On January 22, 1957, a woman named Claire Waldoff died in Bad Reichenhall at the age of 72 after her second stroke. Her real name was Klara Wortmann. She was born on October 21, 1884 in Gelsenkirchen, the daughter of a former miner and publican and his wife. She wanted to be a doctor...
But things turned out differently. Claire Waldof discovered her love for the theater, changed her name, ended up at the cabaret in Berlin - and there she made history! From 1907 to 1935 she was the star of the big cabarets and variety shows, her songs were hits and sung in the streets.
Like no other, Claire Waldoff hit the tone that touched people because she "just wanted to sing about life" - about the worries and hardships, about the joys and complications that life brings with it. She was so different from the chansonettes, diseuses and women of her generation. Even before the age of the "new woman" was proclaimed, she took all the liberties that came to her mind. She smoked a pipe and cigar, loved Nordhauser Korn, cursed like a garbage truck and her voice was what is called a "real tube".
Heinrich Zille called her Karl (»a fellow like velvet and silk«) and took her through the notorious pubs in the north and east of Berlin. Her great love was Olly von Roeder, with whom she shared bed and table for 40 years.
She wore a tie and collar on stage, which got her into trouble with the censor, who took the view that women in men's suits were not allowed on stage after 11 p.m. because of immorality. However, the following years and their conflicts with the fascist rulers were far more unpleasant.
Sigrid Grajek (also known as the comedy character »Coco Lorès«) sees Claire Waldoff as the »primordial mother of all female cabaret artists«. Appropriately passionate, the actress brings the songs and life of the remarkable diseuse to the stage, slipping into the role of Claire Waldoff to have her sing, act and narrate how her beak has grown.
(Program in German)