Theatre Mirror Reviews - "LENYA The Love of Kurt Weill"

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"Lenya
The Love of Kurt Weill"

Written and Produced by Kate Sullivan
Directed by Marshall Hughes

Lotte Lenya.................................Kate Sullivan
Kurt Weill.....................................Evan Travis

The South End Ersatz Orkester
Violin...................................Johannes Ammon
Accordion..................................Arthur Bailey
Accordion...............................Roberto Cassan
Banjo....................................Crick Diefendorf
Tuba.............................................Paul Dosier
Piano.......................................Ellen Polansky

Composer Kurt Weill's name is linked in everyone's mind with the librettist/lyricist Bertholt Brecht, but Kate Sullivan adds to that historic collaboration that of their most expressive interpreter, Lotte Lenya. The photos of Lenya and Weill in the program are linked by a background of the staves of music paper, for even though Lenya married him (twice) and divorced him (once) and saw him die, what held her to Weill, then as now, was his music.

And also, perhaps, their letters.
The workaholic Weill spent much of his life in a room, writing a violin concerto, operas, ballets in addition to all the songs that make him immortal, while Lenya lived, sometimes for years, with other men and toured the world performing and singing. Kate Sullivan has summarized their life "together" in dated quotes paraphrased from that correspondence between his desk and hers. Evans Travis as Weill speaks mostly to his pen while Sullivan's Lenya, even when writing to him, speaks always to the audience with a direct, intimate, unflinching gaze. The eighteen songs she performs in the two hour-long acts serve to explicate their emotional states as much as they do the Berlin, Paris, and New York of that tempestuous era, that tempestuous marriage.

The five-piece "South End Ersatz Orkester" with soft tuba and ringing banjo plunks out Weill's tinny, erratic rhythms, but it is Lenya's haunted, irreverent, raucous, fragile, unique singing style that dominates the evening. Kate Sullivan's eyes roam the chairs and tables of the audience, coldly smoldering, as she moves from English to German and back, adding or shrugging off bits of costume, becoming the woman who became Kurt Weill's songs perfectly, and for all time.

It will cost you twenty dollars to share with this company the loves and lives and music of Lotte Lenya and Kurt Weill. But the experience is priceless.

Love,
===Anon.


"LENYA The Love of Kurt Weill" (till 5 August)
OPERA UnMET
The Threshold Theatre, 791 Tremont Street, BOSTON
1(617)566-4288

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |