Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Happy End

Legends say that Bertolt Brecht and his wife, Helene Weigel, sabotaged the opening of their own show to prevent the career of writing partner Elisabeth Hauptmann. Brecht scholars would debate the uncredited role she played in Brecht's prior work and whether she'd meant Happy End to launch an independent career. Helen Weigel staged a political protest in the middle of the performance, audiences booed, and Happy End was temporarily forgotten.

Several songs, including the Bilboa Song and Surabaya Johnny, gained some airplay on their own. The full show would find a new life in 1977 for a short lived Broadway production with Christopher Lloyd and Meryl Streep.

The slight gangsters vs. salvation army plot has been considered a sequel to The Threepenny Opera and a spiritual precursor to Guys and Dolls.

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