Musical in 2 acts by Paul Green and Kurt Weill (1936)

Kurt Weill had told me earlier that he had written a melody in Europe...and he
wanted to use it...it was a beautiful melody, but complicated...He said, 'If we
can send the audience out humming a melody...it will be like a leitmotif, you know,
that Wagner thing'...The thing to do is...to sum up the whole philosophy of this play
into the musical statement at the end'

Paul Green in an unpublished interview, 1974

Weill's first work for the American public on Broadway was commisioned by the Theater
Group
, a company of players dedicated to contemporary music. The group, specialized
in plays dealing with social issues, esp. requested a play speaking up against war. Weill
collaborated with Paul Green and came up with Johnny Johnson.
Johnny Johnson is full with references to Weill's older (European) material: Marie Galante
and Happy End. Several earlier used musical techniques like the Tango, Foxtrot and
funeral marches mark the songs.
The diversity of all those Weill-elements, sentimental/satirical, European/American, all
combined, lifted the musical far above the avarage Broadway shows.
The show didn't become a success, mainly because of a public that didn't seem to appreciate
Weill's European influences and the 'pacifist' message in the play.

The Story
Johnny, a pacifist and the main character, goes off to Europe in the
World War I. He leaves behind his true love Minne Bell.
He winds up fighting but manages to stop the war for a brief period
by attacking a meeting of generals with laughing gas. When the
generals come to their senses, the war continues, Johnny is sent to
an asylum where he is held for 10 years.
When he is released he discovers that his love has married a dreary
town capitalist and decides to become a toymaker to spread
peace in an increasingly warlike society

Music/Songlist
Introduction
Over In Europe
Democracy Advancing
Up Chickamuga Hill - The Battle Of San Juan Hill
Johnny's Melody
Aggie's Song
Oh Heart Of Love
Farewell Goodbye¹
The West-Pointer Song¹
The Sergeant's Chant
Captain Valentine's Song
Army Interlude
Farewell, Goodbye (interlude)
Song Of The Goddess
Song Of The Wounded Frenchman
The Tea Song
Oh The Rio Grand - Cowboy Song
Johnny's Dream
Song Of The Guns
Music Of The Stricken Redeemer

Act 2

Mon Ami, My Friend
The Allied High Command
The Laughing Generals
The Battle
In Times Of War And Tumults
In No Man's Land
Johnny's Homecoming
The Psychiarty Song
Asylum Chorus
A Hymn To Peace
Asylum Chorus (instrumental)
Johnny's Song

¹Removed from original production

Sources:
www.kwf.org

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