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44 Berlin extra

44 Berlin extra airberlin magazin 3 / 2015 Tribute to a star Berlin is about to stage a very special première. The jukebox musical “Ich war noch niemals in New York”, featuring Udo Jürgens’ biggest hits, is set to open at the Stage Theater des Westens on 25 March in tribute to the great singer-songwriter who died recently. After so many years as a composer, musician and singer with countless concert performances of my own, ‘Ich war noch niemals in New York’ has been a real dream come true for me,” said Udo Jürgens in 2007 at the world première of the musical in Hamburg. Four million people have since attended performances in locations such as Vienna, Zurich, Stuttgart, Oberhausen and Tokyo. “Ich war noch niemals in New York” is now coming to Berlin. The sudden death of Udo Jürgens on 21 December 2014 has lent new significance to the musical. “We were all shocked to hear of his passing. Many colleagues worked closely on the musical with Udo Jürgens himself, both in Hamburg and at the subsequent venues. Now we’re going to celebrate the première in Berlin on 25 March in memory of this great musician,” says Uschi Neuss, Managing Director of Stage Entertainment Germany. It’s certainly true that Udo Jürgens was heavily involved in the project from the outset and worked hard to make it a success. Following the world première in Hamburg, he travelled to every performance venue to get to know the cast and attend every opening show to see how his music was interpreted by others. As he said, “I always find it fascinating to separate myself from my songs and experience them in the context of a theatre performance.” His songs are of course at the heart of the musical: “Siebzehn Jahr, blondes Haar”, “Merci Chérie”, “Griechischer Wein”, “Mit 66 Jahren” and “Ich war noch niemals in New York” are only some of the hits that delighted the many fans of the Austrian singersongwriter over the decades. The musical relates the story of a family over three generations and could easily have been taken from real life. Udo Jürgens always stressed that it was not his personal story, but that it accurately reflected the emotions described in his songs. The action takes place on a cruise ship. The Theater des Westens has been transformed into an ocean-going liner from bow to stern and is en route to New York when the musical opens. The elderly Maria (Dagmar Biener) and her gentleman friend (Peter Kock) plan to wed on arrival in the Big Apple. Maria’s daughter, TV presenter Lisa (Sarah Schütz), follows her mother in a bid to change her mind. In doing so, she bumps into Otto’s macho son Axel (Karim Khawatmi) and grandson (played by a number of young actors). The plot thickens, events culminating in all three generations having it out on the high seas. Lisa and Axel have to learn what really matters in life – being part of a family. Producer Joop van den Ende is certain that “the Berlin première of ‘Ich war noch niemals in New York’ will be an extremely emotional evening.” It will be the first opening show that Udo Jürgens has not attended. Thus the Berlin audience can not only expect to enjoy a musical with a plot apparently taken from real life, but also a heartfelt tribute to a great artist. • “Ich war noch niemals in New York” opens on 25 March at Berlin’s Stage Theater des Westens. Tickets and details: tel. 01805 44 44 and Glücklich: Udo Jürgens im Kreis der Darsteller bei der Premiere des Musicals „Ich war noch niemals in New York“ in Stuttgart. Happy: Udo Jürgens and cast at the Stuttgart première of the musical “Ich war noch niemals in New York”.

airberlin magazin 3 / 2015 45 A BLEND OF LUXURY AND GOLF. Opening 15 th of May 2015 Erfolgreich in Oberhausen und demnächst in Berlin auf der Bühne: Karim Khawatmi, in der Rolle des Axel Staudach, hier mit Charlotte Heinke in der Rolle der Lisa Wartberg. Opening soon in Berlin following a successful run in Oberhausen: Karim Khawatmi as Axel Staudach, seen here with Charlotte Heinke in the role of Lisa Wartberg. Photos: dpa/Uwe Anspach, Stage Entertainment/Sascha Kreklau/Michael Malfer

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