Anti-capitalist musical comedy Happy End coming to Melbourne
18.02.2022

Anti-capitalist musical comedy Happy End coming to Melbourne

Happy End

Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann’s musical comedy 'Happy End' is coming to Melbourne's Playhouse from March 23 - 26.

Victorian Opera is presenting the renowned American production, which will transports attendees to Chicago in 1911 to tell the unlikely love story of gangster Bill Cracker and Salvation Army Lieutenant Lillian Holiday. It’s an exploration of crime, salvation and uncommon alliances in free economies, while also showcasing German composer Weill’s most iconic songs like ‘Surabaya Johnny’ and ‘The Bilbao Song’.

Following their collaboration on Tom Waits and William S. Burroughs’ The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets (2017), this new production of Weill’s musical reunites director Matthew Lutton and musical director Phoebe Briggs. Set and costume designer Marg Horwell and lighting designer Paul Jackson also return to Victorian Opera following their work on Green Room Award-winning Australian opera, Lorelei.

What you need to know

  • Happy End is playing at Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse
  • Runtime: 2 hours, plus one interval
  • Dates: 23 March, 7:30 pm, 24 March, 7:30 pm, 25 March, 7:30 pm and 26 March, 1:00 pm & 7:30 pm

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

Musical theatre stalwarts Adam Murphy (Aladdin) and Lucy Maunder (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) star as Bill Cracker and Lillian Holiday respectively. Soprano Ali McGregor (A Little Night Music) returns to Victorian Opera as mob boss The Fly, while musical theatre stars Kurt Kansley (Ragtime) and Euan Fistrovic Doidge (Fun Home) make their company debuts as The Governor and Sam Wurlitzer.

The principal cast is rounded out by Hamish Johnston, Ben Grant, Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi, Jennifer Vuletic, Richard Pyros, Emily Burke and Olivia Cranwell. The ensemble features Benjamin Barker, Lachlan Bartlett, Alastair Cooper-Golec, Anne Gasko, Chiew-Jin Khut, Adam Lyon, Bridget Mylecharane, and Anna-Lee Robertson.

“Brecht, Weill and Hauptmann’s fable of the unlikely alliance of the dispossessed from the gangsters of Chicago and the Salvation Army speaks anew to our contemporary world. The gritty realities of hard times are leavened with sardonic wit and wonderful songs,” Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Mills said.

Tickets are available from $39 and bookings are available here.