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UBC Publications

Happy End Mar 6, 1985

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Frederic Wood Theatre
Presents
Happy End
By
Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht
Directed by
Arne Zaslove
March 6-16
1985
Frederic Wood Theatre
Program Magazine
PUBLISHER
Joseph G. MacKinnon
DIRECTOR OF SALES
Doug Henderson
SALES REPRESENTATIVES
Richard Marchak
Brian Konar
A publication of:
University Productions Inc.
3591 West Eleventh Avenue
Vancouver, B.C.
733-9658
Any comments or enquiries
regarding the contents of this
publication may be forwarded to
the publisher at the
above address.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
William F. White Ltd.
Metro Theatre
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Vancouver Playhouse
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BERTOLT BRECHT:
A CHRONOLOGY
1898 Bertolt Brecht born in Augsburg (Germany); son of wealthy
businessman
1904    Enters school of Evangelical Franciscans
1915    Pacifist essay causes disciplinary action
1918 Recruited into army; first play BAAL
1919 Assassination of socialist leaders, among them Rosa Luxemburg; growing sympathy for leftist causes; work as journalist,
balladeer; first publications (drama, poetry, prose)
1922 series of successful productions; establishes himself as leading
playwright of German language; various literary prizes
1923 Adolf Hitler stages abortive coup d'etat; Brecht on black list
of right-wing groups
1924 Hitler writes "Mein Kampf"; Brecht begins systematic study of
Marxism; writes A Man's A Man
1929 Stock-market crash; Brecht's Three Penny Opera brings him
international recognition; translation of his works into major
languages; First performance of Happy End in Berlin
1933 Adolf Hitler comes to power; Brecht's plays banned; his books
publicly burned; charged with high treason and stripped of his
passport; escapes from Germany, exile in Switzerland, Sweden,
Denmark
1939    Outbreak of World War II; Mother Courage
1941 Germany declares war on U.S. Brecht settles in Hollywood;
works on films and Galileo; collaboration with Charles Laugh-
ton; friendship with Aldous Huxley, W.H. Auden, Christopher
Isherwood; above all with Charlie Chaplin
1947 Called before Un-American Activities Committees; decides to
leave U.S.; temporary stay in Switzerland
1949 Secures Austrian passport; returns to Germany at the invitation
of communist government; settles in East Berlin; founds
"Berliner Ensemble"; now primarily works as a director; in the
next few years he shapes the "Berliner Ensemble" into the
leading theatre troupe of Europe
1956    Uprising in communist Hungary; Brecht dies KURT WEILL:
A CHRONOLOGY
1900    Born in Dessau (Germany)
His father is the cantor of the local synagogue
1911    Writes music for school plays
1919    Begins study of composition under Humperdinck and Busoni
1922    Chamber music, orchestral pieces, cantatas
1928 Becomes very active in the German 'Cabaret movement,
contributing some of his best known tunes
1929 Premier of his greatest success Three Penny Opera
1930 Collaborates with Brecht on Mahagonny and Der lasager
1933 Adolf Hitler comes to power; Weill condemned as a Jew and
a composer of "decadent" music; by now his songs have
become part of the international repertoire;
1935    Forced into exile; settles in U.S.A.
1948 Down in the Valley, opera inspired by U.S. folk songs
1949 Broadway musical Lost in the Stars
1949 Street Scene makes him one of the most popular composers
of musical theatre
1950 Dies in New York on April 3rd
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Two Notes on HAPPY END
Happy End is about people in two kinds of shaky employment,
gangsterism and Salvationism, both trying to wrest themselves a meal
a day out of a society ruled by a closed class of bankers. Neither the
thieves nor the believers can do it. In the happy end, whose necessity
to us in the audience is caustically insisted upon, they unite to form a
bank themselves. Brecht believed that the purpose of drama is to
teach us to survive, just as he believed that a man's stature is shown by
what he mourns: as tutors in survival both thugs and Salvationists are
hopelessly ill-equipped, and as mourners they are muddled. The thugs
have only their guns, and unsteady regrets for a concocted romantic
past; the Salvationists cling to a faith that God, "the great cracksman",
will eventually crack the safes of the rich better than any thief. Religion
in Happy End is seen as a weapon in the economic war. It is merely
less efficient than a gangster's gun because it is unloaded. Yet its intentions are just as belligerent, and its motives are just as literally hungry.
