what is the message behind this musical?

what is the message or the meaning behind the musical "Happy End" by Kurt Weill

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  • 8 years ago
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    After the success of Weill and Brecht's previous collaboration, The Threepenny Opera, the duo devised this musical, written by Elisabeth Hauptmann under the pseudonym of Dorothy Lane. Hauptmann's sources included, among others, Major Barbara.[1]

    The story is reminiscent of, but not the source of, the better-known musical Guys and Dolls, which is based on Damon Runyon's short story, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown".[1]

    The debut was plagued by problems. Hauptmann never finished the book of the musical, the play's opening debut saw cast member Helene Weigel reading from a Communist pamphlet on stage, and it was met with near-unanimous pans from the German press and deemed a total failure.[1]

    Nevertheless, the musical was subsequently produced in Europe, the first time in Munich in 1956. Successive productions included Hamburg in 1957, London in 1965 at the Royal Court Theatre and Frankfurt in 1983, along with a 1979 German film version.

    The musical premiered on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on May 7, 1977 and closed on July 10, 1977 after 75 performances. Directed by Robert Kalfin and Patricia Birch and staged by Birch, the cast starred Christopher Lloyd, Grayson Hall and Meryl Streep.

    A 1984 production by Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage was televised as part of the short-lived "America's Musical Theater" series on PBS.[2]

    A production at The Pacific Resident Theatre in 2005 garnered a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Revival of 2005.

    A 2006 production by San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater used an English adaptation by Michael Feingold, and also had a CD cast recording. This version has been performed in venues including New York and Baltimore.[3] [4][5]

    Despite the poor initial reception of the play, several musical numbers have seen continued popularity, including "Surabaya Johnny", sung by Lillian Holiday and "Bilbao Song".

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