Lost in the Stars


Music by Kurt Weill
Book and Lyrics by Maxwell Anderson

Based on the novel Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Performed in English with English subtitles
Premiered on Broadway in 1949 at the Music Box Theatre in New York
August 17, 18, 24 & 25 at 8:00pm

This performance is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for
Music, Inc., New York, NY www.kwf.org

Act I

The opera begins in South Africa during the 1940s era of apartheid. The black priest, Reverend Stephen Kumalo, has not heard from his son Absalom since he left to look for work in Johannesburg a year earlier. Concerned, Reverend Kumalo decides to travel to Johannesburg to search for his son. At the railroad station, he is greeted by Arthur Jarvis, a white lawyer who is a benefactor of his church, though Arthurs father James, a wealthy planter, frowns upon any association between the races.

In Johannesburg, Reverend Kumalo soon finds out form his brother that his son has been arrested for killing a white man – the unintentional murder of a wealthy planter’s son. Reverend Kumalo takes charge of his sister’s illegitimate son, Alex, who joins him in his search for Absalom. The two travel to Soweto to search for Absalom by day and rest in a rented hovel by night. He learns Absalom has served jail time but is on parole, living with his pregnant girlfriend, Irina.

Meanwhile, Absalom is convinced to be an accomplice in a burglary plot against a wealthy planter. The other two conspirators coerce Absalom to bring a gun along, although one of them knows the house very well. Reverend Kumalo and Absalom’s parole officer find Irina after Absalom leaves to commit the burglary. The burglary is bungled, and the plantation owner, Arthur Jarvis, is shot by Absalom. The parole officer arranges for Reverent Kumalo to visit with Absalom in jail soon after his arrest. Stephen doesn’t believe Absalom could be guilty of the crime, but Absalom confesses. Reverent Kumalo returns to his rental in Shantytown and reflects – he prays, but his faith has been shaken.


Act II

A deceitful scheme is proposed before the trial that could get all three men acquitted if they can confirm their alibis. Absalom states that he wants to “go straight.” Reverent Kumalo is anguished by this dilemma and pleads with the victim’s father to petition for a life sentence instead of a death sentence because the fatal shot was an accident. The grieving father sternly refuses the merciful plea. Absalom’s two accomplices lie at the trial. Absalom implicates the two of them and admits his own guilt, but says the gun was only meant to frighten the servant of the house. Absalom is convicted and sentenced to death while the other two accomplices are acquitted. Reverent Kumalo marries Absalom and Irina in the prison cell.

Reverend Kumalo and the murdered man’s father, James Jarvis, maintain a strained relationship after the trial. Reverend Kumalo looks to resign from his position at the church, distraught by all events surrounding his son, his shaken faith, and the loss of his church’s benefactor. Before Absalom is hung for his crime, Reverend Kumalo and James Jarvis begin a journey together to compassion and understanding, instead of loathing and retaliation.

Lost in the Stars is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals: www.rnh.com

Production Staff

Conductor Scott Schoonover
Director Shaun Patrick Tubbs
Scenic Designer Roger Speidel
Costume Designer Teresa Doggett
Lighting Designer Joe Clapper
Supertitle Designer Philip Touchette
Technical Director Theatre Marine Productions
Stage Manager Traci Clapper
Scenic Charge Artist Cameron Tesson
Assistant Stage Manager Kayla Bush
Assistant Stage Manager Miranda Fair

Orchestral rentals for Lost in the Stars are underwritten by


The Kurt Weill Foundation, Inc. promotes and perpetuates the legacies of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya by encouraging an appreciation of Weill’s music through support of performances, recordings, and scholarship, and by fostering an understanding of Weill’s and Lenya’s lives and work within diverse cultural contexts. It administers the Weill-Lenya Research Center, a Grant and Collaborative Performance Initiative Program, the Lotte Lenya Competition, the Kurt Weill/Julius Rudel Conducting Fellowship, the Kurt Weill Prize  for scholarship in music theater, and publishes the Kurt Weill Edition and the Kurt Weill Newsletter. Building upon the legacies of both Weill and Lenya, the Foundation nurtures talent, particularly in the creation, performance, and study of musical theater in its various manifestations and media. Since 2012, the Kurt Weill Foundation has administered the musical and literary estate of composer Marc Blitzstein.  www.kwf.org.