Happy End
English Adaptation

Comedy with music, in three acts.
Original German book by Dorothy Lane, pseudonym for Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht.
Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht.
English adaptation of book and lyrics by Michael Feingold.

Song List
Performance Information
Principal Productions

Part of poster for a production at the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada, 1989.


Set in Chicago in 1919, 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, but the money disappears. It was recovered by the Lady in Grey, who returns and threatens to kill Bill for botching the robbery. At this point the Salvation Army intervenes, and a series of coincidences leads to the happy ending: Bill and Lilian are engaged, the Lady in Grey finds her long lost husband, and the money stays out of the hands of the police.

Song list

Performance Information
Cast: Singing roles -- Bill Cracker (high baritone), Sam Wurlitzer (baritone), Captain Hannibal Jackson (tenor), Dr. Nakamura (baritone), Johnny Flint (baritone), Lieutenant Lillian Holiday (soprano), A Lady in Gray (mezzo-soprano), Sister Jane (mezzo); chorus, SATB.

Speaking roles -- Jimmy Dexter, Bob Marker, Miriam, Major Stone, Sister Mary, Brother Ben Owens.
Orchestra: alto sax (picc, fl, 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

Also see entry for Happy End, in the original German version.