Friday, May 4, 2007


Twenty minutes into Lovemusik, Lotte Lenya tells her lover, Kurt Weill, that "people don't change, certainly not me". Twenty minutes later, Weill tells Lenya--now his wife--that she is "the most important thing in [his] life, after the music". If you're fine with the fact that the entire arc of the show is expressed in those two utterances that come long before the curtain falls on Act I, then you're in for a tolerable, if less than kinetic, evening of theatre. However, those who have relished the fascinating correspondence that serve as the musical's source material (myself included) will leave hungry for much more than what is presented at the Biltmore. The action is much smoother now than when I saw it in previews last month, but the show itself is still too heavily driven by concept rather than actual storytelling. One cannot blame Michael Cerveris or Donna Murphy, brilliant as Kurt and Lotte, or the fine ensemble that includes the likes of David Pittu, who is delectably slimy as Bertolt Brecht. Still, anyone who goes in expecting the play to be the thing will be sorely disappointed.

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