Comparative Cultural Studies

CCS3123Berlin to Broadway: Musical Theatre Across the Oceans (Cross-Listed: MUS 3123)3 ch (3C) (W) (EL)
An examination of the life and work of Kurt Weill focusing on his contribution to the theatre culture of Berlin in the twenties and to Broadway in the forties. We will read selected stage works by Weill and his renowned literary collaborators such as B. Brecht, W. Anderson and I. Gershwin, discuss their social relevance, theatrical power, and reception and explore the interplay between the various media: text, music and stage. Emphasis will be placed on the urban cultural context of Berlin, and the history of musical theatre and Broadway musical genres, including current trends. The goal of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to study a theatre composer in depth, to foster a critical appreciation of Weill’s unique place in music theatre, and to enrich their understanding of material, cultural and performative aspects of musical theatre. Stage works by Weill may include The Threepenny Opera, Happy End, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Lady in the Dark, Street Scene, Lost in the Stars. Other musicals to be discussed may include Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, Sweeney Todd, In the Woods. The course and all readings are in English. Open to students who have completed at least 30 ch of university courses or by permission of the instructor. Students with credit in GER 4033 may not take this course for credit. Students who have taken WLCS 3023, or GER 3023 may not attain credit for CCS 3123.