Biltmore Theatre, (5/03/2007 - 6/24/2007)

First Preview: Apr 12, 2007
Opening Date: May 03, 2007
Closing Date: Jun 24, 2007
Total Previews: 24
Total Performances: 60

Category: Musical, Drama, Original, Broadway
Description: A musical in two acts
Setting: Europe and America

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer)

Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer); Produced by arrangement with Marty Bell, Aldo Scrofani, Boyett Ostar Productions, Tracy Aron, Roger Berlind, Debra Black, Chase Mishkin and Ted Snowdon

Music by Kurt Weill; Lyrics by Kurt Weill; Book by Alfred Uhry; Suggested by the letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya; Featuring songs with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, Bertolt Brecht, Howard Dietz, Roger Fernay, Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein II, Langston Hughes, Alan Jay Lerner, Maurice Magre, Ogden Nash and Elmer Rice; Music orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick; Additional Vocal Arrangements: Milton Granger

Directed by Harold Prince; Musical Staging by Patricia Birch

Scenic Design by Beowulf Boritt; Costume Design by Judith Dolan; Lighting Design by Howell Binkley; Sound Design by Duncan Edwards; Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone; Associate Scenic Design: Jo Winiarski; Associate Lighting Design: Ryan O'Gara; Moving Light Programmer: Hillary Knox

MTC General Manager: Florie Seery; Company Manager: Seth Shepsle

MTC Production Manager: Ryan McMahon; Production Manager: Bridget Markov; Production Stage Manager: Joshua Halperin; Stage Manager: Jason Brouillard

Musical Supervisor: Kristen Blodgette; Musical Coordinator: Seymour "Red" Press; Conducted by Nicholas Archer; Associate Conductor: Stan Tucker; Piano: Nicholas Archer; Violin: Katherine Livolsi-Landau and Suzy Perelman; Viola: David Blinn; Cello: Mairi Dorman; Woodwinds: James Ercole and John Winder; Trumpet: Christian Jaudes; Bass: Jeff Cooper; Drums/Percussion: Billy Miller; Music Copying: Emily Grishman Music Preparation

Casting: Mark Simon; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; MTC Director of Development: Jill Turner Lloyd; MTC Director of Marketing: Debra A. Waxman; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; MTC Director of Artistic Operations: Mandy Greenfield; MTC Director of Artistic Development: Paige Evans; Dance Captain: Ann Morrison; Dialect Consultant: Stephen Gabis; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Judith BlazerTilly Losch
Brecht's Woman
Michael CerverisKurt Weill
Herndon LackeyMagistrate/Judge
Auditioner
Erik LibermanInterviewer
Handyman
Ann MorrisonBrecht's Woman
Photographer
Donna MurphyLotte Lenya
David PittuBertolt Brecht
Graham RowatOtto
Allen Lake
John SchererGeorge Davis
Rachel UlanetCourt Secretary
Brecht's Woman
Auditioner

Swings: Edwin Cahill and Jessica Wright

Understudies: Edwin Cahill (Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill), Erik Liberman (Bertolt Brecht), Ann Morrison (Lotte Lenya) and Graham Rowat (George Davis)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2007 Best Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Michael Cerveris

 2007 Best Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Donna Murphy

 2007 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

David Pittu

 2007 Best Orchestrations [nominee] 

Jonathan Tunick

Drama Desk Award

 2007 Outstanding Musical [nominee] 

Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer); Produced by arrangement with Marty Bell, Aldo Scrofani, Boyett Ostar Productions, Tracy Aron, Roger Berlind, Debra Black, Chase Mishkin and Ted Snowdon

 2007 Outstanding Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Alfred Uhry

 2007 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Michael Cerveris

winner 2007 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Donna Murphy

 2007 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

David Pittu

 2007 Outstanding Choreography [nominee] 

Musical Staging by Patricia Birch

 2007 Outstanding Director of a Musical [nominee] 

Harold Prince

winner 2007 Outstanding Orchestrations [winner] 

Jonathan Tunick

 2007 Outstanding Set Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Beowulf Boritt

 2007 Outstanding Costume Design [nominee] 

Judith Dolan

 2007 Outstanding Lighting Design [nominee] 

Howell Binkley

 2007 Outstanding Sound Design [nominee] 

Sound Design by Duncan Edwards

Songs

music by Kurt Weill; lyrics by Kurt Weill
(Unless otherwise noted)


