Theater: Cry, The Beloved Country

The play based on the book Cry, the Beloved Country was created by
Kurt Weill a German as the composer and an American Maxwell Anderson as a
lyricist. They named the play Lost in the Stars and Anderson found the
order of activities in the book to be interesting and opted to bring the
Myth of Ulysses into it. Anderson wrote to Paton before starting on the
play to get the permission to use his work. Anderson explains in the letter
that “the khumalo story took such hold on me that I decided I’d like to try
to arrange it for the stage” (Avery 1977:221).Alan Paton on getting the
request got interested and opted to help in the play by providing some
African music that could be used in the casting an offer that was turned
downed since Weill wanted to write an American opera based on an American
popular song. This led to reduced correspondence between Paton and Weill
and Anderson. Paton was invited to meet the creators and cast of Lost in
the stars and watch a rehearsal of the play which he said brought about
painful experiences though it was unnerving at times. He made it clear that
the idiom of the play was different and that there were parts that
presented the language used in his book.
Paton and Anderson never seemed to be getting along smoothly and he
considered the cold relation between them not to upset him. The work on the
Lost in the Star gathered momentum only after thefirst year and this
caused Weill to work with considerable speed in coming up with the lyrical
to be used into the play. Anderson and Weill had approached Mamoulian who
was working on another play Arms and the Girl to come and direct their
play. Mamoulian was intrigued by the project that he postponed his play to
direct Lost in the Star. He was a veteran of Broadway and they felt that he
could the difficult play through due to the experience he had gathered for
Anderson found himself in conflict with Mamoulian at …


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