Lady Gaga Vs. Dietrich: Discuss

Categories: Theater

I'm so tired of Lady Gaga-versus-Madonna comparisons that I was delighted to hear raconteur Justin Sayre compare the Lady to late film legend Marlene Dietrich at last night's installment of The Meeting, a free-wheeling gay variety show at the Duplex.

Said he:

"Dietrich was the perfect gay icon.

"She lived alone in Paris in the dark. She didn't want anyone to see her. If that's not gay, I don't know what is.

"She was so concerned about her body that she sometimes wore a rubber suit to hold it all together.

"She didn't really have any singing talent and yet she sang a lot.

"She was a war hero, she turned her back on the Nazis, and she fucked everything that moved."

And Gaga?

"She's very encouraging to young people," he mustered.

"She has some music and she wears dresses made of meat.

"But if anyone can explain what 'Bad Romance' means, I'll give you a silver dollar."

Furthermore, he aded, "With Gaga, I do see the innovations.

"I saw them the first time--when Grace Jones did them!"


Justin Sayre

Well, even before Grace Jones, there was Liz Renay--how's that for a segue?--the gun-moll-turned-John-Waters star whom Maggie Moore homaged last night in a well done Cutting Room show called Girl With The Polka Dot Eyes.

Liz was captivatingly sexy, refreshingly honest, and wrote a heck of a memoir called My Face For The World To See.

Moore's songs and patter told the story of a girl who grew up in poverty, literally looking through the trash to find a sliver of a mirror and some beet juice to apply to her lips to look more like a movie star.

She did become a celebrity, but she eventually ended up involved with gangsters and spending three years in jail.

And then came Desperate Living.

Moore's presentation last night will surely pave the way for more---not to mention some scholarly dissertations of Gaga vs. Renay.


Maggie Moore

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Liz Renay 4 Ever! That was one bad woman. The problem with Gaga, at the moment, is that she's still basically a baby. Dietrich was in her thirties when she finally hit it big, and she'd had years to figure out what worked and what didn't. Most of all, she had her director Von Sternberg to help her make it all come together.


I think the problem is, we've entered the post-everything era. You can't do anything with a straight face anymore. You can't actually be glamorous, you can only make fun of the whole idea of being glamorous. So any random drag queen is going to be more entertaining than Gaga. Marlene wouldn't stand a chance if she was starting out today.


I got my commenting on twitter ability back !!! Thank you Voice !!!


#AlwaysFollow @mikeymusto A great talent you have, sir. Your columns always make a day sparkle a little.


Ahhh but here's the thing, Grace Jones didn't want to be "loved" or "knowable"...and she made you wait 2hrs for an appearance....yes I was a "slave to the rhythm".Side note: Anyone remember the Grace impersonator at The Anvil??  I think amyl nitrate killed that part of my brain...I'm thinking "Electrifying Grace" wasn't it, but I could be wrong...gawd, I should remember this since I helped most of them off the stage.


And I think gaga is to Dietrich as Kesha is to Bette Davis.


 @CafeMuscato Actually, Marlene was on the cusp of 30! Enough Marlene Dietrich-Lady Gaga comparisons, though. How about pitting Adele against Ethel Merman?