Musical (1949)

Musique: Kurt Weill
Paroles: Maxwell Anderson
Livret: Maxwell Anderson
Production à la création:

En Afrique du Sud, durant l'apartheid, le pasteur noir Stephen Kumalo se rend à Johannesburg afin de rechercher son fils Absalom dont il est sans nouvelles. Il apprend que ce dernier a mal tourné et que, lors d'une tentative de cambriolage dans la maison d'un riche propriétaire blanc, il a tué le fils Arthur Jarvis, avocat opposé à l'apartheid. Le pasteur, partagé entre son amour filial et ses convictions religieuses, est alors confronté au père, James Jarvis, qui défend les droits des blancs…

It is August 1949 in the South African village of Ndotsheni ("The Hills of Ixopo"). The black priest of St. Mark's Church, the Rev. Stephen Kumalo, learns that his sister is in trouble, from a letter from his brother, John Kumalo, who lives in Johannesburg. Stephen decides to travel to Johannesburg to help his sister and also seek his son, Absalom, who works in the mines ("Thousands of Miles"). In Johannesburg Stephen learns that his sister will not leave but she asks him to take care of her young son, Alex. He finally locates his son Absalom, who had been in jail but now plans with his friends to steal so they can get enough money to avoid a life in the gold mines. Absalom's pregnant girlfriend Irina tries to convince him not to take part but he goes ahead with it ("Trouble Man"). During the robbery, Absalom kills Arthur Jarvis, a white friend of his father, Stephen. As Absalom is jailed, Stephen wonders how to tell his wife, Grace, and realizes he is facing a crisis of faith ("Lost in the Stars").

Stephen knows that his son could either tell a lie and live, or tell the truth and die. He prays for guidance ("O Tixo, Tixo, Help Me"). At the trial, Absalom's two friends lie to the court and are freed, but Absalom, truly repentant, tells the truth and is sentenced to hang ("Cry, the Beloved Country"). Stephen performs a wedding between Absalom and Irina in prison, then returns home to Ndotsheni with Irina and Alex. Alex and the child of Arthur Jarvis meet and start to become friends ("Big Mole"). Stephen tells his flock he can no longer be their minister, and their faith is now also shaken ("A Bird of Passage").

On the still-dark morning of the execution, Stephen waits alone for the clock to strike ("Four O'Clock"). Unexpectedly, the father of the murdered man pays a visit. He tells Stephen he has realized that they have both lost sons. Out of recognition of their mutual sorrow, and despite their different races, he offers his friendship—and Stephen accepts.

Based on Alan Paton’s acclaimed novel “Cry, The Beloved Country”

Lost in the Stars opened on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre on October 30, 1949, and closed on July 1, 1950, after 281 performances. The production was supervised and directed by Rouben Mamoulian and choreographed by La Verne French. Todd Duncan took the role of Stephen; Inez Matthews sang Irina.

New York City Opera presented the musical in April 1958. Directed by Jose Quintero, the cast featured Lawrence Winters (Stephen Kumalo) and Lee Charles (Leader). (The conductor of those performances, Julius Rudel, led a 1992 complete recording of the score with the Orchestra of St. Luke's: Music Masters 01612-67100.)

A Broadway revival opened at the Imperial Theatre on April 18, 1972, and closed on May 20 after 39 performances and 8 previews. Directed by Gene Frankel with choreography by Louis Johnson, the cast featured Rod Perry as Leader, Brock Peters as Stephen Kumalo, Leslie Banks as James Jarvis, and Rosetta LeNoire as Grace Kumalo. Peters was nominated for the Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical and the Drama Desk Award Outstanding Performance; Gilbert Price was nominated the Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

Lost in the Stars was adapted for the screen in 1974, with Daniel Mann directing. The movie was released in the American Film Theatre series. Reviews were mixed.

Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut, presented a revival in April 1986, directed by Arvin Brown.

A semi-staged concert was presented by the New York City Center Encores! series from February 3 to February 6, 2011.

The Glimmerglass Festival, in Cooperstown, New York State, presented Lost in the Stars starring Eric Owens (bass-baritone), Wynn Harmon (tenor), and Sean Pankkar (tenor) in a co-production with Cape Town Opera, South Africa, between 22 July and 25 August, 2012.

