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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
The Cradle Will Rock
Marc Blitzstein
Marc Blitzstein
Orson Wells, Director
Lehman Engel, Conductor
John Houseman, Producer
Abe Feder, Lighting Designer
Marc Blitzstein
Howard da Silva
Olive Stanton
Hiram Sherman
June 16, 1937
Venice Theater
A deliberately one-dimensional propaganda piece about union workers triumphing over their corrupt boss, the work is a period piece of the Depression, the Young Communist League, and New Masses of the 1930s. The setting is Steeltown, U.S.A., during a union drive. Larry Foreman, Steeltown's heroic union organizer, defies Mr. Mister, Steeltown's owner, and the owner's corrupt Liberty Committee. The characters are drawn in bold stereotypes.
Moll
Editor Daily
Mr. Mister
Junior Mister
Sister Mister
Mrs. Mister
Reverend Salvation
Larry Foreman
Yasha
Dauber
President Prexy
Professor Mamie
Dr. Specialist
Professor Trixie
Druggist
Sadie Polock
Gus Polock
Ella Hammer
Gent
Dick
Cop
Clerk
Steve
Bugs
Professor Scoot
Attendant
First Reporter
Second Reporter
The New York Times, Stephen Holden, 1-29-86; The New York Times, 4-28-85; Time, 7-25-83; The New Yorker, 6-6-83; The New York Times, Marc Blitzstein, 4-12-64 (a transcript of a recorded interview); The New York Times, Nan Robertson, 7-29-83; The New York Times, Frank Rich, 5-10-83; The New York Times, Robert Leiter, 5-1-83; The New York Times, Raymond Ericson, 5-13-78; The New Yorker, Winthrop Sargeant, 2-60; The New York Times, Harold C. Schonberg, 4-20-64.
First performance with orchestra was under Leonard Bernstein in 1947.
01:30
1
No chorus
Reminiscent of the work of Weill and Brecht. The songs satirize conventional musical-comedy models, but in a free-form style. A fusion of vaudeville, Gilbert and Sullivan, parodies of vintage American pop tunes, and work anthems. The songs were designed to be available to untrained actors' voices.
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