One Off Geniuses
In the category of playwrights crossing the line into librettos, some crossed that line only once or twice.
Maxwell Anderson (1888-1959) wrote the book and the lyrics for two Kurt Weill shows, Knickerbocker Holiday (1938.11) and Lost in the Stars (1949.15). We are sharing with you the wistful, 1938 recording by Walter Huston of “September Song,” the man who introduced the song on Broadway.
Ben Hecht (1894-1964) and Charles MacArthur (1895-1956) worked with Rodgers and Hart on Jumbo (1935.15).
John O’Hara (1905-1970) adapted his own material to write the book for the Rodgers and Hart show Pal Joey (1940.22). O’Hara came the closest to writing about three-dimensional characters; however, his cynical attitude doomed the musical to a lower status.