Curtain Raisers

By Daniel, Jeff | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 31, 1996 | Go to article overview

Curtain Raisers


Daniel, Jeff, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Weill Away the Hours

Occasionally, an artist comes along who proves to be well ahead of the times. Katherine Dunham, Luis Bunuel, John Coltrane: just a few of the names in an impressive yet highly exclusive club.

Consider German composer Kurt Weill a charter member. From his collaborative efforts with philosopher/playwright Bertolt Brecht ("The Threepenny Opera," "Mahagonny") to his work on Broadway ("Johnny Johnson"), Weill penned tunes in his 1920s and `30s heyday that still sound remarkably contemporary. Besides the oft-covered "Mack the Knife," other Weill tunes regularly get exposure on new recordings a from alternative rock bands to torch song singers. Now comes "Songplay: The Songs and Music of Kurt Weill," conceived and directed by Jonathan Eaton. It's the season opener for The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' Studio Theater. A collaboration with the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, "Songplay" weaves together 35 Weill compositions culled from 16 of his productions in what promises to be more of an original piece of theater and not your typical revue. "Songplay" opens Friday and runs through Nov. 17 at The Rep's Studio Theatre, 130 Edgar, 968-4925. The Radical Right Stuff Purveyors of white Christian supremacy are hardly a new addition to this country; it's just that the "fringe" element seems to be gaining in moxy, media savvy and organizational skills (neo-Nazis, militia members, religious zealots and xenophobes easily mingle underneath a single tent). …

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