Penelope Cilliatt
(1965)
What is so delightful about Happy End is its youthful, brittle, doubting,
tuneful effortlessness. Weill was happiest, I think, when he could be
disbelieving. He had always known how to construct a hummable
tune. (Hummable? You can't get the things out of your head.) There are
at least two of them in Happy End, the hypnotic "Bilbao Song" and the
insinuating "Surabaya Johnny". The songs function as songs, as
mesmerizing rhythms and subtly graceful inflections that can be
grasped at first hearing memorzied before a scene is done, sung all the
way home. But they are cocky about it, cocky in the sense that the
composer so well knows what he is doing that he can kid the very
tune, the very sentiment, he is selling even as he is selling it. The
mellowness is a real mellowness; and there's scarcely a note that
doesn't slyly insult itself.
Walter Kerr
(1972)
"ff/lWm WhoCan Do...
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4538 West 10th Ave. Phone 224-9112 The First Night of
HAPPY END
In 1928 two relative newcomers had created the smash hit of the
Berlin theatre season. With their Threepenny Opera Bertolt Brecht and
Kurt Weill not only conquered the German stage but created a musical
that within a year received over forty productions in Europe alone, and
that was to become one of the classics of the modern theatre. Brecht
and Weill, who both had grown within the circles of the artistic avant
garde, were stunned by this sudden commercial success. In disbelief,
yet with pride they watched the unexpected box-office draw of the
Threepenny Opera.
It is not surprising that producers now wanted to follow up and profit
from this unprecedented triumph. Both author and composer were
approached by at least a dozen agents and producers, who all tried to
explore and exploit the newly found goldmine.
Both, but particularly Brecht with his growing Marxist convictions,
was in a true dilemma. Should he give in to the temptation of the box-
office? Wouldn't he, by economic definition, become a prostitute? And
the crucial question: could he adhere to his convictions and be commercially successful at the same time? Being a born pragmatist, Brecht
wanted to test this crucial question, and so after careful consultation
with Weill he consented to another musical on the lines of the
Threepenny Opera.
The producer E.J. Aufricht, who had already supervised the earlier
work, insisted on as much duplication as possible: once again
gangsters played a dominant role; once again a series of snappy songs
entertained the audience; and once again the parts were taken by the
cream of the acting/singing profession. All the ingredients were there;
success seemed secure.
Happy End, as the new venture was to be called, opened on September 2, 1929 in Berlin. The house had been packed hours before
with the curious, the trendy, and critics from all the leading German
papers. It was an event to equal, or hopefully outrival, the team's former hit. But what had been so carefully planned as a firework ended in
a near-riot. The production was repeatedly interrupted by waves of
booing. To observers it seemed clear that these interruptions had been
meticulously orchestrated. Brecht the Communist and Weill the Jew
had become the chosen target of fascist activists. These Nazi troopers
were determined to prevent another smash hit along the lines of the
Threepenny Opera, and they succeeded. Fearful of riots that could
have easily turned violent, the ticket-buying public stayed away, and
after two further performances the show was pulled.
This early failure of Happy End has unfortunately always made it one
of the neglected pieces by the Brecht/Weill team. Unfortunately,
because it shows Brecht the lyricist and Weill the composer at their
very best. The ideological base of the piece might be muddled; the
plot construction might be negligent; but the songs are so potent that
they make us forget any dramatic deficiency the play might have.
Here, in the songs of Happy End, the dramatic skill and musical genius
of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill come to full blossom. Indeed, one
could argue, their collaboration has never been better.
JbtAyj
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 HAPP\
Lyrics by
Directed by Bertolt Brecht
Arne Zaslove
Set design by Costume design by
David Fischer Brian H. Jackson
Lighting design by Musical direction and arrangements by
Ian Pratt Adam Jonathan Con
CAST
THE FILM CREW
Director Chris Rosati
Assistant Director Tanja Dixon-Warren
Camera Man Tom Jones
Script Girl Sarah Rodgers
Crew Don Robinson, Katey Wright, Johnna Wright
THE GANG
Dr. Nakamura Mark Hopkins
Baby Face Dion Luther
Sam Lyle Moon
Professor Christopher Beck
Reverend Bruce Harwood
Miriam LaVonne Girard
Bill Cracker John Payne
The Fly Christina Kaya
THE SALVATION ARMY
Sister Lillian Pamela Dangelmaier
Captain Hannibal Bruce Dow
Sister Mary Corinne Hebden
Sister Jane Laura White
Brother Ben Sebastian Stamp
Sisters and Brothers Sara Biles, Karen Derewianko,
Maggie Brockington, Don Robinson, Bryson Young
Major Stone Kathryn Bracht
Cops Patrick Blaney, Chris Rosati
{Glen Kerr on March 15th & 16th)
The Fold Karen Derewianko, Sue Elworthy, Cynthia Ford
Glen Kerr, Jessica McArthur, Don Robinson,
Johnna Wright, Katey Wright, Bryson Young
ORCHESTRA
Conductor Adam Jonathan Con
Winds Ross Peterson, Mike Viens
Brass David Shaw, John Korsrud, Don Bennett
Rhythm Gail Bergen, Alan Hetherington, Harold Baker
Rehearsal Pianist Sherry Collins
The Action takes place in the late 1920's.
