Happy End
Comedy with music, in three acts (in German).
Book by Dorothy Lane, pseudonym for Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht.
Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht.

Song List
Performance Information
Principal Productions

Final tableau from original production, Berlin, 1929.
The stained-glass windows depict Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, and John D. Rockefeller, from left to right.


Set in early 1920's Chicago, the plot pits organized crime against the Salvation Army. Lieutenant Lilian Holiday makes a brave attempt to reform a group of gangsters led by Bill Cracker and the Lady in Grey. As she is making progress, she is thrown out of the Salvation Army because they fear she is too close to the gangsters. But since she is the most popular evangelist, they are forced to let her back into the fold. Meanwhile, the gang robs a bank on Christmas Eve; thanks to Bill's growing affection for Lilian, they decide to unite with the Salvation Army and open a new office downtown, to work on saving the souls of capitalists.

Song list

Performance Information

Cast: Singing roles -- Bill Cracker (high baritone), Sam Worlitzer (baritone), Hanibal Jackson (baritone), Lilian Holiday (soprano), Lady in Grey (mezzo-soprano), Jane (mezzo); chorus, SATB.
Speaking roles -- Dr. Nakamura, Jimmy Dexter, Bob Merker, Johnny Flint, Salvation Army Captain, Mary, Miriam.
Orchestra: alto sax (fl, picc, cl); ten. sax (bass sax, cl); tpt; tbn; banjo (Hawaiian guitar or mandolin, bandoneon or accordion, (bass) guitar); perc (2nd tpt); piano (harmonium).
Duration: full evening, 40 minutes music

Principal productions

LP CBS 66266
LP Columbia COS-2032
LP Philips B 47 080 L
LP Columbia OL 5630
CBS MK 42636 
CBS MPK 45886
Documents Historische Ton 4032250197830 (2 CDs)

Lotte Lenya, 
Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, cond.
Capriccio 60 015 Gabriele Ramm, Walter Raffeiner, Karin Ploog, Steven Kimbrough, 
Pro Musica Köln, König Ensemble, 
Jan Latham-König, cond.

See also
English adaptation by Michael Feingold,
Happy End Songspiel, arranged by David Drew.