Magazine article The Nation

A Kurt Weill Cabaret

Magazine article The Nation

A Kurt Weill Cabaret

Article excerpt

Why do serious movielovers have such trouble appreciating thater? Partly it's because they've grown accustomed to the extravagances of the screen. They want hoopla and big effects, these serious movie-lovers, though they'd never admit it to themselves. They go to theater looking for fireworks. They find them at the opera. Grand opera, above all the performing arts, is in fashion. Meanwhile the art of theater, when it flourishes, does so on tiny stages in remote theaters, with minuscule r in no play at all, just a revue. No extravagance. Merely the spark of life--if anyone's noticing.

I thought of this watching Martha Schlamme present her evening of Kurt Weill at the tiny Harold Clurman Theatre. Schlamme has been singing Weill for years. Not long ago she was doing it with Eric Bentley. Currently she's with Alvin Epstein. Certainly there was nothing vast about the production, except the use of microphones, which rattled one's ears. …

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