"An always daringly incendiary brand of queer cabaret." –Philly Weekly

You are all special …
I’m going to help
you fix that.


performance images c/o the wilma theater

Enter a shadowy world in which The Beards blur the lines between humanity, music, and machine.

Marlene and The Machine combines the music of Marlene Dietrich, Fiona Apple, and Regina Spektor with the visual and musical language of German Expressionism. Marlene Dietrich, the well-aged actress is giving musical seminars on emotional control.

Elaborate cardboard cityscapes, live recreations of expressionist films and a host of familiar songs sung in unfamiliar ways mark this late night event. Marlene and the Machine premiered at The Wilma Theater in November 2012.

production information


Kristen Bailey Walter/The Machine

Liz Filios Ufa

John Jarboe Marlene

Kate Raines Fritz


Heath Allen Music Director/Composer/Lyricist/Pianist

Bob Butryn Clarinet/Flute

Jimmy Coleman Drums/Foley

James Parker Tuba

Daniel Perelstein Sound Design/Foley Artist


John Jarboe Director/ Lead Writer

Bayla Rubin Stage Manager

Katie Pidgeon Production Manager

Oona Curley Lighting and Set Design

Jessica Hurley Lead Writer

Jenna Horton Props/Installation Design

Rebecca Kanach Costume Design

Sally Ollove Dramaturg

Toby Pettit Associate Sound Designer

Mary Tuomanen Outside Eye

Mike Troncone, Rob Klimbowski Technical Director


– 4 performers

– 4 musicians (piano, drums / perc, helicon (tuba), flute / clarinet)

– Technical requirements: medium

This production can be scaled down to 30-minute performance suitable for events.

Contact the Bearded Ladies for a complete technical rider.

additional media


Bearded Ladies Riff on Tech and Old Hollywood in Marlene and the Machine

Miami New Times | November 15, 2017 | DEIRDRE MENDOZA

In an age when we are tethered to our screens and gadgets, and emojis supplant real emotion, we can easily lose touch with the elements that make us human. Explorations of technology and control are at the heart of Marlene and the Machine, a cabaret performance by the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, coming to the Light Box this Thursday through Saturday.