A unique discussion and recital of Kurt Weill's work will be presented 7:30 PM April 17 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, site of the landmark Off Broadway staging of The Threepenny Opera when that house was called Theatre de Lys.
Weill biographer Foster Hirsch, author of the forthcoming book, "Kurt Weill On Stage, From Berlin to Broadway," moderates a discussion with stars of American stagings of Weill's works. Some performers in the evening, which is dubbed "Weill's Broadway Years: An Evening of Music and Memories With Weill's Leading Ladies and Men," will also sing.
Expected at the free event, which is already filled with reservations (there is a waiting list), are Jo Sullivan Loesser (singing "Bilbao"), Paula Laurence (singing "One Touch of Venus" and "Very, Very, Very"), Kitty Carlisle Hart (singing "September Song"), Alvin Epstein (singing "Mack the Knife") and Debbie Shapiro Gravitte (singing "Here I'll Stay" and "Mr. Right" from Love Life).
Also expected are William Duell (The Threepenny Opera), Phoebe Brand (Johnny Johnson), Sheila Bond (Street Scene), Estelle Parsons (Mahagonny) and others.
Theatre de Lys was ground zero for a U.S. revival of interest in Weill via a staging of Weill and Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera. The 1955 production, directed by Carmen Capalbo, ran an amazing 2,611 performances. It starred Scott Merrill, Jo Sullivan, Lotte Lenya (Weill's widow), Beatrice Arthur and Charlotte Rae. The "Kurt Weill On Stage" evening is sponsored by The New York University Center for Music Performance. The Lortel is at 121 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. Call (212) 992-MUSIC for waiting list information.
-- By Kenneth Jones