Decking the halls in Denglish: Gayle Tufts marries American and German culture in ‘Very Christmas’

Photo by Robert Recker


When entertainer Gayle Tufts moved from New York City to Berlin in 1991, she thought she’d stay for two years, the length of her contract. But finding an apartment and learning the language – it all took longer than she first expected. And coming directly from 13 years in the New York City grind, there was a certain freedom to being able to reinvent herself in a new city.

In the beginning of her time in Berlin, Tufts recalls renting a theater for just 75 marks a night (that’s about 40 Euros in today’s currency), which helped her find her footing and pinpoint who she wanted to be as a performer. Since those days, she’s performed at venues like the Admiralspalast, the Friedrichstadtpalast, and TIPI am Kanzleramt.

Her holiday special, “Very Christmas” runs at Berlin’s Schiller Theater through Dec. 26. We caught up with Tufts about her memories of Berlin after the fall of the Wall and why, nearly three decades after living in Germany, she applied to be a citizen.



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