Jessica Lange gave us a Marlene Dietrich impersonation of a David Bowie cover in last night’s premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show. Lange plays Elsa Mars, the German expatriate who manages the last remaining so-called “freak show” in Jupiter, Florida in the ’50s.
You can watch her performance in the video above, where she’s even wearing the same powder blue eyeshadow as David Bowie in the “Life On Mars” music video.
I enjoyed Lange’s cover (which is going to be made available on iTunes) but I’m not sure how I feel about a season of American Horror Story that’s a weird mash-up of Ryan Murphy’s other show, Glee. In the preview they showed after the episode, there will be even more singing when Bette and Dot, conjoined twins played by Sarah Paulson, take the stage; Dot sings her rendition of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.”
Murphy told E! that, “We’re doing a lot of great musical performances this year. It’s a very unusual thing that we’re doing, but I’m really proud of it. We’ve done six musical numbers so far. They’re all very odd and haunting and different, with artists that I adore. I really wanted to do an homage to my friend and idol Baz Luhrmann who does such amazing things with music and period.”
You can expect Lana Del Rey (who sang “Young and Beautiful” for the soundtrack to Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby) and Kurt Cobain covers to pop up in future episode. Lange, in particular, will be singing Lana Del Rey.
New episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show air every Wednesday on FX.