As part of its Winter Rhythms festival, New York’s Urban Stages presents a never-before-seen Weill revue on Tuesday, 6 December 2016 at 7:00 p.m. Approximately fifteen songs are arranged to comment on pressing issues of today’s world, some of which were also pressing issues in Weill’s day (discrimination, inequality) and some of which were not (climate change, Donald Trump). The cast will feature Janice Hall, Minda Larsen, Adam B. Shapiro, Brian Charles Rooney, and others. Peter Napolitano directs, and Eric Sedgwick is in charge of the music.
“The World According to Kurt Weill” was conceived and written by William V. Madison, whose recent biography of Madeline Kahn has attracted substantial critical acclaim. Madison happens to be a Weill fan of long standing, and he even worked at the Kurt Weill Foundation thirty years ago, before pursuing a career in writing. He puts his passion to work in this new revue. As he told us, “historically, all Kurt Weill revues fall into one of two genres: the biographical (such as Berlin to Broadway) and the literal (in which all women are victims and whores, and all men are rats–usually in a waterfront bar), as if no other options existed. Finally, I’m taking matters into my own hands and using Weill’s songs as he did: to comment (often ironically) on contemporary society. With a cast of first-rate artists, we’re going to bring Weill back where he belongs: the twenty-first century.”
And that’s not your only chance to hear Weill during the festival. Two days earlier, on 4 December, cabaret artists Susan Winter and Barry Kleinbort will host an evening of Jewish-influenced songs titled “Minor Miracles,” which includes songs of Weill, Gershwin, Arlen, Leiber and Stoller, Billy Joel, and others. The Winter Rhythms series benefits Urban Stage’s Outreach Program.
Complete Winter Rhythms schedule