New York. Random House. 1938.
Some edges uncut, 150pp, 8 1/4 x 6 inches, red cloth covered boards (hardbound). With dust jacket. Soiling to dust jacket which has small tears and chipping to edges, one inch split to front dustjacket at spine. Book in very good clean condition. Right edge of inserted pamphlet is creased. A first edition, "$1.50" price on front dustjacket flap. The pamphlet that accompanied the Musicraft Album No.18 (a recording of the play) is loosely inserted. Blitzstein’s 1937 musical (dedicated to Bertolt Brecht) was a project of the WPA Federal Theatre directed by Orson Welles. The Federal Theatre administration shut down the production before it opened, fearful of its leftist leanings. Blitzstein, Wells and the producer John Housman took the play to another theatre, where members of the cast performed the musical, with Blitzstein on piano, from their seats in the auditorium, as the actor’s union forbade them from appearing on stage. One of the most fascinating episodes in American musical theatre. Item #43986