By Kenneth Jones
17 Nov 2006
|Photo by Aubrey Reuben|
Legendary Tony Award-winning director Harold Prince will return to Broadway in spring 2007 with the Manhattan Theatre Club world premiere of the musical, LoveMusik, starring Tony Award winners Donna Murphy and Michael Cerveris.
There is definite marquee value from all quarters of the new project, which will be infused with the music of late composer Kurt Weill and chart the love story of Weill (Cerveris) and his love, wife and muse, Lotte Lenya (Murphy). The tale has a book by Pulitzer Prize-winner and Tony-winner Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Parade).
The work was previously reported to launch outside of New York, but that plan has changed.
The production will also star David Pittu as Bertolt Brecht and John Scherer as George Davis. The creative team and additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The musical is suggested by "Speak Low (When You Speak Love), The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya," edited and translated by Lys Symonette and Kim H. Kowalke.
According to MTC, "LoveMusik follows the lives of the unlikeliest of lovers — the brilliant, intellectual German composer Kurt Weill (Michael Cerveris) and a lusty girl from the streets of Vienna who became his muse and star, Lotte Lenya (Donna Murphy). LoveMusik is an epic romance, set in Berlin, Paris, Broadway and Hollywood, spanning 25 years in the lives of this complicated couple." The work will feature "a full range of Weill's songs."
Prince famously directed Lenya in the original Broadway production of Cabaret, in which she played Frau Schneider.
Prince is a 21-time Tony Award winner, who has staged such musicals as The Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Sweeney Todd.
Cerveris won a 2004 Tony Award for his performance in Assassins, and was nominated for his performances in Sweeney Todd (2006), and The Who's Tommy (1993). Murphy won Tony Awards for her performances in The King & I (1996) and Passion (1994), and was nominated for her performance in Wonderful Town (2006).
LoveMusik will be the final show on the not-for-profit MTC's 2006-07 Biltmore season.
According to MTC notes, Weill (1900-1950) came to America in 1935 after great successes in Germany, including operas and musical theatre works with leading playwrights and poets: Georg Kaiser, Iwan Goll, Franz Werfel and Bertolt Brecht. Weill fled Germany in 1933 and spent two years in Paris, where he wrote his second symphony and The Seven Deadly Sins for Balanchine's Les Ballets 1933. He composed his first score for Broadway in 1936 for the Group Theatre's Johnny Johnson and went on to work with some of America's leading writers on Knickerbocker Holiday (score nominated for a 1944 Oscar), Lady in the Dark, One Touch of Venus, Street Scene (1947 Tony Award for Composer), Love Life (the first "concept" musical), and Lost in the Stars.
After his death, Weill's wife Lotte Lenya rekindled interest in his German works with a landmark series of performances and recordings that remains classic.
Subscriptions to MTC can be obtained by calling (212) 399-3030. Visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.
Manhattan Theatre Club is led by Lynne Meadow, artistic director; and Barry Grove, executive producer.