I sing Kurt Weill something deep inside me comes to life,"
says Elizabeth Hodes. Her cabaret, "A Little Weill," evokes
the smoky basements of old Berlin where Weill's songs were first
sung and whence her parents emigrated in the 1920s. A child after
WW-II, she was aware that her parents had been deemed "enemy
aliens," and began her career as a dancer. But after becoming
a soloist in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, she switched to music. "Ballet
is universal," she says, "but music springs from culture.
Kurt Weill and my parents are from the same world, so when I sing
Weill's songs I feel their world in my bones!"
When Hodes first presented "A Little Weill" in New York City in 1997, critic Maya T. Amis wrote, "Hodes sings from the gut, fiercely growling her challenge to the world, an exceptionally fine interpretation with no compromise." After her last appearance at JUDY'S, Jan Wallman, writing in APPLAUSE APPLAUSE! said, "Now that I've seen Elizabeth Hodes, I can stop moaning about the fact that I never saw Lotte Lenya live, and live happily ever after."
The program has songs Weill wrote in 1920s Berlin collaborating with Berthold Brecht, gems like "Mack the Knife" "Tango Ballad," "Alabama Song," and "Bilbao," and songs he composed in America with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, Ogden Nash, and Alan J. Lerner, including "Saga of Jenny," "My Ship" and "September Song." The production is a collaboration with director Carter Inskeep and arranger/pianist Michael McFrederick.
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