Shows M

MUSIC IN THE AIR Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II: Music by Jerome Kern Alvin Theatre, Broadway - November 8, 1932 (342 perfs) SYNOPSIS One of Jerome Kern's great scores and a "must" for those societies that can happily boast a large chorus. And a large chorus indeed that is needed, minimum requirements being 12 sopranos, 11 mezzos, 5 tenors, 2 baritones, 2 basses and 8 children (including one "fat boy" character). A large cast of principals is also required; the juvenile leads, Sieglinde and Karl are soprano and baritone together with Cornelius (baritone), Frieda (soprano), Bruno (baritone), and Marthe (mezzo). Other members have small but important parts and all should be able to sing. The unforgettable song in this show is "I've Told Every Little Star", but there are many lovely melodies such as, "There Is a Hill Beyond a Hill" and "The Song Is You"; also the waltz songs, "And Love Was Born", "One More Dance" and "Night Flies". Good voices are essential for all these songs. The story in two acts and many scenes (all of them simple) about a Professor of Music, his daughter, her schoolteacher sweetheart and an operatic star, is easy to understand, pleasant and gay in typical Viennese operetta style. This is a musical that merits more performances than it receives. It contains every quality associated with Jerome Kern, the elegance of the music matching the grace of the lyrics, as revealed in the enchanting vocal arrangements given to the chorus. THE STORY (Bavaria - 1930s - but can be updated) The setting is the mountain town of Edendorff in Bavaria where music teacher Dr. Walther Lessing, has a beautiful daughter, Sieglinde. She is in love with Karl Reder, the local schoolmaster. Karl and Sieglinde travel to Munich and try to get a song. written by Walther and Karl, published. It is there that Karl is enamoured of operetta star Frieda Hatzfeld whilst Sieglinde is smitten by operetta librettist, Bruno Mahler with whom Frieda lives. Mahler wants Sieglinde to appear in his new work, Tingle, Tangle. At this, Frieda moves out of Mahler's apartment and moves to an hotel where she can see Karl on a regular basis. One day Bruno takes Sieglinde to the Munich zoo where Sieglinde is warned by Cornelius, a bird-seller, that as she and Karl are country people, it is not wise to stay in a big town. Sieglinde spurns an unwanted pass from Bruno whilst Frieda finds Karl equally unresponsive. Frieda plans to leave for Berlin to star in a new film. Before she leaves she warns Karl that Bruno will cast Sieglinde aside as soon as he has used her. It is left to Karl to tell the producer of the show that Frieda has left. Bruno insists, to Karl's chagrin, that Sieglinde can take over the leading role in the operetta. Resulting from machinations of her father, and a somewhat chaotic dress rehearsal it becomes evident that Sieglinde is far too inexperienced to take on a leading role. As a result Bruno's affections vanish. Walther and Sieglinde are told in no uncertain terms that the theatre is no place for amateurs and they should return to their home. They do. Frieda meanwhile has returned to take up the leading role and is an overwhelming success. Karl returns to Edendorff - and Sieglinde: they have both learned a valuable lesson.