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Johnny Johnson (1936)

Compositeur: Kurt Weill

Parolier: Paul Green

Librettiste: Paul Green

Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

The musical focuses on a naive 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, and he settles down as a toymaker who will create anything except tin soldiers, his personal gesture of peace in an increasingly warlike society.

Synopsis complet

 

Historique du musical

Inspiration

Based on Jaroslav Hašek's satiric novel The Good Soldier Švejk

Génèse du musical

Since World War I's U.S. casualty rolls listed the name Johnny Johnson more frequently than any other, it seemed the logical title for the pacifistic 1936 Paul Green text Kurt Weill set in his first American musical.

Weill had fled Nazi Germany at the height of his fame —but almost exclusively for one work: his and Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera" had conquered all Europe.Weill went to New York to compose the score for "The Eternal Road," a vast pageant depicting the history of the Jews, but when that project lagged, he got an invitation from an improbable source: the Group Theatre, an intense cell of left-wing disciples ofStanislavsky, fiercely dedicated to socially significant drama in the Moscow Art Theater tradition.

As a model for their project, Green and Weill settled upon Jaroslav Hasek's great satiric novel "The Good Soldier Schweik," but their baby's delivery by the Group entailed major labor pains.

"Johnny Johnson" opened Nov. 19, 1936, with Hitler, almost four years in power, loudly proclaiming his bellicose ambitions.

The Broadway production opened on November 19, 1936 at the 44th Street Theatre, where it ran for 68 performances. The cast included Russell Collins as Johnny and Phoebe Brand as Minny Belle, with Luther Adler, Morris Carnovsky, Lee J. Cobb, Curt Conway, John Garfield, Elia Kazan, Robert Lewis, and Sandy Meisner in supporting roles.

A 1956 production was presented Off-Broadway at the Little Carnegie Playhouse at Carnegie Hall. It was directed by Stella Adler and starred among others James Broderick as Johnny Johnson and Gene Saks as the Mad Psychiatrist. It ran from October 21, 1956 through October 28. Samuel Matlowsky was the Musical Director and also conducted the 1956 record album which had none of the cast from the Stella Adler production.

After ten previews, a revival directed by José Quintero and choreographed by Bertram Ross opened on April 11, 1971 at the Edison Theatre, where it closed after one performance. The cast included Ralph Williams as Johnny and Alice Cannon as Minny Belle.

 

Détails

Textes disponibles on-line

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Pour en savoir plus

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Johnny Johnson.

 

Versions du musical

Versions majeures de Johnny Johnson

Version 1

Johnny Johnson (1936-11-44th Street Theatre-Broadway) (Original)
Durée : 1 mois 4 semaines
Nombre : 68 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 19 novembre 1936
Première : jeudi 19 novembre 1936
Dernière : samedi 16 janvier 1937
Mise en scène : Lee Strasberg
Chorégraphie :
Avec : Phoebe Brand (Minny Belle Tompkins), Russell Collins (Johnny Johnson), Sanford Meisner (Captain Valentine), Lee J. Cobb (Doctor McBray), Art Smith (Sergeant Jackson), Luther Adler (An English Sergeant), Jules Garfield (Johann Lang), Ruth Nelson (A Sister), Morris Carnovsky (Doctor Mahodan, a psychiatrist), Elia Kazan (Doctor Frewd)
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 2

Johnny Johnson (1956-10-Carnegie Hall Playhouse-New York) (Revival)
Durée : 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : dimanche 21 octobre 1956
Première : dimanche 21 octobre 1956
Dernière : dimanche 28 octobre 1956
Mise en scène : Stella Adler
Chorégraphie : Robert Joffrey
Avec : Rosemary O'Reilly (Minny Belle Tompkins), Maurice Edwards (Grandpa Joe), James Broderick (Johnny Johnson), Logan Ramsey (Captain Valentine), Charles Tyner (Dr. McBray), Robert Minford (An English Sergeant), Edward Printz (Johann Lang), Elizabeth Parrish (A French Nurse), Gene Saks (Dr. Mahodan), Sidney Armus (His Honor)
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 3

Johnny Johnson (1971-04-Edison Theatre-Broadway) (Recréation)
Durée :
Nombre : 10 previews - 1 représentations
Première Preview : jeudi 01 avril 1971
Première : dimanche 11 avril 1971
Dernière : dimanche 11 juillet 1971
Mise en scène : José Quintero
Chorégraphie : Bertram Ross
Avec : Ralph Williams (Johnny Johnson), Alice Cannor (Minny Belle Tompkins), Paul Michael (Mayor/Pvt. Fairfax/Amer. Cmdr./Brother Thomas), June Helmen (Miz Smith/French Nurse), Bob Lydiard (Photographer/Sniper), Christopher Klein (Messenger/Howington, Jr.), James Billings (Grandpa Joe/Pvt. Goldberger/Chief/Dr. Mahodan), Gordon Minard (Howington/Pvt. Harwood), Charlotte Jones (Aggie/Sister/Miss Newro), Norman Chase (Capt. Valentine)
Commentaires :
Following disastrous notices, it opened and closed on the same night (after ten previews).
En savoir plus sur cette version

Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Johnny Johnson

 

Multimedia on-line

Vidéos on-line

 Pas encore de video disponible pour ce spectacle

 

Principaux CD du musical



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