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THE LAST WALTZ (Der letzte Walzer) An operetta in Three Acts : Music by Oscar Strauss; Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald; Berliner Theater, Berlin, 12 February, 1920. English adaptation; Book by Robert Evett & Reginald Arkell : Lyrics by Reginald Arkell: Gaiety Theatre - 7 December, 1922 (240 perfs): American adapatation; Book by Harold Atteridge and Edward Delaney; additional music by Alfred Goodman; Century Theatre, New York; 10 May, 1921 (185 perfs) STORY (adapted from Gänzl's Book of the Musical Theatre. ACT 1 On a winter night in 1910 a masked ball is under way in General Krasinski's castle near Warsaw. The assembled company, including many officers and their guests, drink a champagne toast to their host and another to a brother officer who is due to be executed the following day. The unfortunate man is Count Wladimir Dimitry Sarrasow, who is being kept under custody in the castle before being taken to Warsaw for his execution. His exact crime is not fully understood, but it is known that he was committed for trial at the instigation of Prince Paul and the mystery surrounding his crime has merely served to heighten the widespread sympathy felt for him. General Krasinski has done everything possible to make Dimitry's stay at his castle as pleasant as possible, and Dimitry is in high spirits as he is brought in, his hands tied behind his back, to enjoy his last supper. His hands are untied and, as he takes a glass of champagne with his fellow officers, he reflects that his death will mean the end of the Sarrasow family before going on to tell them the story of how he came to find himself in his current situation. It all came about because he rescued a young lady from the unwelcome attentions of Prince Paul at the last Court Ball at the Winter Palace of the Tsars. For the General, the following day is to be memorable also for the fact that he is due to be married for the third time and it is to celebrate this that he is holding tonight's ball. Since Dimitry has no close relatives, he decides to present the General with his prized family ring for his bride-to-be to wear at her wedding, as an appreciation of the hospitality he has received. When the lovely Vera Lisaweta receives the ring, she recognises it at once. It was she whom Dimitry rescued from Prince Paul's clutches, and she realises that the officer who rescued her must be the very one who is detained by the General. Her memories of the handsome young man and a feeling of helplessness at his fate make her heart flutter and conjure up all manner of images. She realises, too, that Prince Paul must have commanded General Krasinski to marry her, and she vows to have vengeance on the Prince. Cover to sheet music for "Just For a While" Vera has three younger sisters—Annuschka, Hannuschka and Petruschka. They have each had all the right education for a young lady and they are now looking to find themselves a man. They have all been especially taken by the charms of the young nobleman Ippolith Mrkowitsch Basclunitschltin, and their mother Alexandrowna is highly content as Ippolith is on her list of elegible young men with a three-star rating. Ippolith is as enamoured of the three sisters as they of him, and his only problem is to know which one of them to marry. As the dance orchestra plays a polka, the three girls parade their respective claims for his perusal. Disguised behind her mask, Vera encounters Dimitry. She expresses concern for his destiny as together they listen to what Dimitry considers must be his last waltz. Even with death approaching fast, Dimitry is not one to waste an opportunity for pleasure and he begs to be allowed to join in the merriment on this, the last night of his life. Captain Kaminski tells him that he is going too far, but Dimitry gives Kaminski his word of