A Legend (Play) with Music in 3 Acts, 13 Scenes. Play (book, lyrics) by Paul Green. Music by Kurt Weill.
Staged by Lee Strasberg. Musical director, Lehman Engel. Orchestrations by Kurt Weill.
44th Street Theatre, New York - Opened 19th November, 1936; closed 16th January, 1937 (68 perfs)
Based on Jaroslav Hasek's satiric novel The Good Soldier Švejk, it focusses on a naïve and idealistic young man who, despite his pacifist views, leaves his sweetheart Minny Belle Tompkins, to fight in Europe in World War I. He manages to bring the skirmish to a temporary halt by incapacitating a meeting of the generals with laughing gas, but once they recover he finds himself committed to an asylum for ten years. He returns home to discover Minny Belle has married a capitalist. He settles down as a toymaker who will create anything except tin soldiers, his personal gesture of peace in an increasingly warlike society.
Cast (in order of speaking):
Scenes and Settings
- Scene 1: A Hilltop in a small town. April, 1917.
- Scene 2: The Tompkins Home. Several nights later.
- Scene 3: Recruiting Office No. 596,673. The next day.
- Scene 4: A Camp Drill-ground. A week later.
- Scene 1: A Front-line Trench. Several weeks later.
- Scene 2: A Churchyard. An hour later.
- Scene 3: The Hospital. A week later.
- Scene 4: The Chateau do Cent Fontaines, somewhere behind enemy lines. The same night.
- Scene 5: The edge of a great battlefield. The same night, just before dawn.
- Scene 6: No Man's Land.
- Scene 1: Superintendent's Office, State Hospital. A month later.
- Scene 2: The forensic arena in the House of Balm. Ten years later.
- Scene 3: A Street, Today.
- Over in Europe - The Mayor, Villagers
- Democracy's Call - Whiny Belle Tompkins, The Mayor, Villagers
- Up Chickamauga Hill - Grandpa Joe
- Johnny's Melody - Johnny Johnson
- Aggie's Sewing Machine Song - Aggie Tompkins
- O, Heart of Love - Whiny BelleTompkins
- Farewell, Goodbye - Whiny Belle Tompkins
- Captain Valentine's Tango - Captain Valentine
- Song of the Goddess - Johnny Johnson
- Song of the Wounded Frenchmen - Soldiers
- Tea Song - Sergeant Jackson, English Soldiers
- Cowboy Song (Oh, the Rio Grande) - Private Harwood
- Johnny's Dream - Whiny BelleTompkins
- Song of the Guns - Soldiers
- Music of the Stricken Redeemer - Orchestra
- Mon Ami, My Friend - French Nurse
- The Allied High Command - Chief of the Allied High Command, Belgian Major-General:, British Commander-in-Chief, A French Major-General, American Commander-in-Chief
- The Laughing Generals - His Majesty a King, Chief of the Allied High Command, Belgian Major-General, British Commander-in-Chief, A French Major-General, American Commander-in-Chief
- The Battle (No Man's Land) - Orchestra
- In Times of War and Tumults - Jack Saltzman, German Priest
- Johnny's Arrest and Homecoming - Orchestra
- The Psychiatry Song - Dr. Mahodan
- How Sweetly Friendship Binds - Brother Thomas, Brother Claude, Brother George, Brother William, Brother Hiram, Brother Jim, Brother Theodore, Brother Henry
- Hymn to Peace - Brother Thomas, Brother Claude, Brother George, Brother William, Brother Hiram, Brother Jim, Brother Theodore, Brother Henry
- Johnny's Song (Listen to My Song) -