Maxwell Anderson, Langston Hughes, Alan Jay Lerner, Elmer Rice, Oscar Hammerstein II, Maurice Magre, Ira Gershwin, Bertolt Brecht, Howard Dietz, Ogden Nash, Roger Fernay—what do all these writers have in common? The answer is Kurt Weill. Weill (1900–1950) collaborated with an extraordinarily diverse array of lyricists during the short but intense composing career that took him from Berlin to New York to Hollywood. The partnership with his countryman Brecht produced not only the famous Threepenny Opera but Happy End, the opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahoganny, and the Balanchine “ballet with singing” The Seven Deadly Sins. During his American period Weill wrote the music for some groundbreaking musicals, notably Lady in the Dark (with Gershwin), Street Scene (with Hughes and Rice), and One Touch of Venus (with Nash; it was to be Nash’s only...


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