St. Anne’s Warehouse: Lou Reed’s “Berlin”
Event by St. Anne’s Warehouse.
“Berlin was less startling but no less ambitious or, in the end, touching. The music stayed … close to the album’s original arrangements, but with more room for guitar solos, more clarity, and the immediacy and dynamics of a concert. Mr. Reed wasn’t revisiting his songs as oldies or artifacts; he was reinhabiting them.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES
Now widely recognized as a masterwork, Lou Reed’s 1973 gorgeously dark concept album about drifting, tormented addicts in love on the outskirts of a divided city was panned by critics and never performed live. That is, until St. Ann’s Warehouse and the Sydney Festival joined forces in 2006 to fulfill Reed’s dream — to produce a fully staged version of the album live. Reed’s friends and passionate Berlin devotees — producer Hal Willner and artist Julian Schnabel — signed on from the first major decision — that Lou would sing the leading role. The world premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse — five sold-out performances — was an ecstatic, late-career triumph for Reed, captured on film by the great rock cinematographer Ellen Kuras (Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).
Lou Reed’s Berlin Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse was produced by John Kilik for Matador Films, released by Third Rail. Julian Schnabel, Director/Designer; Bob Ezrin, Album Producer; Hal Willner, Music Producer; Jennifer Tipton, Lighting Designer; by Lola Schnabel, Onstage visuals; Brooklyn Youth Chorus Artistic Director/Conductor Dianne Berkun Menaker.