Saturday, April 14, 2007


The second preview of this new Hal Prince-directed musical, which travels the arc of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya's relationship using his songs, nearly hit the three hour mark. That's at least an hour too long for what it is, which is slight and dramatically static: we clearly see what's the matter with their love in the first fifteen minutes (she won't acknowledge that she loves him, and in sadness he returns the favor) and, although this or that event comes along to keep things lively, nothing tangible happens until the last fifteen minutes to raise the stakes. This is not a plot so much as it's a situation. I'm going to go back next week to see the show in tighter shape - I have to believe there will be cuts - and until then I only want to add that Michael Cerveris is all aching and longing as Weill; he delivers his intimate solo numbers ("That's Him" and "It Never Was You" in particular) with beautifully restrained emotion.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, this is the first critical commentary I've seen on this show.

Good Lord, this doesn't sound like Weill and Lenya at sounds like the plot to "Mack and Mabel."

Jennifer said...

i want to see this hopefully soon after the play has been tightened up a bit. how was donna murphy?

i also think that cerveris is the sexiest bald guy...and as always, mesmerizing on stage.

Patrick Lee said...

Donna Murphy's performance (second preview, I want to stress that again) was problematic but it seemed very much a fascinating work in progress. She's pushing very hard to nail Lenya's vocal style - it isn't a natural fit and you can see the effort - and more than once she recalls Lenya less than she recalls the Fanny Brice of "Funny Girl". I want to wait until I see the show again next Friday to say anything more about her.