The Threepenny Opera ("Die Dreigroschenoper")

New York: Capalbo and Chase, 1954. Draft script for the 1954 production of "The Threepenny Opera" by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, adapted into English by Marc Blitzstein. This production--the first major staging in America after an engagement at Brandeis University, under a young Leonard Bernstein's baton--opened on March 10, 1954 at the Theatre de Lys, and ran until May 30, 1954, for a total of 96 performances (with a much longer return engagement from September 20, 1955 to December 17, 1961, for 2611 performances, with the same director and production company). The Tony-award winning production is notable for showing that small-scale, small orchestra musicals could be successful Off-Broadway.

This copy of the script belonged to actor Peter Benzoni, who acted in the role of Walt Dreary, a member of Macheath's gang (better known as Mack the Knife). Benzoni's name is written in holograph pencil, with profuse annotations throughout the script on nearly every page, including a date of "[19]54," Walt Dreary's lines circled througout, phone numbers, stage directions, song lyrics, corrected lines, and a complete rundown of the song order, written on the leaf opposite the cast listing. Unlike many film and play scripts from this era, this one includes the lyrics to all the songs, including "The Ballad of Mack the Knife," probably the most famous song ever written by Weill and Brecht.

Plain brown wrappers, 84 leaves, with credits on the title page for Weill, Brecht, and Blitzstein, along with the production company of Capalbo and Chase (the production was directed by Carmen Capalbo). Pages Very Good plus, with light edge and corner wear, wrapper Good to Very Good. An important surviving document that details the development of the first major English-language production of one of the greatest musicals of the Western world.

[Book #115704]

Price: $1,500.00