Who does not remember Weill’s The Threepenny Opera with the Moritat von Mackie Messer (Mack the Knife) and even more magnificent the Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, a critical look on modern civilization in a fictitious, prosperous town somewhere in the south of the States.
Kurt Weill, a Jew, who fled from Nazi Germany to the States in 1933 had to earn this living in New York. So he composed the music for a couple of early musicals. Among them is Love Life that Lerner and he called a vaudeville rather than a musical. In Wikipedia, I read, “Love Life opened at the 46th Street Theatre on Broadway on October 1948.”
The plot is about an American couple, David and Susan Cooper, living through more than 150 years of U. S. history with the usual ups and downs in their relationship.
|They are just singing in |
Why was Love Life never revived? Why was it forgotten? Is the plot too socialist? The risk of unemployment during industrialization, the fight for female suffrage, capitalist abuse are some of the topics clad into music. The performance in Freiburg does not end here. It brings back memories of The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, and My Fair Lady, sometimes difficult to grasp for a German audience. You meet Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Frankenstein, Charlie Chaplin, Doris Day, Marylin Monroe, and Groucho Marx. Suddenly I found myself in the musical Gigi listening to the famous "I Remember it Well", lyrics that Lerner later reused in a revised form in the movie Gigi of 1958.