Street Scene [Original Broadway Cast]

Street Scene [Original Broadway Cast]

by Anne Jeffreys
     
 
The musical Street Scene opened on Broadway almost exactly 18 years after the straight play on which it was based. Elmer Rice's drama about the interactions of various ethnic groups in a New York tenement bowed on January 10, 1929, and ran for 601 performances. Composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Langston Hughes' adaptation, with a libretto by Rice that carefully

Overview

The musical Street Scene opened on Broadway almost exactly 18 years after the straight play on which it was based. Elmer Rice's drama about the interactions of various ethnic groups in a New York tenement bowed on January 10, 1929, and ran for 601 performances. Composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Langston Hughes' adaptation, with a libretto by Rice that carefully traced the plot of the play, opened on January 9, 1947. It was not nearly as successful, however, running only 148 performances. One reason may have been that plot, an ensemble story with a tragic ending, but another no doubt was Weill's music, which was pitched more toward the opera house than the Broadway stage. Anne Jeffreys, Polyna Stoska, and Brian Sullivan, all trained singers with some opera experience, led the cast, as Weill mixed sub-operatic arias and duets with a few songs that revealed jazz influences or even sounded like conventional Broadway tunes. Like Porgy and Bess, Street Scene was an attempt to have things both ways, to be treated as a "serious" work while also making money. Not surprisingly, that led to commercial failure, but Columbia Records rounded up most of the principal cast members (Norman Cordon being a notable exception) for a recording released well after the show closed. Columbia gave the recording blue-chip treatment, issuing it both on 12" 78s and in the new LP format, also in 12" diameter (at a time when most LPs were ten inches), at the extended running time of 52 minutes. Even so, as Weill himself acknowledged in his liner notes, which took up all of the back cover of the LP, the recording was an abridgement of the score. Still, it was well sung and well played, and it served the function that cast recordings of unsuccessful shows often did, keeping the work alive for later listeners who never had the chance to see the show in its brief run and even making it seem better than customers found it to be in the theater, such that it inspired later revivals, at least in opera houses.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074644466829
catalogNumber:
44668

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Prelude
  2. Moon-Faced, Starry-Eyed
  3. Ain't It Awful, the Heat
  4. Blues: I Got a Marble and a Star
  5. Gossip Trio: Get a Load of That
  6. Arietta: When a Woman Has a Baby
  7. Aria: Somehow I Never Could Believe
  8. Wrapped in a Ribbon and Tied in a Bow
  9. Arioso: Lonely Home
  10. Scene and Song: Wouldn't You Like to Be on Broadway?
  11. Cavatina: What Good Would the Moon Be?
  12. Duet: Remember That I Care
  13. Introduction: Morning
  14. Children's Game
  15. Song: A Boy Like You
  16. Duet: We'll Go Away Together
  17. Choral Scene and Lament: The Woman Who Lived up There
  18. Lullaby
  19. Finale: I Loved Her Too
  20. Farewell Duet: Don't Forget the Lilac Bush

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Anne Jeffreys   Primary Artist,Soprano (Vocal)
Maurice de Abravanel   Conductor
Thunder Smith   Bass (Vocal)
Irving Kaufman   Tenor (Vocal)
Marion Covey   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Zosia Gruchala   Soprano (Vocal)
Beverly Janis   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Remo Lota   Tenor (Vocal),Buffo
Ellen Repp   Alto (Vocal),Contralto (Vocal)
Polyna Stoska   Soprano (Vocal)
Peggy Turnley   Soprano (Vocal)
Brian Sullivan   Tenor (Vocal)
David Thomas   Baritone (Vocal)
Norman Cordon   Bass (Vocal)
Norma Chambers   Alto (Vocal)
Wilson Smith   Bass (Vocal)
Peggy Trunley   Soprano (Vocal)
Creighton Thompson   Baritone (Vocal)
Elen Lane   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Lauren Gilbert   Baritone (Vocal)
Helen Arden   Soprano (Vocal)
Juliana Gallagher   Vocals
Helen Ferguson   Vocals
Ellen Carleen   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Peter Griffith   Vocals
Sydney Rainer   Tenor (Vocal)
Bennett Burrill   Vocals
Don Saxon   Baritone (Vocal)
Hope Emerson   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)

Technical Credits

Kurt Weill   Liner Notes
Langston Hughes   Lyricist
Leroy Parkins   Contributor
Goddard Lieberson   Producer
Kurt S. Weil   Liner Notes
Elmer Rice   Liner Notes

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