Theatre at full stretch and maximum throttle. . . . The power and dramatic sweep of Street Scene prove irresistible. (The Telegraph, 2011)
John Fulljames’ staging of Kurt Weill’s “American opera” Street Scene opens on 13 February at the Teatro Real. Patricia Racette and Tony Award winner Paulo Szot are featured in the roles of Anna and Frank Maurrant.
Further performances take place on 14, 16, 17 and 18 February, on 26, 27, 29 and 30 May and on 1 June.
Elmer Rice’s libretto, based on his play of the same name and with song lyrics by Langston Hughes, tells of various events that take place on the East Side of Manhattan in the middle of the 1940s.
First Avenue, Manhattan, 1936
The work focuses on two plotlines: Anna Maurrant’s extramarital affair with the milkman Sankey is the hot topic of the street. Her daughter Rose and their young neighbour Sam Kaplan are secretly in love and dream of escaping from the decrepit tenement. Anna’s irritable husband Frank knows nothing about his wife’s love affair, yet he suspects something. When he unexpectedly comes home early and catches them he shoots them both.
After Frank’s capture, he awkwardly tries to explain to Rose why he committed the murders as the police lead him away. Sam once more declares his love and implores Rose to go away with him, but she has decided that she must go off on her own. Two strangers enter, hoping to rent the upstairs apartment. As evening approaches, the denizens of the building once again sit on the stoop as if nothing happened, gossiping and complaining about the heat.