you relate to the character of Lola Blau?
Lola is a person that has this “no matter what: the show goes on” point of view, and a “chin up keep smiling that’s life-mentality,” which I can very much relate to. And at the same time, she always is aware of who she really is and where she belongs. She is grounded in one way but tries to follow her inner call to be a truthful artist, and does not let anyone bring her down. I guess these are elements that many artists could relate to. “Follow your inner call” became a very meaningful saying in my life...That is what made me come many times to New York, become a singer and actress and leave the ways of life that my family background was going to have me go on...

What will contemporary audiences find most compelling about this character, who is clearly embedded in the history of European anti-Semitism and the politics of World War II?
A lack of tolerance and trying to look behind scenes is a timeless matter especially in our days. Invading countries and their people and trying to impose ideas of how life should be without even having a slight idea how other cultures work and operate and what they are based upon makes me very sick. Live and let live and try to understand and accept other ways of thinking is for me a bigger challenge and human manner then just look at what is right in front of you and put up a superficial patriotism. It happened in Germany 60 years ago, and it is still spreading all over the world and it has been there before for all times! Globalization could not ban this mentality that is found in many spots around us. There are still neo Nazis and many young people that lack an education and a social safety net that are very prone to this sick way of thinking...

How receptive do you feel American audiences are right now to Kessler’s powerful and unrelenting satire?
The translation of Don White gets very close to Kreisler’s humor and I am very surprised that it reaches and moves  the American people so very much. Of course some of the scenes we had to transform into an American way. The Wiener way of living and mentality is very special and hard to understand. But as I said this is a borderless story and people, especially with a Jewish background, can very much relate on the story.

— Elena Mancini

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