a vaudeville : Book & lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner: Music by Kurt Weill
New York 46th Street Theater 7 October 1948 (252 perfs)
European première by Opera North - Leeds Grand Theatre 25 January 1996.
Love Life spans more than 150 years of American history, from 1790, in the early years of American independence, to 1948, the year of the Broadway première. It visits the Cooper family at roughly 30-year intervals. They do not age.
Scene One - The Magician.
It is 1948. Sam and Susan Cooper, chosen by the Magician for his most important tricks, try to remember a time when their marriage was happy. It was in 1790 ......
Scene Two - Mayville, Connecticut, Spring 1790
Sam and Susan and their children Johnny and Elizabeth have arrived in Mayville, where Sam plans to open a furniture store. Sam introduces his family.
Who is Samuel Cooper
Here I'll stay.
Scene Four: Mayville, 1820
The landscape of Mayville has changed. Susan and Sam have received some troubling news but decide to go ahead with their Green-Up party, a celebration of the arrival of spring.
I remember it well
Vaudeville: Mother's Getting Nervous
Scene Six: The Coopers' bedroom, 1857
Susan and Sam are anxious about Sam's new job working for the railroad.
Scene Eight: The Cooper Home, early 1894
Sam is enjoying a rare evening at home relaxing on his porch, while Susan hosts a meeting inside.
My kind of night
Women's Club Blues
Vaudeville: Love Song
Scene Ten: An ocean liner, 1920
Sam is hustling for business and neglects Susan, who looks for consolation elsewhere.
I'm your man
Vaudeville: Modern Madrigal
Scene Twelve: A metropolis, 1948: the Coopers' apartment.
The radio causes a family quarrel
Vaudeville: The Locker Room
Scene Fourteen: A bedroom in the Coopers' apartment, 1948
Sam and Susan agree to divorce.
I remember it well
Is it him or is it me?
Vaudeville: Divorce Ballet
Scene Sixteen: Sam's hotel room, 1948
Sam is enjoying his freedom
This is the life
Scene Seventeen: The Minstrel Show
Sam and Susan are unhappy apart. The Interlocutor introduces a Con Man, Madame Zuzu, Mr Cynic and Miss Ideal Man, who suggests solutions; but Sam and Susan decide to face reality. Can they repair their marriage?
The Minstrel Show