I had the fortunate opportunity to photograph CINDY MARINANGEL in “Dietrich,” a compelling and acclaimed one-woman play about the iconic German actress Marlene Dietrich; at New York’s TRIAD THEATRE, a celebrated and historic Off-Broadway theater located at 158 W. 72nd St.

Cindy’s performance was "awe inspiring". The message, the truth, was clear and beautifully articulated. I was so moved, as I felt as if I were watching Dietrich in real time, and was struck by the impact she had during her time that was unbeknownst to me. !~ Cindy channeled Dietrich’s essence; her relentless ability to express herself so freely, raw, and authentic in her raspy sexy voice. !~

Dietrich made a huge difference for many; the epitome of a courageous woman, a risk taker who chose her life by design. !~ A powerful woman with the strength of man, full of "chutzpah, and to top that off, with astounding sex appeal. 

The amazing internationally acclaimed pianist, singer, songwriter Russell Daisey, accompanied Cindy on stage. !~

“Dietrich” is a based on a true story. Set in May 1960, the play takes place when the actress returned to the Berlin stage for the first time since fleeing the Hitler regime in the 1930’s. Inside her dressing room at the Tatiana Palast Theater, Dietrich weighs whether to go through with the live performance despite threats on her life by Nazi sympathizers who resented her for having spent much of World War II entertaining American soldiers on the front lines. To them, Dietrich is a turncoat; a traitor who deserves to be shot and killed on stage. 

Neither Dietrich nor her Hungarian composer, Bela Bartok, were Jewish. But both had stood up for Jews in their countries, which made them unwelcome at home. Dietrich, like many European performers who had found success in their native countries, moved to Hollywood before the Nazis’ rise to power. Dietrich enraged the regime, though, by becoming an American citizen in 1937. 

That anger simmered for years as the actress continued to show sensitivity to Jews well past the end of the war. During a 1960 visit to Israel, for instance, she asked the audience’s permission before singing in German, according to The Central Zionist Archives.

“Dietrich” (formerly known as “Marlene”) celebrated its world premiere at the Brickhouse Theatre in Los Angeles, debuted in New York at the Hudson Guild Theatre as part of the New York Theatre Festival’s annual Winterfest and was selected for the New York New Works Theatre Festival. The play also had an earlier successful showing at The Triad.  

Cindy Marinangel is a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio and is a graduate of the Chicago Second City Conservatory. Marinangel was recently seen in “Beverly Hills Christmas,” a holiday film starring actor Dean Cain that airs seasonally on UPtv. 

Producer - Cindy Marinangel

Executive Producer - Dr. Judy Kuriansky

Executive Producers - Jim and Kathy Marinangel

Co-Producer - Errol Rappaport

Co-Producer - Paul Sladkus

Co-Producer - Lou Martinez

Writen by - Willard Manus

Pianist - Russell Daisey

Photos by- Sylvia Hoke