David Bowie showed up for the Ziggy Stardust cover shoot with a Marlene Dietrich photo book in hand. And he wasn't the only one inspired by this German film star whose look was steeped in the theatrics of the drag balls of 1920s Berlin. Director Josef von Sternberg centered his 1932 Blonde Venus, as well as a host of other films, on her androgynous stage charisma. In the film, Dietrich plays a wife who returns to performing in order to finance the health-care costs of her sick husband, played by Cary Grant in one of his first films as Cary Grant and not Archibald Alexander Leach, his actual name. (It's true.)
This Monday at 8:30 p.m., you can watch Blonde Venus poolside at WET at the W South Beach (2011 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). See Dietrich sing about "hot voodoo" while wearing a white Afro, and get ready for some old-school caricatures of Africans.
Mon., Feb. 22, 8:30 p.m., 2010