Happy End

From ChatGPT

"Happy End" is a musical composed by Kurt Weill with a book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. It premiered in Berlin in 1929 and is often considered one of the early works of the Weimar Republic's era of German Expressionist theater. The musical is set in Chicago during the Prohibition era and follows the story of Lillian Holiday, a Salvation Army worker who aims to reform criminals. She becomes involved with Bill Cracker, a notorious gangster, and together they navigate the criminal underworld, the complexities of love, and the struggle between good and evil. "Happy End" combines elements of traditional musical theater with Brecht's signature epic theater techniques, including social critique, political commentary, and a focus on alienation and the effect of society on individuals. Weill's score incorporates a variety of musical styles, from cabaret and jazz to operatic and vaudeville influences. The show features several well-known songs, including "Surabaya Johnny" and "Bilbao Song," which have become standards in the musical theater repertoire. It explores themes such as corruption, redemption, and the clash between idealism and pragmatism. While "Happy End" did not achieve the same level of international success as some of Weill's other works like "The Threepenny Opera" and "Mahagonny," it remains a significant piece in the history of German theater and musicals. It reflects the turbulent socio-political climate of the time and showcases Weill's ability to blend different musical genres to create a unique and thought-provoking theatrical experience.}

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Authors

Original Authors

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Book
...
Lyrics
...
Music

Later Contributors

This list represents writers who contributed to revisions, etc. following the original production.

...
Book (translation)
...
Book (adaptation)
...
Lyrics (translation)
...
English Adaptation
Genre: Play with Music

Production Highlights

See full list

Score

Click on the title for info on the song.

Original score

  • The Bilbao Song
    • aka Bilbao Song [no note]
    • aka Bilbao-Song [no note]
  • Lieutenants of the Lord
    • aka Der kleine Leutnant des lieben Gottes [German title]
    • aka The Little Lieutenant of the Loving God [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]
  • March Ahead
    • aka Forward March! [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]
    • aka Geht hinein in die Schlacht [Alternate German title]
    • aka Heilsarmeelied I: Geht hinein in die Schlacht [German title]
    • aka March Ahead to the Fight [no note]
  • The Sailors' Tango
    • aka Der Matrosen-Song [German title]
    • aka Matrosen-Tango [Alternate German title]
    • aka Sailor Tango [no note]
    • aka The Sailors' Song [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]
  • Brother, Give Yourself a Shove
    • aka Bruder, gib der einen Stoß [no note]
    • aka Heilsarmeelied II: Bruder, gib der einen Stoß [German title]
  • Song of the Big Shot
    • aka Das Lied von der Harten Nuß [German title]
    • aka The Song of the Tough Nut [no note]
    • aka Tough Nut [no note]
  • Don't Be Afraid
    • aka Do Not Despair [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]
    • aka Fürchte dich nicht [no note]
    • aka Heilsarmeelied III: Fürchte dich nicht [no note]
  • In Our Childhood's Bright Endeavor
    • aka Childhood's Bright Endeavor [no note]
    • aka Heilsarmeelied IV: In der Jugend goldnem Schimmer [German title]
    • aka In der Jugend gold'nem Schimmer [no note]
    • aka In the Golden Time of Childhood [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]
  • The Liquor Dealer's Dream
    • aka Das Lied vom Branntweinhändler [no note]
    • aka The Song of the Brandy Merchant [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]
  • The Mandalay Song
    • aka Der Song von Mandelay [German title]
    • aka The Song of Mandalay [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]
  • Surabaya Johnny
    • aka Das Lied vom Surabaya-Johnny [Alternate German title]
    • aka Surabaya-Johnny [German title]
  • Ballad of the Lily of Hell
    • aka Die Ballade von der Höllenlili [German title]
    • aka The Ballad of "Hell-Fire Lili" [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]

Added to some later productions

Cut from original production but restored in some later productions

  • Hosanna Rockefeller
    • aka Hosannah [Title in program for 1965 Royal Court production that used the Geliot-Shelley translation]
    • aka Hosiannah [Title on Lotte Lenya recording]
    • aka Hosiannah Rockefeller [German title]
    • aka Prologue (Hosanna Rockefeller) [no note]

Studio Cast Recordings

Recordings listed here were done in the studio specifically to release as recordings. They do not represent cast recordings of a particular production.

Demos & Pre-Production Recordings

  • No demo recordings listed yet.

From ChatGPT

"Happy End" is a musical composed by Kurt Weill with a book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. It premiered in Berlin in 1929 and is often considered one of the early works of the Weimar Republic's era of German Expressionist theater. The musical is set in Chicago during the Prohibition era and follows the story of Lillian Holiday, a Salvation Army worker who aims to reform criminals. She becomes involved with Bill Cracker, a notorious gangster, and together they navigate the criminal underworld, the complexities of love, and the struggle between good and evil. "Happy End" combines elements of traditional musical theater with Brecht's signature epic theater techniques, including social critique, political commentary, and a focus on alienation and the effect of society on individuals. Weill's score incorporates a variety of musical styles, from cabaret and jazz to operatic and vaudeville influences. The show features several well-known songs, including "Surabaya Johnny" and "Bilbao Song," which have become standards in the musical theater repertoire. It explores themes such as corruption, redemption, and the clash between idealism and pragmatism. While "Happy End" did not achieve the same level of international success as some of Weill's other works like "The Threepenny Opera" and "Mahagonny," it remains a significant piece in the history of German theater and musicals. It reflects the turbulent socio-political climate of the time and showcases Weill's ability to blend different musical genres to create a unique and thought-provoking theatrical experience.}

More

Authors

Original Authors

...
Book
...
Lyrics
...
Music

Later Contributors

This list represents writers who contributed to revisions, etc. following the original production.

...
Book (translation)
...
Book (adaptation)
...
Lyrics (translation)
...
English Adaptation
Genre: Play with Music

Source

See Trivis & History note on this page.

Synopsis

No synopsis listed.

Trivia & History

In the program for the original production, the source was given as a "Magazingesichte" (magazine story) by Dorothy Lane. This was the first credit under the title. Below that Elisabeth Hauptmann was credited with the "Deutsche Bearbeitung" (German adaptation). But no such magazine story ever existed.

The idea for the show seems to have originated with Brecht, who sent a letter to Hauptmann (his secretary and sometime collaborator) proposing that she write the script for the show. He sent her a very vague outline with few plot details beyond the idea of a struggle between a group of gangsters and the Salvation Army in which the Army triumphs at the end. He may have made more specific suggestions later, or perhaps Hauptmann invented the plot largely on her own.

A report that appeared in the New York Times on October 27, 1929, gave the title of the nonexistent story as "Under the Mistletoe." Where the author, C. Hooper Trask, got that title is unknown. Trask seems to have been under the wrong impression that Hauptmann was the wife of Gerhart Hauptmann. Trask also wrote, "The chances, however, are that Bert Brecht is responsbile for the whole potpourri." But today it is generally believed that Hauptmann did write most or all of the dialogue. Brecht is always credited solely with the lyrics, but in his book Weill's Musical Stages: Theater of Reform, Stephen Hinton writes that Brecht "probably did not write all of them." Hinton does not suggest which may not have been by Brecht or who may have authored those not by Brecht.

The made-up name Dorothy Lane is often treated as a pseudonym for Elisabeth Hauptmann, but this is perhaps questionable since there was no magazine story and the idea and the outline originated with Brecht.

Other Titles

    No additional titles listed.

Audio Clips

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