ACT 1 Sung By
Speak Low
(lyrics by Ogden Nash)
Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya
Nanna's Lied
(lyrics by Bertolt Brecht)
Woman on Stairs
KiddushWeill's Family
Songs of the Rhineland
(lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
Lenya's Family
Klops Lied (Meatball Song)Kurt Weill
Berlin Im LichtLotte Lenya
Wooden Wedding
(lyrics by Ogden Nash)
Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Magistrate and Court Secretary
Tango Ballad
(lyrics by Bertolt Brecht)
Bertolt Brecht and Brecht's Women
Alabama Song
(lyrics by Bertolt Brecht)
Auditioners and Lotte Lenya
Girl of the Moment
(lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
Ensemble
Moritat
(lyrics by Bertolt Brecht)
Bertolt Brecht, Lotte Lenya, Otto and Ensemble
Schickelgruber
(lyrics by Howard Dietz)
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht
Come to Paris
(lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
Ensemble
I Don't Love You
(lyrics by Maurice Magre)
Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya
Wouldn't You Like to Be on Broadway?
(lyrics by Langston Hughes and Elmer Rice)
Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya
Alabama Song (Reprise)
(lyrics by Bertolt Brecht)
Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and Ensemble
ACT 2 Sung By
How Can You Tell an American
(lyrics by Maxwell Anderson)
Ensemble
Very, Very, Very
(lyrics by Ogden Nash)
Kurt Weill
It's Never Too Late to Mendelssohn
(lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Stenographer and Judge
Surabaya Johnny
(lyrics by Bertolt Brecht)
Lotte Lenya
Youkali
(lyrics by Roger Fernay)
Bertolt Brecht and Brecht's Women
Buddy on the Night Shift
(lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II)
Allen Lake
That's Him
(lyrics by Ogden Nash)
Kurt Weill
Hosannah Rockefeller
(lyrics by Bertolt Brecht)
Bertolt Brecht and Brecht's Women
I Don't Love You (Reprise)
(lyrics by Maurice Magre)
Lotte Lenya and Kurt Weill
The Illusion Wedding Show
(lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner)
George Davis and Ensemble
It Never Was You
(lyrics by Maxwell Anderson)
Kurt Weill
A Bird of Passage
(lyrics by Maxwell Anderson)
Ensemble
September Song
(lyrics by Maxwell Anderson)
Lotte Lenya and George Davis

Reviews


AP: "LoveMusik looks at Weill and Lenya"

There's a goose-bump moment right at the beginning of the second act of "LoveMusik," an uneven yet fascinating examination of the highly charged relationship between composer Kurt Weill and actress Lotte Lenya.

The robust pit band segues into a haunting rendition of Weill's classic "September Song" (showcasing violinist Katherine= Livolsi-Landau). It breaks the heart and raises spirits at the same time. Sort of like the musical itself.

The show, which Manhattan Theatre Club opened Thursday at Broadway's Biltmore Theatre, has a sterling pedigree. The director is Harold Prince, the man who gave us such high-concept musicals as "Cabaret," "Company" and "Follies," among others. The book writer is Alfred Uhry, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Driving Miss Daisy." And the stars are Michael Cerveris and Donna Murphy, two of the most skillful musical theater performers on Broadway today.

Yet the production - much of it based on letters between Weill and Lenya - still feels unfinished and uncertain.

It's the story of an unusual marriage, sketchily told in Uhry's episodic adaptation. Prince intersperses biographical material with songs from Weill's musical career in Germany before World War II and in the United States until his death in 1950.

The musical numbers, which often comment on the couple's life together (or apart), are more successful. The songs are from a variety of sources - ranging from such well-known Weill shows as "The Threepenny Opera" and "Lady in the Dark" to more obscure works such as "The Firebrand of Florence" and "Love Life." They are performed with vigor by a small cast that includes Judith Blazer and Ann Morrison, two fine singers infrequently seen on New York stages.

But Cerveris and Murphy dominate. Both have undergone startling physical transformations and both are flawless in their Teutonic accents - which does make the English lyrics a little more difficult to understand.

Take Cervervis' marvelous portrait of Weill. The man who starred as the flamboyantly androgynous rock star in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and as the wild, murderous barber in the recent Broadway revival of "Sweeney Todd" exudes Weill's physical drabness, a stolid grayness that masks a man passionate about his music.

Lenya, in Murphy's appropriately direct and raunchy performance, was passionate about other things. Their first meeting, in a rowboat in 1925, is awkward. He is nervous and proper. She is forward, more than a little flirty. "I am not so good with nice boys," says Lenya, talking about her sexual voraciousness.

Yet they forged a relationship, a union whose boundaries Lenya persistently tested. Right from the beginning, when Weill proclaimed, "I do not write popular ditties ". I am a serious composer," she challenged him.

"You cannot be serious and popular?" she asks.

"You wouldn't understand," he replies.

"I am common, Herr Weill, not stupid," she counters, winning the argument hands down.

Prince presents the show as If it were a revue, a series of sketches depicting the lives of these unique people. There is a mock proscenium within the real proscenium of the Biltmore to underscore the artificiality of the storytelling.

And there's a lot of story to tell. Weill's prickly collaboration with a combative Bertolt Brecht during "The Threepenny Opera" gets a quick once-over, although David Pittu scores as the opinionated, apparently unbearable Brecht.

We follow the couple's journey from pre-Nazi Germany to Paris and then to America where Weill readily adapts to Broadway, writing scores with Maxwell Anderson, Ogden Nash, Ira Gershwin and Alan Jay Lerner, among others.

Lenya had a harder time of it in her new country until she was taken in hand by magazine editor George Davis (played here by John Scherer). She starred, after Weill's death, in an enormously successful off-Broadway revival of "The Threepenny Opera" in the mid-1950s.

It's at that point that "LoveMusik" frustratingly ends - never really answering what made this twosome click.


AP
05/03/2007

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