What was going on there: a singing cowboy lands in the capital of the GDR and rides lasso-swinging through “Ein Kessel Buntes”? Dean Reed, born in Denver, Colorado, wanted to be the voice of the oppressed. A star in Latin America, he came to the GDR via Spain, Italy and the USSR, where he taught socialism the hip-swing in the 70s.
The “Red Elvis” experienced an unprecedented career behind the Iron Curtain, he was THE American of the Eastern Bloc. But with Glasnost and Perestroika his star began to sink and also in his home country he was mocked at a comeback attempt. In 1986 the musician finally took his own life under circumstances that remain mysterious to this day.
Like many musicians and stars, Dean Reed’s real home was the big stage. In the Neuköllner Opera House Dean is brought home on stage. In a fantastic journey of the dead the singer faces the stations of his life and meets companions and enemies. We follow the path of the man who set out in Denver, Colorado to rock the Eastern Bloc.
“Nobody knows me back in my hometown,” he sang just before he died. Now he gets his own Hall of Fame.
Photos: Title © Vincent Stefan/Scene © MIZAFO
Readaption from 18 August 2022. Until 18 September 2022
world premiered on 3 September 2020.