Canceled King Lear at A.C.T. Results in Happy End Musical by Brecht/ Weill

News   Canceled King Lear at A.C.T. Results in Happy End Musical by Brecht/ Weill San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater has announced that it will replace the canceled staging of King Lear with the Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill musical comedy Happy End as the coming season's final production.

A.C.T. artistic director Carey Perloff will stage Happy Endat the California company's Geary Theater June 8-July 9, 2006.

The planned production of William Shakespeare's King Lear to star James Cromwell in the title role was previously cancelled as part of the upcoming season due to creative differences.

Brecht and Weill penned Happy End in 1929 to followup their previous hit The Threepenny Opera. The Runyonesque work, set in a mythical gangland Chicago just before the "Roaring Twenties," follows the struggles of a Salvation Army lieutenant Lillian Holiday and a down-and-out mobster Bill Cracker. The action builds toward a dramatic showdown on Christmas Eve. A.C.T. collaborator Michael Feingold describes his translation as "a jolly escapist romp with an acid undercurrent."

Perloff and the A.C.T. artistic staff have been exploring Happy End for years in readings and in a recnt workshop featuring Betty Buckley. Casting and designers for Happy End are to be announced.

The 39th anniversary season at the California company's Geary Theater includes Caryl Churchill's A Number , Canadian hit The Overcoat, as well as three new stagings of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rivals and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Subscriptions are available to the season at A.C.T., 415 Geary St. in San Francisco, CA, by calling (415) 749-2228. Single tickets to Happy End go on sale Jan. 30, 2006, all other shows will be available starting July 31, 2005. For more information, visit www.act-sf.org.

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