Act I
"The Hills of Ixopo" – Leader and Singers
"Thousands of Miles" – Stephen Kumalo
"Train to Johannesburg" – Leader and Singers
"The Search" – Stephen Kumalo, Leader and Singers
"The Little Gray House" – Stephen Kumalo and Singers
"Who'll Buy?" – Linda
"Trouble Man" – Irina
"Murder in Parkwold" – Singers
"Fear!" – Singers
"Lost in the Stars" – Stephen Kumalo and Singers

Act II
"The Wild Justice" – Leader and Singers
"O Tixo, Tixo, Help Me!" – Stephen Kumalo
"Stay Well" – Irina
"Cry, the Beloved Country" – Leader and Singers
"Big Mole" – Alex
"A Bird of Passage" – Villager and Singers
"Four O'Clock" – Singers

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Lost in the Stars

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Lost in the Stars

Kurt Weill did not want to use the "tom-tom" beat that Americans were familiar with, nor did he want the spirituals of the South, so he obtained recordings of Zulu music from Africa to study. In an interview with The New York Times however, Weill noted that "American spirituals are closer to African music than many people realize." In pointing out the set, he commented "Notice that this is an Anglican church. That is another influence that appears in the music. In general, the whole play has a Biblical tone that we hope the public will like."[8] He was influenced by African American musical idioms through his use of spiritual melodies, blues and jazz.

The title song "Lost in the Stars" enjoyed a measure of popular success, and versions of it were recorded by Anita O'Day, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Generation Gap, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and many others. The words, which in the musical are those of the minister Stephen Kumalo at the depth of his desperation, tell how God once "held all the stars in the palm of his hand" "and they ran through his fingers like grains of sand, and one little star fell alone." Kumalo says that God sought and found the little lost star and "stated and promised he'd take special care so it wouldn't get lost again." But at times he thinks that God has forgotten his promise and that "we're lost out here in the stars."

Version 1

Lost in the Stars (1949-10-Music Box Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Music Box Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 8 mois
Nombre : 273 représentations
Première Preview : 30 October 1949
Première: 30 October 1949
Dernière: 01 July 1950
Mise en scène : Rouben Mamoulian
Chorégraphie : La Verne French
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Todd Duncan (Stephen Kumalo), Leslie Banks (James Jarvis), Warren Coleman (John Kumalo), Inez Matthews (Irina), Julian Mayfield (Absalom Kumalo), Frank Roane (Leader), Sheila Guyse (Linda), Herbert Coleman (Alex), Roy Allen (William), La Verne French (The Young Man)

Version 2

Lost in the Stars (1958-04-New York City Center)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: New York City Center (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : 10 April 1958
Première: 10 April 1958
Dernière: Inconnu
Mise en scène : José Quintero
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Lee Charles (Leader), Rosetta Le Noire (Grace Kumalo), Lawrence Winters (Stephen Kumalo), Nicholas Joy (James Jarvis), Frederick O'Neal (John Kumalo), Frank Riley Jr. (Alex), Olga James (Linda), Louis Gossett (Absalom), Shirley Carter (Irina), Neil Fitzgerald (The Judge)

Version 3

Lost in the Stars (1972-04-Imperial Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Imperial Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 1 mois
Nombre : 39 représentations
Première Preview : 18 April 1972
Première: 18 April 1972
Dernière: 20 May 1972
Mise en scène : Gene Frankel
Chorégraphie : Louis Johnson
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Brock Peters (Stephen Kumalo), Jack Gwillim (James Jarvis), Leonard Jackson (John Kumalo), Margaret Cowie (Irina), Gilbert Price (Absalom Kumalo), Rod Perry (Leader), Marki Bey (Linda), Giancarlo Esposito (Alex), Babafumi Akunyun (Drummer), Peter Bailey-Britton (Eland)

Version 4

Lost in the Stars (2009-06-Queen Elisabeth Hall-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Queen Elizabeth Hall (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée :
Nombre : 2 représentations
Première Preview : 23 June 2009
Première: 23 June 2009
Dernière: 24 June 2009
Mise en scène : Jude Kelly
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Clive Rowe ( Stephen Kumalo), Edward Petherbridge (James Jarvis), Tsakane Maswanganyi (Irena)

Version 5

Lost in the Stars (2011-02-New York City Center) Encores!

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: New York City Center (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : 03 February 2011
Première: 03 February 2011
Dernière: 06 February 2011
Mise en scène :
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Sherry Boone, Daniel Breaker, Kieran Campion, Chuck Cooper, Quentin Earl Darrington, Clifton Duncan, Daniel Gerroll, Jeremy Gumbs, Chiké Johnson, Stephen Kunken, Patina Miller, James Rebhorn, Ted Sutherland, John Douglas Thompson, Sharon Washington

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