Although No for an Answer, Marc Bliztstein's followup to Cradle Will Rock, was given several concert stagings, the politically charged opera never received the full production it had been seeking in 1941. 50 years later, the Masters of Fine Arts students at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre program will present the world premiere of No for an Answer Oct. 22-Nov. 10 at the Zeum Theater.
No for an Answer uses Russian Jewish folk music, blues, vaudeville and Broadway styles to tell the story of a group of young Greek and Jewish immigrants struggling to make ends meet during the winter season at a summer resort. As they threaten to unionize, the town's managers fight back, creating violent confrontations between the workers. The original three concert performances of No for an Answer, highly praised by legendary New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson, starred Carol Channing in her New York debut. Songs from the score include "The Purest Kind of Guy," "In the Clear," "Fraught" and "Penny Candy."
Bliztstein has recently come back en vogue with a major motion picture "Cradle Will Rock" and Off-Broadway revivals of his adaptation of The Threepenny Opera and Cradle Will Rock. His other operas and stage musicals include Regina, Reuben, Reuben and Juno, which starred Shirley Booth on Broadway.
ACT artistic director Carey Perloff directs with musical direction by Peter Maleitzke. The cast will be filled by the MFA students graduating class of 2002.
Tickets are $15. The Zeum Theater at Yerba Buena Gardens is at the corner of Howard and Fourth Streets. For reservations, call (415) 749-2228. — By Christine Ehren