AMERICAN HIGHWAYS PRESENTS MARC BLITZSTEIN, ACT 1: The Cradle that Rocked
Composer Marc Blitzstein has been all but forgotten, but in the 1930s he was famous for his political musical, The Cradle Will Rock. Composed by Blitzstein, Directed by Orson Wells, Produced by John Houseman…and banned by the Federal Government.
The show, when it opened, in a borrowed theater, without sets or costumes, and with the actors performing from seats in the audience, was an instant hit. It became the defining moment of Blitzstein’s career, and one of the compositions for which he will most be remembered. Although the work could not have been more political, he said, “I’m not writing music-plays of social significance…” Disingenuous? Perhaps. But he knew the power and the force of his music, and he wanted to see history play itself out. And did it ever, in this grand and astounding story of resilience and strength in the face of adversity.