There will be two 10 minute intermissions.
8 YEND
Music by
Kurt Weill
Original libretto attributed to "Dorothy Lane"
Book and lyrics adapted by Michael Feingold
PRODUCTION
Technical Director IAN PRATT
Properties Mistress SHERRY DARCUS
Lighting Execution ROBERT EBERLE
Set Construction JOHN HENRICKSON, DON GRIFFITHS
Costume Supervisor ROSEMARIE HESELTON
Show Drop Executed by DON S. DAVIS
Cutter CHRISTINA McQUARRIE
Asst. Scenic Artist BARRY KOOTCHIN
Properties Assistant MELODY ANDERSON
Wigs TERRY KUZYK
Scenic Artist DAVID ROBERTS
Stage Managers KATHLEEN MEASURES,CHRISTINE PLUNKETT
LAURA JANESHEWSKI
Asst. to the Set Designer   NANCY FORD
Asst. to the Costume Designer ALLISON DAWSON
Asst. to the Lighting Designer ROBERT HAMILTON
Hats Executed by SHEILA WHITE
Wardrobe OWEN LOCK
Crew CYNTHIA BURTINSHAW, JACQUELINE KING,
SIOBHAN RYAN, DEBBIE STARR
Business Manager MARJORIE FORDHAM
Box Office CAROL FISHER, MARK HOPKINS,
LINDA HUMPHRIES
Program Coordinator JOYCE TINNION
House Manager DEBRA BARRS
Production NORMAN YOUNG
Vocal Coach STEVEN THORNE
FILM UNIT
Executive Producer RAY HALL
Producer WADE FERLEY
Director JOHN KALMAN
Director of Photography PAUL GUENETTE
Operator/Asst. Camera DAVID WARNER
Assistant Director CATHY GOLF
Editor/Continuity VANESSA BARKER
Caffer/Grip GEOFF RODGERS
Crip PETER FUERSENCER
Make-up LAVONNE GIRARD
HAPPY END
is produced by special arrangement with
SAMUEL FRENCH (Canada) Ltd.
(F
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Phone 732-6113
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12 BERTOLT BRECHT
Three Stories on Mr. K.
My neighbor Mr. K. plays music on his phonograph every morning.
Why does he play music? Because thafs his way of taking exercise,
I'm told. Why does he take exercise? Because he needs strength,
fm told. Why does he need strength? Because he must beat his
enemies downtown, I'm told. Why must he beat his enemies?
Because he wants to eat I'm told.
Having considered the problem of my neighbor Mr. K. who played
music as a form of exercise in order to be strong enough to beat his
enemies downtown so as to be able to eat, I ask the following
question:
Why does he eat?
• • •
One day Mr. K. met a man he hadn't seen in many years. "You haven't
changed one bit", said the man. "Oh", said Mr. K. and turned pale.
• • •
Mr. K. preferred City B to City A. "Why?", asked a neighbor. Mr. K.
answered: "In city A they loved me; but in City B they were my
friends. In City A they gave service; but in City B they needed me. In
City A they invited me for dinner; but in City B they asked me into
the kitchen."
• • •
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By
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Brian H. Jackson has worked as a
designer of sets and costumes in
Canadian Theatre for more than
twenty-five years. He trained at the
Old Vic Theatre School in England
and his career has included working
on more than 100 productions in
almost every leading theatre in Canada.
Currently, he is a faculty member of
the Theatre Department, at the
University of British Columbia.
Available, through
special arrangement from:
University Productions Inc.
733-9658
while quantities last! i
1
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