With Hard Work on the Way to the Top

Musical Star Uwe Kröger: From Hamm to Starlight to Starmania

Gisbert Sander

Inaudible frantic applause, perfect bows for an imaginary audience and one real spectator, who lights his cigarette lighter during the romantic finale. "Hold, lights out, break!" Director Jürgen Schwalbe ends the illusion, brings everyone back to reality: the Aalto Theater in Essen is in preparation for the German premiere of the rock opera Starmania on February 14.

Right in the midst--tanned and blond with a small ponytail: Uwe Kröger. Born in Hamm, he belongs to the few German musical stars who not only reached the European top of the genre, but also established himself there.

Starlight Express in Bochum and Les Misérables in Vienna and Amsterdam are some of the highlights of his career; not least because the 27-year-old was the first German actor to appear in these two musicals. Meanwhile he also worked for TV--he did some dubbing and took part in the production of a children's musical for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. As Starmania will only be performed five times a month (22 performances total), starting in April he will have time to start rehearsals for the world premiere of the Sisi musical Elisabeth. "It isn't going to be a mix of the Romy Schneider films. Brought into the foreground is the liberal attitued of the Austrian Empress," says Uwe Kröger. Alongside Pia Douwes, he plays the male lead in Harry Kupfer's production--as the Empress's lover, in the figure of der Tod, symbolising Elisabeth's longing for death. In 1993 he will probably go to Australia...

But at the moment, the work on Starmania stands in the foreground--together with other actors whom Uwe Kröger already knows from other European productions and for whom he lead a morning warm up with aerobics. "The team spirit is different, the parts come alive due to the fact that we already know each other," he points out the advantages. A long-lasting friendship connects him with Andrea Weiss, who plays Marie-Jeanne and therefore is Uwe Kröger's direct partner. In the middle of an election campaign in the country Okzident, which is dominated by the media, the "Blackstars" rebel with terrorist acts against the prevailing routine. Uwe Kröger plays Ziggy, a dreamy record salesman who dreams of a career as a drummer. In real life, Uwe Kröger has already made his career dream come true.

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