Lost in the Stars

Lost in the Stars
Alan Paton's story of a black Anglican pastor who experiences a crisis of faith when the apartheid system is imposed in South Africa in the late 1940s.

Premiered on Broadway in 1949 and Weill’s last work for the stage before his untimely death the following year, LOST IN THE STARS is unique in its conception and in its power. Weill’s score combines (remarkably) blues, spirituals, Tin Pan Alley-style songs with operatic arias, choruses and chorales, the chorus assuming a central role in the setting and telling of the narrative.

Rev. Stephen Kumalo’s son Absalom wants to avoid a life spent in the gold mines and takes part in a robbery with his friends, in the course of which he kills his father’s white friend, Arthur Jarvis. Absalom, at trial, repents and decides to tell the truth, while his friends lie and are acquitted, while Absalom is sentenced to hang. These events shake Stephen’s faith to its core and he informs his congregation that he cannot continue as their minister; their faith is also shaken as a result. As Stephen waits alone for the clock to strike the hour of his son’s execution, Arthur’s father appears, recognising that they have both lost a son, and offers Stephen his friendship, which is accepted.

A deeply serious and important work with a score including “Trouble Man”, “The Little Gray House”, “Cry, the Beloved Country” and the title number, LOST IN THE STARS is written for a predominantly black cast.

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