Adrienne Haan: Adrienne Haan Sings Kurt Weill

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Adrienne Haan

Adrienne Haan Sings Kurt Weill

The Triad, NYC, March 27, 2019

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Adrienne Haan

A lively, warm-hearted tribute to Kurt Weill was the order of the evening as Adrienne Haan—a vivacious cabaret star who performs on both sides of the Atlantic—packed The Triad to bring the composer to life with songs and stories tracing his career.

Before the show, as patrons were seated, The Triad set the mood with piped-in music featuring German popular songs and American songs in translation. The lights went down, and the musicians took their place on stage: Richard Danley at the piano, joined by a five-piece band billed as the Novembergruppe Quintet led by Dan Levinson.

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Enter Haan—glamorous in a black pants-suit—singing and speaking throughout the evening of Weill’s life and output. She went from his early collaboration in Germany with Bertolt Brecht to his fleeing persecution there as a Jew to work in London and then to America, collaborating throughout his career with various lyricists.

Many of the songs were familiar to Weill fans, brought to new life by Haan’s renditions, under the evening’s direction by cabaret veteran Barry Kleinbort.

Included were “Pirate Jenny” (perhaps best known in America through its performances by Weill’s wife, Lottte Lenya); “Mack the Knife”; “Alabama Song” (performed, alas, as an audience clap-along); “Surabaya Johnny”; and more—some performed in English translations by various writers. Among the numbers was the “Bilbao Song,” performed by Hann as a drunk, careening about the stage—not quite Weillian.

Given a touch of taming, Adrienne Haan is on her way to shining even more brightly in American cabaret.

Peter Haas

Writer, editor, lyricist and banjo plunker, Peter Haas has been contributing features and performance reviews for Cabaret Scenes since the magazine’s infancy. As a young folk-singer, he co-starred on Channel 13’s first children’s series, Once Upon a Day; wrote scripts, lyrics and performed on Pickwick Records’ children’s albums, and co-starred on the folk album, All Day Singing. In a corporate career, Peter managed editorial functions for CBS Records and McGraw-Hill, and today writes for a stable of business magazines. An ASCAP Award-winning lyricist, his work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Metropolitan Room and other fine saloons.