Saturday, June 04, 2011

"For this bleak existence/Man is never bad enough/Though his sheer persistence/Can be lovely stuff."

The Song: "Song of the Insufficiency of Human Endeavor," C.K. Alexander. Words & music by Bertholt Brecht & Kurt Weill; translation by Ralph Manheim and John Willett. Track 17 of The Three Penny Opera (Broadway Revival Cast), 1976.
When/how acquired: Purchased LP, 1984; purchased MP3, 2011
Can't find this online to share, but you can go buy it on iTunes or Amazon. Do it. Youll thank me.

By sheer luck this morning I discovered that this recording, which I've been hunting for at least ten years, is now available for purchase online, and has been for two years. How could I have missed it?

As far as I'm concerned, this is the definitive English-language production of this show. I saw a much feebler version, with Sting as Macheath, at the National Theatre in 1990 or so; Sting, while a charismatic presence on screen and at rock concerts, simply could not carry the role. Mask & Bauble did its own version as its spring musical in 1984, which was pretty terrific, if memory serves. It was an impressionable time for me, and this show was a major force in shaping my worldview even to this day.

Between this acquisition, the gorgeous weather, a long walk with Dizzy and last night's excellent audience for Earnest, I'm having a pretty good Saturday morning. Hope yours is equally good. Special birthday greetings today to my dear friend, colleague and co-conspirator Tom Ehrenfeld, who is responsible for this blog in many ways, and has been a support to me in more ways than one for - erk - more than 25 years.

Earnest closes tonight with one last performance. I'll be sad when it's over.

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